With the continued shortage of new vehicles – thanks to an ongoing supply chain issue regarding semiconductors and microchips – the car market has seen a historic rise in the value of second-hand vehicles. Used cars are now worth nearly a third more than they were in 2021, incentivizing UK motorists to keep their existing vehicles running for as long as possible. But what should you be doing to keep your car running and looking its best?
Whether your cars are old or new, there are habits you should adopt early for their health and a minimal impact on your wallet. In terms of second-hand vehicles, looking after your used car will ensure a much longer life, and decreased risk of roadside breakdowns – and the chief way to do this is by booking your car in for regular services at a local garage.
Older vehicles have been exposed to more wear and tear, and are hence more likely to experience issues than newer ones – frequent visits to a garage can catch issues before they develop, and save you money on costly major repairs.
Check Your Fluids
One of the most significant habits you can get into at home is the regular checking of your car’s various fluid levels and quality – chiefly, with regard to your engine oil and coolant.
Engine oil can thicken and gum up your engine, reducing fuel efficiency and increasing wear on its moving parts. Meanwhile, coolant can evaporate away, causing your engine to overheat and creating even more long-term issues. Regular checks and top-ups can keep your engine happy and running for the time to come.
Check Your Tyre Pressure
Tyre pressure might not seem like a major consideration for keeping your car in overall good condition, but under or over-inflated tyres can have a number of knock-on effects with regard to steering, suspension, and fuel economy. Also, if your tyre treads go ‘bald’ before you notice, you could find yourself driving with significantly reduced traction and increased risk of a crash – not to mention legal ramifications for driving on illegal tyres.
Park in the Shade
A small point, and a simple gesture, but nonetheless an effective one for your keeping your car looking its best: parking your car out of direct sunlight, whether in the shade or in a garage, can preserve its paintwork and interior trim for much longer.
The sun’s UV rays can cause paint pigments to fade, and denature the glue that holds panels and trim in place in your car’s cockpit. Keeping your car out of the sun when stationary prevents unnecessary degradation and keeps it looking new for longer.