Tips for Maintaining Your Car

 

It is possible to prolong the life of your car in many ways. If you get it serviced regularly and drive it with care then this will obviously prolong the life of your vehicle. This can be costly so it may be worth considering just getting an oil change by either doing it yourself or by using a non dealership owned garage. A good oil such as Castrol Magnatec which is a special synthetic oil will prolong the life of your engine. It is very good as it does not degrade over time like other oils. By changing your oil every 3000 miles instead of every 10,000 will also make a huge difference. You can usually get an oil and filter change for around £35 from most third party garages.

You can usually get a good screen wash from a car shop that will give you much better visibility than just topping it up with water. It is best to use it concentrated rather than dilute as it has a much better effect. You can then add water to it as it runs down. Antifreeze can be topped up at a garage or at home pretty easily but make sure that the concentration is right for the winter especially.

Using a car wash can damage your car but a lot of people worry about this too much. The most that is likely to happen is a few small brush scratches. If you use a car wash too much this can lead to your paint becoming dull over time. To restore your paint work you will need to use polish but the effects will never be as good as a hand wash.

Premium fuels are definitely worth the money as are premium car spares. Regular engines get clogged up with tar and carbon but those running on premium fuels look as good as new. Premium fuels will also reduce your emissions and run a lot more smoothly. You will get increased fuel consumption by up to 28 miles extra per tank full. A good option is BP Ultimate.

It is important to deal with chips straight away as one of these in the drivers view will mean an MOT failure. When you see a stone chip you should get it looked at straight away as it will work out much cheaper in the long run. Most windscreen companies will not charge you for a chip as this goes through your car insurance and they pay for it. This will normally not incur a rise in your premium the following year.

Car Repair: Fix it or Trade It?

Car Repair

 

Buying a new car is a major step for most people. The problem is that it can be difficult to know the right time to stop pouring money into the old car. While each owner has a different take on the precise moment to make the choice, a few hints can help with the call.

Most of the time, it is cheaper to repair a car than to replace it.

If the car can be put be put back into service for an extended period of time for a few hundred dollars, it is always a good idea to do it. Items like tire replacement or exhaust repair rarely indicate that it is time to change cars. Once these repairs are completed, it can be months or longer before additional trips to the auto repair shop may be needed again.

If the needed repairs are more associated with the auto body, it might be time for a change.

While most modern cars are designed so that the body will outlast the engine and other mechanical parts, this is not always the result. Sometimes harsh weather conditions can shorten the life of the body. Rust and poor paint quality can combine to cause a car to look bad before the drive train fails. Most people do not like to drive a car that others will regard as a rust bucket.

Body work can easily exceed the value of the vehicle.

Unless you are particularly attached to the car, it is not a good financial plan to invest more money in the body than the restored car will be worth. Even light touch up work on an older can can cost a lot of money compared to the car’s value. However, minor body repairs will add value to a car that may make it easier to sell.

The majority of mechanical repairs will not cost more than the value of the car.

Keeping up with minor repairs helps to maintain the value of the car. However, if the car has recently needed many minor repairs and is high mileage, it may be time to replace it before the next round of repairs. When minor repairs start to come in bunches to older vehicles, it usually is not too long until large and expensive repairs will follow.

If you are not prepared to risk spending more to repair the car than it is worth, get a new car.

Once the car breaks down, if you choose not to repair it, you will only get pennies on the dollar for trade or sale without the repairs. What happens to most people is that they wind up spending the big money to get the car repaired. After the large outlay of cash, they are reluctant to move the vehicle to another owner. In most instances, this will only lead to another round of small repairs or another big repair. If you can afford it, sell or trade the car before that happens. This way, you can let the money that you will spend for repairs be applied to paying for your next vehicle.

Summer Car Care Tips

Sunday Drive

 

 

It’s no secret that auto repair shops are busier in the summer months. The summer heat takes it’s toll on cars, and leads to more breakdowns, blowouts, and other unpleasant experiences, but it doesn’t have to! Use these summer car care tips to help ensure that your summer goes as smoothly as possible!

Coolant and Radiator Hoses – Hot weather will make your engine coolant evaporate quicker than it normally would. Check your coolant levels every 2nd or 3rd time you stop for gas. Also don’t forget to inspect your radiator hoses for blisters, bumps, leaks, or other imperfections. Replace the hose immediately should these symptoms arise to keep yourself from overheating and breaking down!

Belts – The rubber belts on your car are also susceptible to damage from the summer heat. Check your belts by using your fingers to turn a part of the belt sideways when the car is off, and inspect both sides of the belt. If it looks worn, frayed, or cracked, replace the belt immediately to avoid problems down the road!

Batteries – The summer heat is a battery killer! If your battery is 3 or more years old, have it replaced just to be on the safe side. If your battery is fairly new, be sure to have it tested just to be sure. If all is well, you at least have peace of mind that your car’s battery won’t fail you!

Air Conditioning – Does your AC seem warmer than it used to? Don’t forget to have your A/C serviced! Not only will this increase your comfort level, but it will also prevent problems such as your A/C compressor seizing and breaking your new belt!

Tire Pressure – Make sure your tire pressure is at the correct level. Driving around on under-inflated or over-inflated tires can lead to problems from blowouts to decreased gas mileage and increased tread wear. The correct tire pressure for your vehicle can be found in the owners manual, or with a quick search on the internet!