Cars that are well maintained typically last significantly longer than vehicles that are not well looked after. Preventative maintenance not only increases the life of a car, but it can mean money is saved on repairs and the car continues to operate at its optimum.
If you’re a self-confessed car enthusiast and are determined to look after your beloved vehicle this year, take a look at the following car maintenance tips for car lovers.
Check the Tire Pressure
Checking the pressure on your car’s tires is an importance car maintenance step that can tend to go overlooked. Driving on tires that are over or under inflated by lead to premature wear in the tread and potential tire failure, which can cause damage to your car and, worse still, an accident.
It can be advised to check your tire pressure at least once a month as having the correct pressure in each tire will optimize the performance of your car as well as increasing the safety of you and other road users.
Frequently Inspect the Battery
Car batteries have a habit of running out at the most awkward of times, leaving us stranded at the side of the road.
Avoid such situations by regularly inspecting your car battery. When checking the battery have a look for leaks and a build-up of minerals. The battery should also be cleaned. If your battery warning light comes on, never ignore it.
Regularly Check and Replace the Air Filters
Problems can occur in a vehicle when air filters become clogged, which causes them to wear. It is recommended that engine air filters should be replaced between 15,000 and 30,000 miles, depending on the conditions you drive your car.
Checking and replacing air filters isn’t an expensive job and is one that can help prevent your car running into serious and costly problems.
Have the Spark Plugs Replaced
Engine inefficiency is often caused by the spark plugs. It is important to have spark plugs checked to see if there is excess build-up and wear and have them regularly replaced. As a rule of thumb, spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 miles.
However, this can vary from car to car, so it’s important to ask your dealer or check the owner’s manual for a more accurate idea of when to replace the spark plugs.
Change the Oil
One of the most important and effective ways to maintain your beloved car and prolong its condition and longevity is to have the oil changed on a regular basis.
Tell-tale signs that the oil needs to be changed quickly is the oil light on the dashboard coming on, the oil looking dark or dirty, the engine making loud sounds, smoke being omitted from the exhaust, and the smell of oil being detected in the car.
If any of these signs are present in your vehicle, have the oil looked at and changed immediately. However, you should not wait for signs that the oil needs changing to rear their head.
Most owner’s manuals recommend driving approximately 5,000 miles before oil changes, if you drive in conventional conditions.
Avoid Driving Erratically
To reduce premature wear and tear of your engine and to help prevent damage, drive with what is known as mechanical sympathy. Driving smoothly instead of erratically will ensure there continues to be a smooth input through the car’s major controls, including the steering wheel, pedals, gearbox, and braking system.
Driving in a controlled and smooth manner will also help improve the fuel economy of your car, meaning you don’t have to fill it up with fuel as often.
Regularly Top Fluids Up
Hailed as a car’s ‘bloodline,’ failing to replenish fluids can have devastating consequences on your car’s engine.
As well as checking the oil about once a fortnight to ensure the level is between the minimum and maximum markers, check the coolant reservoir and regularly top it up with 50% antifreeze and 50% distilled water.
Have Your Car Regularly Serviced
Having your vehicle regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic will help maintain its condition and prolong its life.
Servicing schedules are either based on mileage, typically every 10,000 miles, or annually. Newer cars tend to have a service light on the dashboard that lights up when it’s time to have the car serviced.
Car owner budget should include a ‘minor’ service once a year and a ‘major’ service every two years. A minor service includes having the oil and oil filters changed and replacing other fluids if necessary, and a major service involves replacing the air filter, cambelt, and spark plugs.
Keep Your Car Covered
Keeping a car covered in a garage or under a car port will ensure it is kept clean, dry and safe. Being away from the harsh elements of the weather, cars that are put in garages or car ports are less prone to corrosion and rust.
If you haven’t the option of putting your car inside a garage or under a car port, consider placing a cover over it, particularly during the winter when the harsh weather bites.
Financial Assistance for Car Maintenance
Of course, maintaining a car to keep it in optimum condition and prolong its life costs money, and the greater effort you place on car maintenance, the more money you’ll require. Taking out payday loans online can be one effective solution to fund the much-needed maintenance of your beloved car.
Keep Your Car Clean
If you’re the proud owner of a new vehicle, the chances are you love cleaning it and keeping it looking shiny and new. Though the older the car becomes and the longer you have had it; the tendency to wash your vehicle on a regular basis can somewhat diminish.
Keeping a car clean will not only ensure it continues to look good but can also help extend its life, as the many elements a car comes up against day in day out can wreak havoc on paintwork and components and can lead to accelerated wear, tear and corrosion.