How To Keep Your Car Healthy

Expand your car's lifespan with this quick guide!

Looking after your car’s health is essential to ensure it lives a long and healthy life and could make a big difference in the price when you decide to sell or part exchange it.

Surprisingly though, it’s suggested that 30% of Britain’s motorists are avoiding booking their car in for an annual service, therefore missing out on the opportunity to identify any existing or potential problems.

With this statistic in mind, we at CarCliq have put together a list of handy ways to help keep your car running at its best, for longer. Aren’t we good to you?!

Cut down on shorter trips

Journeys of less than 10 minutes can be particularly hard on cars, which can result in excessive wear and tear, as the car’s engine never has the chance to reach its full operating temperature. When the engine reaches its optimal temperature, water turns to vapour and is expunged, either out of the tailpipe or the crankcase ventilation system. However, on a short trip, the water stays inside the engine and exhaust, which can then create rust when combined with oxygen and metal – not good for your car! Water and condensation can also dilute your oil and therefore make it less effective when working to lubricate the engine.

Keep on top of oil changes

Changing your oil regularly, with the right grade and avoiding cheap oils, will keep your engine healthy for longer. Be sure to check your vehicle handbook for the correct schedule for your car. We would also recommend you regularly check the coolant, windscreen washer, brake, power steering and transmission fluids either by opening the bonnet or checking for signs of leaking either on your driveway or where you park.

Drive Gently

Try and think of your car as your own body – if you treat your body well, it will thank you. The same goes for your car! When driving, be sure to accelerate slowly, anticipate your breaking and avoid revving your engine when it’s cold. If it’s below freezing outside, allow time for the car to warm up before driving it hard. When you start your journey, drive slowly for a few minutes to allow for the engine oil to warm up and fully lubricate all components.

Take care of your battery

According to the AA, the most common breakdowns are because of battery-related issues, with some 450,000 drivers left stranded by the roadside. Most batteries should be changed every three to five years, but there are some monthly checks you can make to keep your battery running to the best of its ability. Disconnecting the cables and cleaning them with a wire brush, as well as adding petroleum jelly to the posts, will keep them free of corrosion. Also, check that the battery is securely in place and that the cables are tightly fastened to the posts. Remember to always make sure the engine is switched off and the keys are removed from the ignition before you carry out any maintenance.

Give your car a wash!

A somewhat easy and obvious way to show your car some love is to regularly clean it inside and out. This will not only keep it looking good, but you'll also be able to spot any blemishes on the paintwork that might need touching up. You'll also have less work to do if, and when you decide to sell your car.

Air conditioning isn’t just for the Summer

Using your cars air conditioning during the winter months may seem like an odd thing to do, but a quick blast of the air con will demist windows in a matter of seconds. You should also run the air con for at least 10 minutes every month to stop the hoses hardening and seals failing. Also look to re-gas your system every couple of years to maintain its efficiency.

Extend the life of your windscreen wipers

How long your wipers last depends on how many miles you drive in a year and how regularly you use them. Carefully lift the wipers away from the windscreen and examine them for signs of deterioration. Also, take this opportunity to clean them with some washer fluid and a cloth. Avoid other detergents as these can damage the rubber. If the wipers start to judder or fail to clear the rain from the screen, get them changed.

Keep an eye on your brakes

Waiting for your brakes to grind before you change them is not only dangerous, but it could result in a more expensive bill when you need to replace them. If your car pulls to one side or tends to vibrate when braking, it's a sign your discs could need replacing. Between the disc and the calliper, you'll find the pad which should be inspected for thickness. If it's getting too low, change it to avoid damage to the discs. A regular check is highly advisable, especially before the winter months as poor breaks mean it is harder to stop in the rain or on ice.

Keep on top of your service

By servicing your car regularly, it ensures the car is running at maximum efficiency, but it also helps to highlight any potential issues before they happen. When it comes to the time you want to sell, a full-service history could make a difference to the price you get - so don’t forget to get your service book stamped.

We hope you found this article helpful. We’d love to hear your hints, tips and tricks for how you keep your car in tip-top condition, so why not head on over to the CarCliq Facebook and Twitter pages and say hi!

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