Top ten maintenance tips from Autotrader
1. Keep tyres inflated
Check the pressure in your tyres at least once a week, and before every long journey, using a tyre pressure gauge. The recommended pressure can be found in your vehicle handbook.
2. Use the handbrake
Using the handbrake regularly helps keep the brakes adjusted in the rear of the car and makes them last longer. Use the handbrake if you’re parked on an incline or in traffic.
3. Look after the bodywork
When washing your car take care not to place the sponge on the ground – small stones could get caught inside it and scratch your car. You can remove stone chips with a paint touch-up stick. These aren’t expensive and can dramatically improve your car’s presentation.
4. Check the fluids
Each week check under the bonnet and make sure your car’s fluid levels are topped up correctly. You want to check the coolant, windscreen washer fluid, and oil levels
5. Change the air filter
Check your vehicle handbook to see where your air filter is located before fitting a new one. A clean air filter can increase your fuel economy, so try and change it regularly.
6. Rotate the tyres
Rotate your tyres twice a year or every 6,000 miles to reduce uneven wear and tear on the tread and prolong life. Rotate tyres diagonally – front-right to rear-left and front-left to rear-right. Certain tyres can only be used on one side of the car, so check the vehicle handbook first.
7. Run the engine correctly
Start the car and drive off gently until the car warms up – this reduces strain on the engine and improves fuel economy. Avoid sudden braking and accelerating to help prolong the life of your engine.
8. Check the cooling fan
Check under the bonnet for your cooling fan – it should switch on when the engine is hot, after a long journey or when stuck in traffic. If it doesn’t, a garage may have to replace it.
9. Save money on car parts
Save money and be kind to the environment by buying used car parts online. For example you can search over 450,000 quality used car parts with Auto Trader parts search. All spare used parts are checked to be in good working order before they’re sold.
10. Get it serviced
Inefficient engines can reduce fuel economy by ten per cent, so have your car serviced regularly. This will bring any other potential problems to light and increase the chances of preventing a breakdown.