You may think that keeping your car well maintained is hard work and should be left to professionals. But this can be done at home by you. Here are our top tips to keep yu on the road and to save you money!
#1 Battery Care
Keeping your car well maintained starts with the basics, like the battery! We have all cut down our mileage during lockdown, but this can affect your battery. If your car has not been used for long periods of time, the battery will degrade and go flat!
Try and start your car and keep it running for a while every now and again. Because if your battery does go flat, having to jump start a car puts additional strain on the battery and may damage the engine management system and other delicate electronics.
Even better is to try to drive your car at least once a week if possible – particularly in winter.
#2 Drive Smoothly
Driving with ‘mechanical sympathy’ is something we should all do more. Doing so will reduce component wear and you’ll make your fuel go further. Simple things like using the steering wheel, gearbox and pedals smoothly are important, along with looking well ahead to reduce the need for sudden braking when approaching traffic, lights or hazards.
#3 Air-Conditioning – Use it or lose it!
Did you know that Air-con systems leak refrigerant gas over time, particularly if they aren’t used regularly?
Leaving your air-con off may save fuel, but you could end up with a bill for air conditioning re-gassing instead which can cost around £50. Try and occasionally let your vents blow cold in winter, too.
#4 Check your tyres!
We all hear this a lot but do we actually do it? It could actually save your life! Your tyres are one of the most important safety features of your car and need to be checked at least once a week if you are using your car regularly!
Under-inflated tyres will also increase fuel consumption, so check what the pressure should be by looking in the manual, or it is sometimes on the inside of the driver’s door. If your tyres need changing, don’t be tempted to buy part worn tyres as these come with hidden dangers. Always buy new!
#5 Service your car when it tells you to!
Don’t think it is not important and put it off for months as it’s vital to keep your car in tip-top condition to keep it running for longer!
Check the handbook to find out when your car is due a service and what work is required. Many modern cars have warning lights on the dashboard to alert you when maintenance is needed, too.
Try and budget for a ‘minor’ service once a year and a ‘major’ service every two or three years. That way it doesn’t come as such a shock. A minor service includes changing the oil and oil filter, and replacing other fluids if necessary. Depending on the car and mileage, a major service may also cover replacement of the air filter, spark plugs and cam belt.