When your car is your pride and joy, you want to make sure you’re taking the best care of it. With all the associated costs that come with owning and maintaining a car, there are several ways you could be wasting your money on issues that can be easily prevented.
Carrying out regular maintenance is the key to keeping your car in as good a condition as possible, for as long as possible. To be honest, the full list can be endless, so to narrow it down, we’ve put together a list of the most common car features that are likely to develop issues and some simple tips to keep your car performing as it should.
When driving at night or in winter, when visibility is generally reduced, your lights become one of the most important safety features on your car for yourself and other drivers. You should regularly clean any excess dirt or debris from your headlights to make sure they are at their full brightness. The same goes for daytime running lights, reverse lights and brake lights.
How many drivers does it take to change a headlight? About 15 minutes, actually. No, we’re not joking. If you feel like your lights are too dim, then you might need to change the bulb. This is easy enough to do on your own and requires only a few common tools.
Time can take its toll on your car’s engine and it is bound to suffer from wear and tear. However, there are a few things you can do to help it last as long as possible and running to its full capacity.
Avoid making frequent short trips, as this has a detrimental effect on your engine. Try consolidating your short trips by carrying out a number of errands at once. Longer journeys at a constant speed will keep your engine happy. Another way to reduce strain on your engine is by keeping your car in neutral when stationary or at traffic lights.
Regular cleaning of the exterior of the engine can prevent debris from causing damage. Also, make sure to replace your engine oil and antifreeze frequently, especially during the colder months.
Your tyres should be at the top of your car maintenance list. After all, they are the only part of your car which have contact with the road surface, so need constant attention and maintenance. Keeping on top of your tyre pressure and tread should be part of your regular maintenance. To ensure even wear and improve road grip, make sure to rotate and realign your tyres frequently.
While it’s easy to maintain your tyres, it’s always best to start off with a set of good quality tyres from a leading brand such as Bridgestone. They supply winter and summer-specific tyres, so you can be sure to always have the best performing tyres for the weather. If you want to go down this route, we recommend looking at Bridgestone’s Blizzak and Turanza tyres.
When it comes to your brakes, it can be difficult to pinpoint the actual cause of damage. The most common reasons would be a problem with the brake pads or brake fluid, but you should also get the pedals and rotors checked in case there is a deeper-rooted problem. For most problems with your brakes, it is recommended that a professional take a look as an unresolved issue can lead to further problems.
However, if you want to check your own brake fluid, there is an easy way to do it: if the level is low, you should fill it to the line and if it’s empty, then it’s a good indication that there is a leak which should be checked out. Otherwise, if the colour is too dark then you should change it.
We can’t understate the impact that good driving has on your car. Ultimately, driving with care will extend the amount of time between functional repairs that you need to make. When out on the roads, avoid bumps and kerbing as this will damage the tyres and mean they need changing more frequently. It’s also important to kick out some common bad habits which impact the lifespan of your car.
For example, accelerating gently for the first 10-20 minutes of your drive will reduce the initial wear and tear of your engine. Also try and reduce the amount of time you keep the steering wheel in an extreme right or left position, as this will damage the power steering. This also goes for parking, before you turn the ignition off, make sure to centre your steering wheel.
For more essential car and tyre maintenance and safety tips, visit the ASDA Tyres website.