Two things you can do to ensure your vehicle stays in excellent condition

Posted on: 13 February 2017

Vehicle breakdowns can be both stressful and expensive. If you'd like to avoid this experience, read on to learn about two of the most effective ways to keep your car in excellent condition.

Prioritise servicing

Skipping your servicing appointments is a false economy; a car which is not serviced on a regular basis will have a much shorter lifespan than one which is. It's also likely to cost the owner more in fuel consumption and will be at greater risk of unexpected, costly breakdowns. In short, the expenses incurred by postponing your car service appointment will be far higher than the cost of the servicing itself.

It's also important to note that failing to go for periodic servicing could also make your vehicle unsafe to drive. For example, if a crucial engine component breaks when you're driving at full speed down a busy road, you could easily end up being involved in a serious and potentially fatal collision. A qualified, experienced mechanic that performs a full car service check will be able to identify such problems before they start to put you and your passengers at risk of being hurt.

During a typical servicing, the engine oil and its air filter will be changed or cleaned. The clutch, brake, power steering, gearbox and coolant fluids will also be replaced or topped up. Additionally, the vehicles tail lights, indicator lights and headlights will be examined and replaced if necessary. The spark plugs are also usually changed. The mechanic will then give the car a thorough examination to check for broken or worn components.

Improve your driving habits

There are certain driving habits which have the potential to reduce your car's lifespan. As such, by making a conscious effort to avoid these behaviours, you can keep your vehicle on the road for longer.

One example of a damage-inducing driving habit is revving a car engine before it has had a chance to warm up. In most vehicles, it takes a few seconds for the engine oil to reach and lubricate the engine parts; if you begin revving before this, you run the risk of creating friction which could damage important metal components.

Carrying unnecessarily heavy loads in your vehicle on a regular basis can also cause car trouble. Whilst travelling with, for example, your bike or skis on the roof rack every once in a while won't lead to any significant damage, doing so on a daily basis can cause a whole host of problems.

Firstly, it will increase your vehicle's fuel consumption. Secondly, it places extra stress on your car's components; heavy loads can be particularly harmful to your tyres. They can, for example, speed up the rate at which they lose pressure. If you're not aware of this and therefore don't increase the frequency of your air pressure top-ups, you're more likely to experience a tyre blow-out, which, if it happens whilst you're on the road, could result in an accident.

As such, try to get into the habit of checking the boot and backseat of your car before each journey and removing any items that you don't need.