With motoring being so expensive these days we thought we would give you some hints, tips and advice on making your car last longer...
1. Change those filters regularly
If your cars air and oil filters become clogged up, you will need to renew them. When your car goes in for a service they are usually replaced. They are simple jobs to do so you could attempt to do it yourself, especially the air filter. Make sure you look at your handbook to ensure you do it properly and always use genuine parts.
2. Drive nice and smoothly!
After warming up the engine you should always drive with care and avoid over-revs! If you adopt this strategy you will reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle and also get more miles to the gallon. Sudden acceleration and braking will lead to your needing a new clutch, brake disks and pads more regularly.
3. Keep your cool!
It's a fact that Air Con systems leak refrigerant gas over time, especially if they are not used regularly. If you leave your air con off, you will use less fuel however you could end up with a cost for re-gassing the air con, which could lead to a bill of around £50.00.
4. Get new spark plugs and leads
Replacing spark plugs and high tension leads is quite a straightforward job that you could do yourself. This will improve and optimise your engines performance, always make sure you take a good look at the vehicle handbook beforehand.
5. Top up those fluids on a regular basis
Failing to top up your fluids may result in dire consequences. Oil must be checked fortnightly, check the level by removing the dipstick, the oil level should be between the min and max markers. In terms of colour it should be a light yellowy-brown (if your car is a petrol engine).
If you have a diesel engine the colour should be quite dark as diesel engine oil accumulates soot as part of the normal combustion process.
Check that the coolant reservoir is topped up with 50% distilled water and 50% antifreeze and don’t forget the windscreen washer bottle, use a good quality car window washer, do not use washing up liquid as it contains salt and other additives that will damage your paintwork.
6. Keep your tyres pumped!
Tyres are one of the most important safety features on a car and one that you need to keep your eye on weekly. If your tyres are under inflated your vehicle will use more fuel. When topping up the tyres consult the handbook for the required pressure PSI. On some vehicles, the tyre pressure differs from the front to the rear tyres.
7. Ensure you keep servicing your car
If you want your car to run well ensure you keep your car servicing regular as this will prolong it's life. Service intervals are either based on time or the miles driven. Usually, it's every 10k miles or every calendar year. Modern cars have warning lights that illuminate on the dash to alert you that the car needs a service. Servicing a car usually includes the changing of the oil and oil filter, also the replacing of other fluids as well.
They will also, depending on the mileage replace the air filter, spark plugs and even cam-belt to name but a few.
8. Give your car a good clean
Washing your car isn't just about the pride of ownership, it can significantly extend the life of the vehicle. Grit and grime gets into the moving parts and also the chassis, leading to accelerated wear and corrosion. In the winter, the salt on the roads are especially corrosive, while bird droppings play havoc with the paintwork.
If you take your car to a hand wash centre you will get a better finish as some of the automated car washers have very stiff brushes that leave fine scratches and they tend to miss bits.
9. Watch the weight!
If you continually carry extra weight in your vehicle it's a sure-fire way to dent your car's fuel economy. The added weight will also put an additional strain on parts such as brakes, suspension bushes and tyres.
Start with the boot and clear everything that you don't need out. However remember to leave the toolkit, locking wheel nut and jack just in case!
10. Keep the car battery in tip top condition
If you don't regularly use your car "turn the engine over" as the battery on an inactive car will degrade and eventually go flat.
Also, as a result of a flat battery, you may need to jump start your car, putting additional strain on the battery itself, be aware that this could also damage the engine management system and other electronics. You may want to consider a trickle charger to keep your car charged if it's garaged for long periods of time.