Regular servicing will help your car run efficiently, but there are other ways you can keep your car running smoothly for longer - check out our maintenance tips
We share our top maintenance tips to keep your car running smoothly for longer.
Be kind to your car
Harsh braking, sharp steering and aggressively putting your car into gear are all going to put strain on key mechanical components and will increase your chances of having to pay out on repair bills further down the line.
By driving sensibly and controlled, you should also see an improvement in fuel economy and let’s face it – the less time spent at a fuel station the better!
Diesel cars need regular long runs
Modern diesels are fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and this filter can get clogged if the vehicle rarely does a journey long enough for the car to get fully warm.
It is recommended that once a month your car gets a good motorway or long dual carriageway run to help clean out the filter. DPF’s issues can be very expensive to repair and also very problematic as similar issues can re-occur.
When buying your next vehicle, it is certainly worth weighing up whether you are more suited to a petrol, diesel or hybrid/electric based on how you intend to use the vehicle.
Use your air conditioning
Air conditioning systems leak refrigerant gas over time and even more so when they are not being used regularly.
Avoid saving the A/C for sweltering hot days, if you can use it consistently throughout the year where possible, then you can avoid the cost of having to get your system re-gassed.
Make regular checks & top up your fluids regularly
Tyres, brakes and bodywork are all exterior checks to be making regularly to ensure your vehicle runs well. To get the best out of your vehicle long term, you need to be regularly popping the bonnet and checking all of the fluid levels too.
Make sure you always have an adequate amount of oil, coolant and windscreen wash. If you are unsure on how you check your levels, read our handy guide.
Don’t run low on fuel
The obvious reason being so you never break down because of running empty, however there are also other reasons behind this advice.
If you own a diesel vehicle you need to be particularly careful. If you regularly run your vehicle close to empty, the injectors in your engine will draw air into the system, which can prevent your engine from turning over.
And it’s a similar story for petrol vehicles – you can get a build up of debris at the bottom of the fuel tank and when its close to empty it will draw on air in the tank, which can also bring the sediments along with it causing serious damage to your cars engine.
Keep an eye on your fuel level and ideally don’t let it drop below ¼ of a tank.
Don’t ignore warning lights
A warning light on the dashboard can be very concerning when it suddenly appears, especially an engine warning light.
Most of the time, the car will continue to drive normally even after a light has appeared on the dash, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore it and continue to drive. Until the issue is diagnosed, it is impossible to know what is causing the problem and how much damage you might be causing by choosing to ignore it.
Your car will go into reduced power or ‘limp mode’ if your vehicle really is not happy with something and if you do experience this; your car needs to be checked out immediately.
Stick to advised service schedules
The vehicle manufacturer has put the service schedules in place specifically for each individual car so it is important to stick to these as much as possible.
Think of it like a dentist check up every 6months, if you miss a couple of check ups, there is a good chance you may start to encounter problems that could have been detected had you made your check-ups.
Once you pick your car up after a service, you will feel a difference in your car’s performance. Look after your car and your car will look after you.
Keep your car clean
Treat your car to a nice wash regularly. It may look like you are doing it to impress your neighbours with your nice shiny paintwork but the reality is you will be extending your vehicles life.
Paintwork, alloys & trims are exposed constantly to adverse weather, tree sap, bird droppings, salt & grit and general dirt off the roads. Paintwork will dull/fade, components will rust and become damaged if you never treat your vehicle to a wash.