A car can last for up to 14 years, and on average, the age of vehicles in the UK is about eight years. If you really love your car and want to keep on driving it for as long as possible, there are ways you can prolong its life. Here are some of the key steps to take care of your vehicle.
Proper Maintenance of the Battery
If you don’t drive your vehicle for a long period, it’s highly likely that the car’s battery will degrade and eventually go flat. You may want to use a trickle charger so that the battery remains topped up even if you don’t use your car often. A battery conditioner is also great to use if you observe that the battery is holding less charge than it used to.
What to do if your battery goes flat? This means you need to jumpstart your car but doing this might strain the battery. You may also risk damaging the engine management system, along with other vital electronics. So, instead of fixing an issue, you might find yourself facing more problems.
To avoid dealing with a flat battery, make it a point to use your car a few times a week. Even a once a week drive can help prevent your battery from going flat, especially during wintertime.
Regularly Changing Filters
As your car gets older, the air filter and oil filter will eventually become clogged. See to it that they are changed regularly. If your car is scheduled for servicing, get the filters changed as well. Actually, it’s easy to do this yourself so if in case you want to give it a go, you’ll get to save money in the process.
Sometimes, you don’t need to replace the air filter immediately. You can simply wash it to prolong its life. However, before you do this, check the handbook on how to clean filters or how to change filters. Only use genuine components because filters of poor quality can potentially damage the car engine in the long run.
Make an Effort to Drive Smoothly
Do your best to drive smoothly. To do this, know and understand the different controls of your vehicle and how they work. You’ll be able to reduce the wear and tear of the car parts and also make your driving more fuel-efficient.
You’ll be surprised at how much your driving can affect the performance of your car. If you can drive with care, it will help prolong the life of your vehicle. So, whenever you’re using the gearbox, steering wheel, and pedals, make an effort to do so smoothly.
If you drive aggressively, you’ll find yourself needing to refuel your car more often and spending on repair bills more frequently. Be kind to your car and you’ll be able to drive it around for a long time.
Use the Car’s Air Conditioning
Not using your air conditioning will cause it to deteriorate. The way you can prevent this from happening is quite simple -- you only have to use it. Keep in mind that the air conditioning system will leak refrigerant gas after a while, especially when you don’t use it.
You may want to save money on fuel by not using your air conditioning, however, you might end up spending on AC repair instead. It might be ridiculous to turn on the AC during winter but doing so once in a while will prevent damage to the system.
Check and Top Up Fluids
The fluids in the car allow it to perform well. If you fail to top them up, it will negatively affect your car and you may end up spending money on repairs. Make it a habit to check the engine oil every month or so. You can do this by opening the bonnet and then removing the dipstick. Make sure that the vehicle is on level ground when doing this. Wipe the dipstick with a rag and then dip it again to check the engine oil level.
The ideal oil level should be somewhere between the minimum and the maximum markers. As for the colour of the oil, check if it’s light golden brown for petrol cars. If what comes out is already dark coloured, then you need to replace the engine oil. However, for diesel cars, you don’t have to worry too much because it normally gets a darker colour because of the combustion process.
Apart from the engine oil, also check the coolant reservoir. Top it up with 50% distilled water and another 50% antifreeze. Remember to regularly check the car fluids if you want your car to last for a long time. If you allow the fluids to run desperately low, your car engine may suffer. The vehicle can break down and you’d have to spend on recovery and repairs.
Check Tyre Pressure Weekly
Whenever you’re feeling lazy about checking the tyres, remember that your risking your life by not doing so. This is not an exaggeration. Car accidents can happen because of bad tyres that could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
The next concern is the car’s fuel consumption. If the tyres are under-inflated, the car will need to consume more fuel. So, keep your tyre pressures in check. Keep in mind that the rear tyres may require different pressures than the front tyres. This is to even out the wear, as well as prolong the life of your tyres.
These simple steps are what you need to remember so you can extend the life of your car. Most of these steps involve simply checking different components of your car on a regular basis. Doing so will allow you to prevent any car issues and problems from happening. You’ll also get to save money from repairs. So, check your car regularly so you can keep on driving it for a long time.