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6 Top Tips for Keeping Your Car Running Smoothly

If you are a car-driver/owner you will know what an expensive and stressful business maintaining a car can be. There are some tips you can use which will help to keep your car running efficiently and smoothly, thus saving you money on fuel and minimising the likelihood of expensive repairs. Follow these six suggestions, to keep your car in the best condition and on the road as long as possible (rather than broken down by the side of it, or in a garage, having repairs).

1) Engine Oil

The oil acts as the lubricant which reduces friction between different parts of the engine, and also helps in heat dispersion.  This is because the oil absorbs the heat which is generated by the combustion chambers of the engine and thus prevents overheating.  Oil also prevents rusting, corrosion and damage to vital engine components.  Since oil plays such an important role in correct engine functioning, you should make sure to check its levels regularly.  If it is below the correct mark, top it up using the right grade of oil in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions. Don’t top it up above the recommended level. You can usually get this service free of charge from your local garage: they will do free checks on your oil, water level and tire pressures, and there is either no charge, or a small charge for any oil that is added.

2) Tires

Care of the tires is paramount for the safety of your vehicle.  When the tires are well-maintained, they will be more durable and improve your fuel consumption and mileage, and enhance the safety of your car when driving along at high speed on highways. So check that the tires are correctly inflated, especially before going on a longer journey or driving in hazardous conditions, i.e. rain, snow, ice, etc.  Also, check that your car’s wheels are properly aligned.  If you experience vibrations in your steering column, that may be a sign of a problem with the tire balancing.

3) Battery

The battery is an essential component of your car’s electrical system, so always check that it is in tip-top condition.  If your battery is faulty, it can cause you to break down or not be able to start your car. Get into the habit of regularly checking the battery terminals to ensure that they are clean and tight. Car batteries usually need replacing approximately every 3-5 years, so if it has not been changed within this time you should get a new one, otherwise it may fail without advance warning.

4) Brakes

Brakes are so essential for your safety that naturally you should be concerned about keeping them in the best condition.  Take special note of any squealing noises or unusual vibrations on applying the brakes when driving. If you do experience such problems, make your way to a service station as soon as you can to have the brakes checked, as they may need to be replaced.  Additionally, always make sure that the car’s brake fluid is filled up to the correct level, and that it is the one recommended by your manufacturer.  

5) Lights

Lights play a very significant role, especially at night or when driving in conditions of poor visibility like heavy rain or fog. They are all-important for your safety and that of your vehicle. Check them regularly to make sure they work perfectly.  Also, don’t forget to frequently check other electrical parts, such as the horn and window demisters, to ensure that they are also working as they should.

6) Cooling System

Never underestimate the importance of your car’s cooling system.  Check the coolant regularly, and ensure that it is the correct type for your car. But if you have to inspect the coolant, only do it when the engine is cold, not after you have only just been driving.  So don’t remove the radiator cap when the engine is still hot.  If you find that the cooling system needs frequent topping up, you can be sure that the car has a leakage somewhere, so you will need to take it to a repairer as soon as you can.  

If you follow all of these tips, you will not only reduce your car repair expenses but also extend your vehicle’s lifespan.


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