Improve your car’s life expectancy


The IAM has released some tips on how to get the most out of your car’s life span.

Most cars last around 14 years before being scrapped, and the average age of cars on the road is 8 years.

What can we do to keep our cars safe and reliable for as long as possible? Here are some tips from the RAC which should keep your car running for many years to come.

Maintain your car’s battery

Especially important if your cars regularly inactive for extended periods, which can degrade and discharge the battery. Consider using a trickle charger to keep the battery topped-up if your car is left in a garage for an extended period of time or a battery conditioner if it appears to hold less charge than usual.

Drive smoothly… most of the time

Being mindful of how our driving puts a strain on the mechanical components of our cars can help us to adopt a driving style that reduces wear and tear improves fuel economy and can improve driving safety too.

Things like using the steering wheel, gearbox, and pedals smoothly, and looking well ahead to anticipate hazards and reduce the need for sudden braking all help achieve this wonderful combination of improved safety, economy, and reduced strain.

Clogged diesel particulate filters can be a problem unique to diesel cars. A longer motorway run once a month will help them clear.

Use your air conditioning

Failing to occasionally use the air-con in your car can end up leaving it leaking refrigerant gas more quickly and then breaking down. Keeping your air-con turned on, even in winter, will help reduce the need for re-gassing which is a much more expensive option than the small cost to the economy.

Check and top up fluids regularly

Failing to keep your car’s fluids topped up can have dire consequences, and can lead to much more serious breakdowns than one can generally expect from normal wear and tear.
To check your engine oil, when the car’s engine is cold only. Park your car on level ground, and remove the dipstick. Wipe it clean, then dip again. The oil, which should have a light yellow-brown colour in petrol cars, should reach between the maximum and minimum markers. Darker oil is fine with diesel cars, but dark oil in petrol cars should be replaced ASAP.

You should also check your coolant reservoir when the car’s engine is cold only (in general you should top up with 50% distilled water, 50% antifreeze), and windscreen washer fluid – best topped up with shop-bought screen wash. Don’t use washing-up liquid – it can damage the paintwork.

Read more tips here

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