1999 – 2022

Top tips for looking after your car

By Josh Askew

Cars need looking after. That is if you want them to run as efficiently and safely as possible. Yes, maintenance can be time-consuming and expensive. But a car is one of the most expensive – and useful – things you’ll ever buy. Why not look after it?

Here are Motormouse’s top five tips on how to look after your car.

  1. Clean regularly  

Number one: keep your vehicle clean. Every day our cars are exposed to sun, salt, grime, acid rain and pollution. Over time these can corrode your vehicle. Regular cleaning can prevent this damage, while maintaining a car’s resale value. 

And the same goes for the inside. Don’t use your vehicle as a portable rubbish bin. Not only will a cleaner interior make driving more pleasurable, you never know who you’re going to pick up. 

  1. Top up fluids

Cars are thirsty machines. They need lots of engine oil, coolant, brake and power steering fluid to run properly. Make sure you check their levels frequently and top up, if required. 

Most cars nowadays have onboard computers which flag when you are running low. But, if you have an older model, pop that bonnet open and use the dipstick to check engine oil levels. Coolant, brake and power steering fluid can be seen in their reservoirs in the engine bay. 

As a rough guide, change oil every 5,000 miles. 

  1. Ensure proper tire pressure

Maintaining the correct tire pressure will save you a bob or two and maybe even your life. Tyres are arguably one of your car’s most important safety features, so keeping an eye on them is vital. One check per week is ideal.  

Under inflated tyres also do not handle or stop as well as properly inflated ones. This will drain your fuel and pull on the purse strings. 

Use this guide to find out your car’s correct tyre pressure and remember: pressures may be different for the front and rear tyres. 

  1. Clean your windscreen

A dirty windscreen is dangerous, if it obscures your view of the road. Keep your windscreen clean and make sure windscreen washer fluid is topped up.  

Check as well that your wipers are clean and in order. If they feel serrated or are cracked, get yourself some new ones. Fortunately, replacement blades are cheap and readily available – just make sure you get the right length!

Chips or cracks in the windscreen should be fixed as soon as possible. Minor flaws can become major problems in a bumb. Any windscreen damage will cause your car to fail its MOT. 

  1. Look after your battery 

According to the AA, battery problems are the number one cause of car breakdown. This is particularly the case when cars aren’t used very often, such as during a lockdown. 

Some cars have built-in battery monitors, which will tell you how healthy your battery is. If not, buy a manual monitor and keep your battery juiced up with a trickle charger. 

Don’t put up with an old and tired car battery, they often have a guarantee of three to five years. Replace it before it lets you down.

Got any more questions on all-things car? Speak to Motormouse today.