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How to save money by caring for your car.

It’s safe to say that many motorists are feeling the rising costs of living with the price of fuel, new and used cars, and repair costs reaching an all-time high. Although it might seem like an expense to keep your car running at times, for some people, it’s something they can’t live without. 

It’s easy to ignore car maintenance, especially if there’s ‘nothing wrong’, but caring for your car will extend its life and save you money in the long run.

Car service check list

It’s easy to ignore car maintenance, especially if there’s ‘nothing wrong’, but caring for your car will extend its life and save you money in the long run.

Read on for more tips on how to maintain your motor…

How can I make my car last longer?

Looking after your vehicle is the most effective way of keeping it running for years to come, as doing so will improve its lifespan and help you to retain its value. So, with this in mind, we’ve put together an essential checklist of the key ways to maintain your car, ultimately saving you money in the long run.

The Essential Checklist

Tyre maintenance

Inflating car tyre

It’s a legal requirement for motorists to keep on top of tyre pressure. But did you know that maintaining inflated tyres can help to save you money too?

Estimates vary and other factors affect your miles per gallon, but underinflated tyres could be increasing your fuel consumption from anywhere between 3% and 10%. Whatever the true figure, that will be having a direct impact on your wallet every time you fill up.

If you don’t regularly check the pressure of your tyres, this can ultimately lead to uneven contact with the road and prompt excessive wear and tear or worse, a blowout, which is really dangerous. It’s recommended that car owners check the pressure in their tyres at least once a month to make sure they’re in optimum condition.

A lot of cars are fitted with pressure sensors which will advise you when the pressure in your tyres has dropped and they need to be re-inflated. Underinflated tyres can affect your fuel consumption more than you might think!

Another good idea is rotating your tyres. Experts recommend that this should be carried out every 6,000 miles or so and is an effective way of improving the lifespan of the tyres which can be costly to replace.

Changing your wiper blades

Wiper blades are often overlooked when it comes to car maintenance but should not be ignored. Over time, they’ll crack, deteriorate and lose their flexibility. Driving with worn wiper blades will not only affect your visibility of the road but they can also damage your windscreen and potentially cause your vehicle to fail its MOT.

How can I change wiper blades myself?

Wiper blades are easier to change than you might think and should be replaced every six to 12 months to prevent issues down the line, such as windscreen damage leading to a failed MOT.

After a little while, you might notice that they have begun to crack and peel, which means that they won’t be doing their job properly. Here is a step-by-step guide to swapping them over:

  1. Wipe your screen clean to remove any dust and grime
  2. Cushion the exposed arm with a towel to prevent it from cracking the windscreen
  3. Carefully remove the blades one at a time
  4. Attach the new blades to the arms
  5. Test them out to make sure they are working correctly

Fixing a cracked windscreen

There’s nothing more frustrating than a crack in the windscreen which might start off small but can have much larger and expensive consequences down the line.

Is it easy to fix/what action should I take?

No matter how small the crack in the windscreen might be, it’s important to check it out as soon as you can. Something even as small as a scratch can cause vision problems for you as a driver and lead to unsafe journeys. If you spot a crack in your windscreen, it’s much better to act quickly before the damage spreads. If the crack is smaller than a one-pound coin, you can have the crack repaired relatively easily. But if you choose to leave it, the damage can spread and you may need to have the windscreen replaced entirely, which can be costly.

Keeping your car clean

Car wash

Regardless of whether you’re a proud car owner who regularly waxes and polishes their motor or you’re someone who visits the car wash once a year, it’s really important to keep your car clean and tidy as you will actually save money in the long run.

Allowing substances such as dirt, dust, salt, and sap to build up over time can cause irreparable damage to your car’s paint and metalwork.

Not only will your vehicle depreciate much quicker but build up can also cause serious issues such as rust. Regularly washing your car by hand or visiting car washes in your local area will help to get rid of unwanted substances.

If you’re looking for tips on washing your car and saving money in the process, visit our handy article on ‘the best ways to wash your car in 7 easy steps.’

Topping up fluids

Keeping on top of essential fluids and liquids in your car is a fail-safe way to keep the engine running as smoothly as possible.

Whether you drive an electric vehicle or your car has a combustion engine, don’t forget to check your car’s manual to learn more about what fluids your car needs, as this will vary between make, model and car type.

To check the engine oil, lift the hood of your car, pull out the dipstick, clean it with tissue or a clean towel and then re-insert. The oil level will determine how well your engine is lubricated.

Check the brake fluid levels are correct through the markings on the side of the clear reservoir. The washer fluid vessel will also be clearly marked.

Typically, electric cars only require three types of fluids, but if you’re looking for more information, we’ve put together a guide on ‘electric vehicles – all you need to know.’

If you want to know more about replacing fluids for all types of cars, check out 6 essential fluids that keep your car healthy and how to maintain them

Changing air and oil filters

Mechanic checking oil

The air filter will stop any dirt, debris, insects, and particles from entering the engine, so make sure this is changed every 12,000 – 15,000 miles.

Many technicians recommend replacing the oil filter every time the oil is also replaced. Oil filters are inexpensive and will help to keep the oil cleaner for longer. This is also a good way of protecting your car, as oil spills can have costly repercussions.

Caring for your car battery

Car battery replacements are expensive, so taking care of your car battery should be a priority when considering overall car maintenance.

If you own a car with a combustion engine, don’t forget to carefully clean the battery using a solution or cleaning agent. This will remove dirt and debris and ultimately improve its durability. Similarly, checking the water and acid level of the battery is essential to make sure your battery health is just as it should be.

If you won’t be driving your car for long periods, it’s important to think about storage options for your vehicle. Failing to properly store your car can lower battery life in the long term, so consider this if you won’t be driving your motor as regularly.

A different set of rules applies to electric vehicles and caring for this type of car’s battery. An easy and sensible option is using a trickle charger that will slowly and steadily charge your electric car battery and prevent overcharging.

An electric car battery can be very expensive to replace, so treating your car well in the first place is the best option.

Monitoring brake pads 

Brake pads are another important feature to regularly check. If your brake pads are too thin, this can prevent you from braking quickly and safely as you drive your car. There are also serious implications, as worn out brake pads can lead to worn out discs which are much more expensive to replace.

If you think it might be time to replace the brake pads, book in with a technician who will be able to accurately assess and replace them. 

Regular servicing

Getting your vehicle serviced may seem like unnecessary hassle or expense, but in fact it’s one of the best ways to prolong the life of your vehicle. It’ll also improve its efficiency and performance too.

Contact Warrantywise

If you’re willing to put the leg work in, you can save money along the way and keep your motor running for many years to come.

It’s also a good way to protect against unexpected repairs, as even if you do care for your car, things can still go wrong when you least expect it. So, if you’re looking to safeguard yourself for the future, get a car warranty quote from Warrantywise.

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