10 step guide to making your car go that extra mile
A new car is a big investment, so we want to make sure that you get the maximum bang for your buck! Here’s our 10 step guide to making your car go that extra mile.
1. Get a car you love, not one you like
This car is going to be a big part of your life, and maintaining it will be a real labour of love. You’re going to spend a considerable amount of time and money on this car, so invest in one that you are passionate about.
2. Don’t ignore the problem
Whether it’s a suspicious rattling noise, an electronics failure or a loose component, try not to ignore the small problems. If you do, it is more likely to get worse and result in a hefty mechanic’s bill. Identify the problem, fix it and get on your way. Job done.
3. Regular maintenance checks
Spend a few minutes each week checking your car so that you can pre-empt any major problems and keep your car running smoothly.
Read your car’s manual in order to schedule servicing and other vehicle maintenance accordingly. Outside of these intervals, it helps to conduct regular maintenance checks using our FLOWERY method. Even the most mechanically challenged can do these quick tests, and it might save you a packet in the long run.
Rotate your tyres diagonally every couple of months to avoid uneven treads and costly replacements. Check out our quick guide to changing a tyre and find out how.
4. Change the oil and filter
The oil in your car should be completely changed every year, or 10,000 miles – whichever comes first. This is one of the most important maintenance elements, so even if you don’t do the rest, make sure you do this. Always make sure you’re using the type of engine oil that’s right for your car.
5. Use matching parts
Don’t mix and match. A Fiat 500 is very different to a Nissan Quashqai, so why should the same parts work for both? Your mechanic should be able to help you find the correct parts for your car.
6. Wash your car regularly
Regular cleaning gives you opportunities to look for small nicks and scratches. You may decide to fix these, or to let them become part of your car’s charm. Also, remember to wax your car twice a year to protect it against oxidation.
7. Develop a good relationship with your mechanic and your dealer
Having these two on your side will be extremely beneficial if something goes awry. Call on them to help with any car repairs or customisations, and the process should run smoothly. Establishing a good relationship with your garage is integral to maintaining your car for as long as possible.
8. Use petrol from a busy service station
If a petrol station doesn’t have a regular flow of customers, the petrol it stores will degrade as it waits to used. Petrol quality can have a significant effect on how smoothly your engine runs, and repeated use of poor quality petrol can lead to build ups that might eventually see you stuck at the side of the road.
9. Avoid short trips where possible
Cold starts are hard on engines, gas, mileage and the environment, and short trips can reduce the life of your battery. You should try to combine short errands and make sure that you drive your car at least once a week to check that your battery is still working properly.
10. Drive with care
Each car has a warm up period which usually lasts for the first 1,000 miles. During this time, you should avoid racking up the revs wherever you can, keep your speed under 55 mph (where possible) and avoid overloading the car. If you drive like this for the whole of the car’s life, it is likely to last longer much longer than average.