How to extend the life of your car


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How to extend the life of your car

If you are like most people, your car is the second most expensive purchase you will ever make. It makes sense to look after your vehicle so you can enjoy it for years to come. Maintaining your car will also help maximise its resale value.

Here are 3 tips to help you extend the life of your motor vehicle.

Follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule

Service your motor vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule. The schedule will vary from car to car, but a service is usually required every 10,000 kilometres or every 6 months, whichever comes first. Check your log book for the recommended schedule.

Regular servicing will identify problems sooner so they can be addressed before they turn into more expensive repairs.

A car that is maintained properly will operate efficiently, minimising wear and tear on mechanical and engine parts, thus prolonging the life of the vehicle.

If you buy a new car with a warranty, check the warranty conditions for maintenance requirements. It may invalidate your warranty if you don’t follow these requirements. With car insurance policies it is often a condition that policy holders keep their car in roadworthy condition or insurance claims may be affected.

Check your tyre condition and pressure regularly

Check the condition and pressure of your vehicle’s tyres on a regular basis to ensure they are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations; these are usually found in the car’s user manual.

It is best to check the tyres when they are cold to get a more accurate reading, as their pressure can increase when hot.

Most tyre problems occur due to under-inflation, which can cause rapid shoulder abrasion, uneven wear, and extra flexing of the sidewalls. These can lead to an increase in fuel consumption, emissions and tyre replacement frequency.

Over-inflation can lead to impact damage or a loss of grip on surfaces, which can result in premature tyre failure.

Bald, punctured or otherwise damaged tyres can also present a safety hazard and compromise the road worthiness of your vehicle, potentially impacting your car insurance cover.

Check your service centre is rotating your tyres according to schedule. This evens out the wear and tear, which will increase the useful life of your tires.

Clean your motor vehicle regularly

Wash your vehicle on a regular basis, and give it a good polish and wax to protect its finish. Clean parts and surfaces help reduce the onset of rust and corrosion.

Remove any insects, bird droppings, road tar, or particles such as dirt, sand or grime from your motor vehicle as soon as possible, to reduce any damage to the finish of your car. Many of these items contain acids and other contaminants that can cause permanent damage if left on the paintwork for extended periods.

Wherever possible, park your vehicle under cover or in shady areas to reduce its exposure to sunlight. High levels of exposure to heat and UV rays will lead to a quicker deterioration in the paintwork.

Keeping your car regularly maintained may involve time and money, but it’s an investment that will see your car perform better and operate more efficiently and likely minimise your costs relating to fuel, repairs and possible accidents in the long run.

A well-maintained car will also maximise its resale value when it comes time to upgrade, so your investment in maintenance may see a positive return.