How to extend the life of your vehicle
As we all know, a new car is a huge investment for anybody; no matter what make or model you buy. Ensuring that it’s always in top working condition is essential to avoiding unexpected (and often costly) repair bills.
As a leading supplier of self-drive car and van rental in Shropshire, we always ensure that our vehicles are in peak condition. Below are some of the ways that you can prolong the life of your vehicle too.
Don’t forget the fluids
The internal fluids are the lifeblood of your vehicle; you need to make sure that they’re regularly topped up. If you leave them too long without refilling, you risk damaging parts of your engine.
These regular top ups should include:
- Brake fluid and engine coolant
- Anti-freeze screen wash
- Power steering and radiator fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Engine oil
Whether you’re topping up the fluids in your own vehicle, or you’re renting a vehicle over a long period of time, you can check the manufacturers manual to find out what the optimum levels of each fluid should be, and how often they should be changed.
Check and replace
It’s not just cold weather that can damage your car. Even during the summer months, it’s important that you keep checking your vehicle for damage. Whether you’re taking longer journeys with the family or travelling to the office, any minor damage can soon turn into a larger problem.
It’s never just about checking the exterior of your car; you need to make sure that you check the engine bay too. Components that need to be checked and changed can include:
- The oil filter and air filter
- The CAM belt
- The spark plugs
- The battery
As always, we would recommend that you check when the time is to change these parts with the manufacturers’ instructions. They detail both the mileage and the time span when parts should be replaced, ideal if you don’t do that many miles on a regular basis.
Keep up to date with oil changes
Keeping up with oil changes is essential when it comes to prolonging the life of your vehicle. If a vehicle runs out of oil, then the piston on the crankshaft cannot rise and fall in the cylinder, meaning the engine will seize up.
The recommended mileage for an oil change is between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. However, this may differ based on each vehicle, so again you should check the manufacturers’ instructions before you leave it too long.
Most automotive retailers have guides in store that show you which oil is right to use for your vehicle. Make sure you buy the right oil, as using the wrong variety can lead to further damage.
Take longer journeys
Now, we don’t mean that you should take your car for a 200-mile spin every few days, but you should try to avoid making multiple, short journeys in one day.
Taking regular, short trips in your vehicle can put additional strain on your car and it’s internal parts. The engine will have to work harder more often, and this can lead to internal damage.
If you do plan on several minor errands throughout the day, then try to combine them. This means that the internal fluids and engine components are given enough time to heat up, making the engine run smoother and more economically.
Always check your tyres
We can’t stress enough just how important it is to make sure that your tyres are in optimum condition.
Without properly maintained tyres, your car can’t operate at optimum performance, and it’s dangerous. Tyre pressure that’s too low can put added strain on your suspension, and you won’t have as much control whilst steering the car.
You can maintain your tyre condition by:
- Having the right tyre pressure. This is crucial not only for normal driving, but when you have an increased load in the car.
- Regularly rotate the tyres. This reduces uneven wear on the tyres, and can help extend their life. Your vehicle manual should have the recommend way to rotate the tyres, usually front right and rear left, or vice-versa.
- Checking the brake pads. You should never let them wear down to the metal. This damages the pads themselves, and the wheels on your vehicle. You wouldn’t want your brakes to fail during an emergency, so make sure that they’re in the best condition possible.
For more information on how to maintain your tyres, take a look at this article on our Top Tips for Tyre Safety.
Keep it clean
It might seem like a chore, but making sure that your vehicle is cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis can also help prolong it’s life. At the same time as this, it’s an ideal time to check the car for damage that you may need to address.
The longer that you leave your car with dirt on it, the more likely it is that moisture and condensation are going to damage the surface. This moisture works it’s way into the bodywork of your car, and over time rust can form.
So there we have it, our top tips on how to prolong the life of your vehicle. What do you think? Do you have specific ways of looking after your own vehicle?
As always, Fourways Self Drive has a range of vehicle available to rent, all at affordable prices. From cars to vans, commercial vehicles to Lutons, Tippers and 4x4s, we have plenty ready to drive away today. Simply head over to our vehicles page here to find out more.