How to look after your vehicle

How to look after your vehicle

Monday, 12 September 2011 4:37 PM

How to look after your vehicle

How to look after your vehicle

Once you have bought a new car you're likely to want to look after it as best as you can to ensure that it lasts a long time.

There are a number of things drivers can do to keep their vehicle in top condition and one of the most valuable is taking it for regular car servicing.

Every 12 months – or after driving 12,000 miles – you should take your motor to a mechanic to have a full service. During this, they will conduct a thorough inspection of your vehicle to make sure that everything is in working order.

They will monitor signs of wear and tear and mend anything that appears to be faulty, so the car you drive off in is safe to use.

Among the things they check are the steering and suspension, the exhaust system and the underside of the car.

They will also replace the air filter and inspect the balance of the wheels, as well as take a look at the wheel bearings.

But, you might also want to put your car in for an interim service, which should be done every six months or after 6,000 miles.

While it is not as comprehensive as the full service, this check will make sure that your car is kept in good condition for the time being.

By putting your vehicle in to be seen, mechanics will have the chance to inspect the car, looking to see whether all the lights are operating, the tyres are fit to use and the brakes are working.

This might be particularly valuable if you've got a second-hand or older car and you want to make sure that the brakes are not becoming worn out, as it could prove very dangerous if this was the case.

Additionally, mechanics will also check and top up your oil and fluids.

However, you don't need to get your car serviced to make sure it has regular treatment and you should pay attention to fluid levels yourself, especially if you're planning on going on a long journey.

By keeping oil, water, screenwash and antifreeze – if need be – supplies topped up, you can reduce the chances of encountering difficulties during your trip.

This could also lessen the likelihood of breaking down and requiring roadside assistance.

Before you set off, you may want to check your tyre pressure and give them some more air if they need it. If you are carrying lots of luggage in the car, be prepared to look at them more often as the added weight can place greater demand on the tyres.

And when driving, there are things you can be aware of that will help reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle. If you go at a lower speed and in a higher gear, you won't need to accelerate as much, putting less pressure on the pedal.

Braking naturally by slowing down over a longer stretch of the road and not pressing hard on the brakes at the last minute will also keep them working effectively for longer.

There are plenty of ways you can take care of your motor so that it lasts as long as possible, making sure that it is safe and reliable for driving you to work or your kids to school every day.

But as much care as you take, it is also important to have a car warranty so if something does go wrong, you can get it mended sooner rather than later.