It is estimated that the average lifespan of a well-taken-care car is somewhere in the region of 14 years. But some drivers won’t see more than five years before they put the car for scrap or sell it for parts. Why?
Well, some drivers take some time each week to run checks on their cars, take them for regular services, drive carefully, and ensure that the inside is well maintained too. So what can you do to ensure you get the most out of your car?
If you have a habit of overloading the boot and adding a lot of extra weight to the car, you will add additional weight to the suspension, brakes, and tires. A heavier vehicle will reduce the lifespan of your tires, as it will increase the wear on the tire’s tread. Car manufacturers are the tire’s treads to reduce the weight of their cars to help reduce emissions – and so they are built for maximum additional weight. The weight in your vehicle will also put more strain on the engine as it will have to produce more energy to get the car moving. This, in time, can cause the engine to overheat, which is known to cause damages such as leaks and bent components.
The service intervals for your car are based on either miles driven or a time frame. You will likely hit the miles often if you drive for long distances regularly. Your car’s handbook will tell you how often you should be booking your car for a service – if you don’t have a handbook, you can usually find what you need online or call the manufacturer.
Minor services like oil changes, filters, and fluids should be done regularly, so budget for them.
Skipping a single service can have the knock-on effect of requiring bigger repairs late on.
Your tires are the first port of call when it comes to the safety of your vehicle. You should check your tires once a week. When tires are either over, or under-inflated will impact the amount of fuel your use. Not only this, but incorrectly inflated tires can make them wear out faster due to the weight of the vehicle being unevenly distributed to the most under-inflated tires. Another issue that may occur is that the tires will begin to overheat due to the friction created, which will impact the overall quality and lifespan of your tire and could even cause major damage to your vehicle if a blowout happens.
Over-inflated tires also distort the tire treads making the tires have less traction and will eventually cause them to wear down faster, therefore, decreasing the lifespan of their use. The loss of traction can also be harmful to the overall safety of the vehicle as it increases the chances of collision and accidents due to the bigger chance of wheel slippage, which is crucial to have, especially in wet conditions.
It’s not just that, though; low-quality, balding or under-inflated tires can mean that you can’t stop as quickly as you need to and are a safety hazard for you and those around you. Many experts recommend rotating your tires to last longer and are evenly worn. It is important that you start with high-quality Goodyear tires tires in the first place.
Although many modern cars do require that a qualified mechanic looks under the hood, there are a couple of things that you can still do yourself. Sparkplugs are relatively easy to change. As well as watching a couple of youtube videos for your make and model, you can also check out the handbook.
When inspecting your spark plugs, you check for no signs of melting, no deposits or signs of wear, and a light brown electrode and insulator. When spark plugs are in poor condition, this can indicate your engine is having issues – in this case, give your local garage a call.
Many drivers try to balance using their air-con and saving gas. Well, even when you aren’t using your air-con, it will leak the refrigerant gas slowly over time – this happens more when the system isn’t used. If you leave your air-con off, the re-gassing will have to happen more regularly.
Don’t forget in your maintenance of the car to clean and inspect your air con. Many forget that your Air-condition also needs TLC from time to time. This can mean the small task of cleaning the dirty air filter that can result in your car having to use fuel to function the air-conditioning as it has to work harder to produce cool air. It can also impact the smell in your car as there may be a build-up of bacteria.
This will therefore increase the lifespan and quality of your air conditioning system within the car, and it will also have a healthier impact on engine usage and fuel economy.
One of the best ways to get the most from the lifespan of your car is to drive with the car in mind. Driving within speed limits isn’t just good for safety; it is good for the car too. You will save fuel and are less likely to wear out your tires and brakes too quickly – not to mention, if you are with an insurance company that fits a black box, you can reduce the cost.
If, like many drivers, you don’t use your car very often, you will have a degraded or flat battery more often than more people. To keep your battery in good condition, running your car regularly, at least once a week, for more than 15 minutes is important. For those who cannot often drive, having a trickle charger to top your battery up can help to lengthen the battery’s life.
A key point to also remember is that your battery has a higher chance of running out if you sit with the radio and lights on without the engine running.
And finally, if you don’t have a garage, get a car cover to protect the car on the outside.