Keeping your car in good condition is not only about maintaining its appearance, it also plays a crucial role in ensuring its long-term performance, reliability, and safety.
Your car is a significant investment, and looking after it properly can help to maximise its lifespan, retain its value, and save you from costly repairs down the line. Taking the time to prioritise regular maintenance and care can go a long way in preserving the functionality and overall condition of your car.
That’s why we’ve put together 8 top tips for keeping your car in good condition, to help in the long-term.
1. Regular Maintenance & Servicing
Regular maintenance helps to prevent issues and ensures that your car’s components are functioning as they should be.
This includes checking your car’s fluid levels including engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid. Low or dirty fluids can lead to component damage and affect the performance of your vehicle. You should be checking your oil every couple of weeks, and always before a long car journey.
It’s also important to stick to a regular service schedule. A service looks at the general wear and tear of the car, including:
- Engine Oil and Filter
- Fluid and Coolant Levels
- Battery and Charging System
- Lights and Electrical System
- Air Filter
- Suspension and Steering
- Exhaust System
- Safety Checks
Check out the AA for a complete guide to servicing.
2. Keep it Clean
Did you know that keeping your car clean can actually extend its life? That’s right, there’s more to cleaning your car than keeping it shiny! A regular clean can extend your car’s lifespan and preserve the value of your vehicle.
Some things you can do to clean your car include:
- Regularly wash and wax to protect the paintwork from dirt, grime, and environmental contaminants
- Clean the interior regularly to prevent stains, odours, and wear.
- Vacuum the carpets
- Wipe down surfaces (using appropriate cleaning products for different materials)
As well as some basic cleaning, a yearly polish is also recommended as it provides a layer of protection and prevents rust from spreading.
3. Drive Consistently
Leaving your vehicle for long periods of time without driving can significantly impact its health.
When your car is not driven for a while, it puts the battery at risk of going flat. There really are no positives of your battery dying, as it means potentially jump-starting your vehicle. When this happens, it puts an additional strain on the battery and can actually damage the engine management system.
Did you know that the cold temperature affects a car’s battery life significantly too? This means you’ll definitely want to keep driving your vehicle more regularly over the winter months. Read more about how the temperature affects your car’s battery here.
4. Drive Smoothly
It might sound obvious, but the way you drive your vehicle can also have an impact on its condition.
Be mindful of the road ahead and avoid aggressive driving habits such as rapid acceleration, hard braking, and excessive speeding. These actions put unnecessary stress on your car’s components, leading to increased wear and reduced longevity. Instead you should opt for smooth, gradual acceleration and deceleration to reduce any risk of damage to your motor.
5. Check Your Tyres
Underinflated and overinflated tyres can affect the condition of your car and also cost you in fuel consumption!
So, it’s important to keep an eye on your tyre pressure and ensure they are inflated to the recommended levels to avoid any problems. The correct pressure improves fuel efficiency and the lifespan of your tyre. It’s a good idea to check the pressure every month and before long trips. This will save you from long-term costs.
6. Keep Your Vehicle Light
Any unnecessary weight in your vehicle can put a strain on things like your tyres, brakes and suspension.
Not only that, the heavier your vehicle the higher the emissions you’re putting out there. The average petrol car in the UK produced the equivalent of 170.5 grams of CO2 per kilometre in 2022. However, the heavier the car, the more CO2 emissions it emits.
Simple things like clearing out the boot and door pockets of any unnecessary items can keep your vehicle’s weight lighter.
7. Keep Your Fuel Tank Full
Keeping your fuel at a sensible level and not letting it get too low is essential to keeping your car running smoothly.
When you’re running low on petrol, the fuel pump will start to draw in various bits of debris and sediment that’s stuck at the bottom of the fuel tank. Of course, any unwanted materials are not going to do any good to your car. More specifically, debris can cause clogging and eventually damage the vehicle and stop it from starting.
So, keeping the tank fuel is an easy way to prevent any potential internal damage.
8. Don’t Ignore Warning Lights
When a warning light suddenly comes on, never ignore it!
Warning lights are designed to alert you of any potential issues or malfunctions in your vehicle that require immediate attention. They might suddenly appear for various reasons, such as overheating, tyre pressure, oil pressure, and electrical system faults.
Ignoring warning lights can lead to small issues escalating into major problems. What might have been a simple and affordable repair initially could turn into a costly repair or even result in irreparable damage.
If the warning light is about something serious, it could also put yourself and any passengers at risk of an accident or injury. So it’s vital to take these seriously and never ignore them.
There’s much more to keeping your car in good condition than just keeping it nice and shiny! By following simple steps, like regular maintenance, checking your tyres, keeping your fuel tank full, and driving smoothly, you could really make a difference in keeping your car running efficiently in the long-run!