When your car runs into trouble, repairs and replacements can prove costly. However, there is a number of simple things you can do, like checking the fluid levels and ensuring your tyres are well inflated, to help your car run for longer, which will save you money in the long run.
Follow the car’s maintenance schedule
When buying a new car, many owners chuck the car’s manual in the glove compartment and forget about it until they need it. A manual will include a recommended maintenance schedule that you should follow to get the full benefit of the manufacturer’s warranty. Following this schedule can help you avoid costly problems with the car’s cooling system, drive train, suspension and other parts. Try putting reminders in your online calendar so you can be notified when your next service is due.
Avoid short trips
If you can help it, avoid short trips in your car. Cold starts can damage a car’s engine as it will not run long enough to evaporate all of the condensation out of the system, resulting in excessive moisture in the exhaust system, which can rust a hole through it. You should, however, drive your car at least once a week as cars left for a week or two at a time can drain their fluids, which can result in further problems arising.
Regularly check fluids
Conducting regular checks of your car’s fluid - e.g. antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid - regularly can alert you to any problems immediately, which can prevent further issues arising. You should also consider changing your oil regularly (your car owner’s manual will recommend a suitable time) to protect your engine and improve your gas mileage.
Check you brake pads
Keeping an eye on the thickness of your brake pads will save you time and money but most importantly, it will keep you safe. If they wear down to the metal, they can damage your brake discs, which are much more expensive to replace than the pads themselves.
Monitor your tyres
Deflated tyres can reduce their lifespan and the driving performance of your car. Buying a tyre pressure monitoring system can immediately alert you to any pressure deficiencies or rises in temperature, so you can take the appropriate action to prevent damage to your tyres or unsafe driving. For more advice on increasing your tyres’ lifespan, take a look at this blog post.
Wash your car
A build up of mud, pollution and debris on the road can result in costly body work repairs. Cleaning your car allows you to reduce the chances of corrosion as well as allow you to notice any patches of pesky rust. Washing your car is particularly useful if you live near the sea, as saltwater and sand can be damaging.
Deal with repairs quickly
If you notice your car is not working properly, for example, it is pulling to one side when driving or there is a humming noise when you turn on the air conditioning, these small issues can turn into larger problems if ignored. Taking care of these problems as soon as possible can prevent further damage - and expenses - from arising in the future.