Four cost-effective ways to maintain your car
June 27, 2017 at 8:02 AM
The upkeep of the family car is a constant drain on every household's financial resources, particularly given the current state of the economy. Everything seems to get more expensive every day, yet we have to try to manage on the same old budget. Of course, for most of us, the car is an essential that we just can't do without, so stinting on the maintenance and service schedule is a false economy that makes no sense.
There are, however, some simple things that we can all do to make those consumables last longer and to keep service costs down. Intrigued? Then read on.
1. Look after your tyres
Everyone knows that tyres have a limited lifespan, and that's hardly surprising when you think of the punishment they go through. Formula One enthusiasts will be well aware that Lewis Hamilton might get through three entire sets of tyres in a two-hour race, and while your family hatchback is not screaming round corners and generating 2G, the same principles of wear apply.
When your tread levels get low or the sidewalls crack, the car will not grip the road properly, so you will be putting yourself, your family and other road users at risk if you continue to drive on them – not to mention the fines if you get stopped by the police – so that is clearly not an option. However, you can make your tyres stay healthy for longer by regularly checking the pressure and keeping them just right. The car will also handle better and return better fuel economy, so it is a win-win.
2. Treat it to a detox
Your engine works for hours on end at high temperatures, and its lifespan and efficiency depend on the fuel, fluids and air going through it. In that respect, it is not so different from the human body, and it has exactly the same propensity for toxins and contaminants to build up over time. Flush out the cooling system every two years, and renew the air and fuel filters when they start to get clogged up. It is a job that takes a matter of minutes and can save you from a whole world of trouble further down the line.
3. Look after your wipers
Like the tyres, your wipers are made of rubber and will degrade through time and work. Keeping them clean helps them last longer, but when the time comes to replace them, it is a simple job that anyone can do at home. You can buy replacements at any auto factors, and clipping them on is a five-minute job. Why pay a garage to do it?
4. Ask around
If you need to know something or have a problem, where do you usually go? That's right, Google knows everything there is to know, so if your car starts misbehaving, take a look online. You can bet that someone else has had the same symptoms on the same car, and you can at least get clued up on possible causes and solutions before taking it to a garage. Remember, knowledge is power.
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