A car is a large investment and – with long commutes, weekend road trips, and everything in between – we spend an awful lot of time in them. All cars need taking care of, but as your car nears the infamous 10-year old mark or clocks over to 100,000 miles, you may hear horror stories of how this spells doom for your vehicle. This doesn’t have to be the case, though, as taking proper care of your car can help it last much longer – which can be great for your wallet and just as good for your heart, if you have become emotionally attached that is.
Here at Ken’s Autos, we have years of experience with cars so we understand what makes them tick and how to keep them ticking over. Thankfully, we’ve used these expertise to run through some key tips for making your car last longer in our latest blog post below.
The easiest thing to uphold on this list, making sure your car is regularly serviced – at the recommended interval of either one year or 10,000 miles (whichever comes first) – is crucial for maintenance and keeping on top of issues.
As it’s not a legal mandate as an MOT is (which staying on top of as well will not hurt the condition of your car), putting off a service can be tempting to save money short-term, but it’s the best idea for keeping your car in shape and saving money altogether.
A minor service should include things like a change of oil and oil filter, and a major service will continue to include checks of the air filters, spark plugs, and cam belt (if applicable).
2. Smooth Driving
Another relatively easy tip to uphold is to simply drive smoothly and safely. Although cars are tough, treating yours with respect and care at all times will reduce the wear on costly key components and can even make your journeys easier for you and passengers.
Smooth, gradual control of vehicle functions – such as brakes, accelerator, steerings, and changing gear – will help keep stress and strain on your car and its components to a minimum. Most of this will also help you become a better and safer driver, and can reduce your impact on the environment.
Although, generally, it’s advised to drive your car smoothly and in a controlled fashion, it is worth taking your car to the ‘red-line’ in terms of RPMs every few hundred miles. By sporadically revving your engine to this level (in a controlled fashion, once the engine is at temperature and the road is quiet) you can help to clear carbon deposits and further ensure optimal running.
As extreme as it sounds, oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle, which means making sure it’s in check is essential for smooth operation and a long life. The most important thing is to make sure there is enough oil in the engine so, be sure to regularly check this.
Checking your oil is as simple as using the dipstick. Take the dipstick out of the engine once, wipe any oil residue off and then place back in. You should then take the dipstick out again and check the oil level is between the minimum and maximum markers. Do this when the engine is off and has been for at least 10 minutes to allow the oil the return to the holding tray the dipstick lives within and this should allow for accurate results.
Another thing to check when looking at your oil level is the colour of the oil itself. In petrol engines, it should be a light yellow-brown colour and a dark, dirty colour suggests it needs changing. This is a little different for diesel engines as you might expect this oil to be dark in colour as soot is accumulated during combustion.
The second port of call is to make sure the oil your engine has as its disposal is of good quality. This doesn’t mean you need to spend an arm and a leg on premium oil, but rather to make sure it’s clean and effective. As oil circulates an engine, it loses quality and therefore needs changing regularly to keep the engine sufficiently lubricated – your car service booklet should explain the right interval for this. An oil change is not as easy to implement as driving smoothly, so it might be worth speaking to a trusted garage about doing so or learning the process yourself.
Of course, the three points above are not everything you can do to help your car last longer, but they will go a long way to helping with this. Other things like frequently checking your tyres (for pressure and tread-depth), using regularly to maintain the battery, refraining from aftermarket modifications and using proper parts when things do need to be changed will help your car last many miles to come.
If you would like to speak to a garage in Croydon about a service or MOT for your car, get in touch with our team here at Ken’s Autos by calling 01883 622 069 or 0208 763 0102 or filling out our simple contact form.
We also provide a wider range of mechanic services, so get in touch with us if you need some work doing on your vehicle.