How to maintain your car and extend its life

Date posted: January 14, 2014

Looking after you car well can mean the difference of keeping it on the road for an extra year or two, and it unexpectedly breaking down. Taking some time out to do some regular housekeeping on your car will extend its life and safe you a little money in the mean time!

Drive with care

Simple, right? But taking the time to start your car up gently, accelerating slowly and keeping to the rules of the road can help reduce the stress on your car’s engine, tyres and brakes.

Find a good car insurer

It can be tempting to go with the cheapest car insurer out there, but often this may not be worth it if you end up getting into an accident. A cheaper premium usually means higher excess charges, and some insurers may not even be able to repair the type of car you have. Thoroughly have a look at what they are offering and assess whether you’ll lose lots of money if you get into an accident.

Protect it from the sun

Parking in the shade in sunny weather can protect your paint job from fading, and if you don’t have a garage or anywhere shady to park your car, then investing in a car cover can help protect your car during the warmer months.

You can also make your car’s paint job last longer by carrying some touch up paint with you for any scratches you might get on your travels, plus giving it a good wax job will stop the paint from fading and forms a barrier against pollution, leaves and bird droppings.

Long term storage

If you’re planning on not using your car for a while, make sure you store it properly so that you can easily use it the next time you need it. Make sure the car is full of fuel so that condensation doesn’t accumulate in the tank, and disconnect the battery to stop it from draining. You can also plug the exhaust pipe with a rag to stop moist air from entering the car and even place the car on jacks to take the weight off of the car’s tyres.

Check your fluid levels

On a monthly basis you should check your brake fluid, water levels and oil to make sure things are as they should be. Always make sure that you top up your fluids with stuff that’s designed for car use. Don’t be tempted to fill your windscreen washer with plain water as this can freeze in colder months, and always use a specially designed cleaner: washing up liquid is not an acceptable alternative!

Clean your engine

It might be something you’ve never thought of doing, but giving your engine a good clean every year will make your car run more efficiently. A clean engine is less likely to overheat and you can easily run routine checks on your car if your engine is clean. Buy a special cleaner or use plain water and a grease-cutting detergent with a heavy bristled brush to cut through the grime.

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NCI Insurance Services Ltd (Registered in England & Wales No. 04741145). Registered Office: 4th Floor Clarendon House, Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG1 1JD. NCI Insurance Services Ltd are an Appointed Representative of Jigsaw Insurance Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference: 307654).