Top 10 tips for maintaining your used car

Modern used cars can run for many years if treated with care. With superior build quality and a range of features that were previously reserved for top-spec vehicles, even value models can keep you on the road for miles to come. Of course, staying on top of maintenance is essential to getting the most from your car, so here are our top 10 tips for vehicle care.

  • Check fluid levels

Your car needs adequate oil and coolant levels in order to function properly. Every few weeks, or before a long journey, use the dipstick to check the oil levels and ensure the coolant level is between the MIN and MAX marks. This will keep the engine from suffering any avoidable damage – particularly as it gets older.

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  • Check tyres

Checking tyre pressure and condition is really important to ensure you car is roadworthy. Getting caught with a tread depth below the minimum limit (1.6mm across the middle section of the tyre) can land you with a penalty, and low pressure can significantly affect the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and performance. Every few weeks, ensure tyres are inflated to manufacturer recommendations and that the treads are within legal limits.

  • Replace wipers

Wipers get used a lot in the UK thanks to all the rain we get. That means they can become blunt and ineffectual – you’ll spot this by the smear marks that get left on the windscreen after wiping. Most manufacturers recommend that wipers are replaced every year to prevent them from obscuring visibility.

  • Check the brakes

Brakes are another essential item to keep in tip top condition. Every so often, carry out a controlled emergency stop to ensure they are working as necessary. It’s also worth getting them checked by a mechanic as the weather turns cold to ensure optimum performance when you’ll need it most.

  • Repair chips

This applies to both the windscreen and paintwork. Windscreen chips can quickly turn to large cracks, particularly in cold weather, and if they occur on the driver’s side, they can cause an MOT failure. Paintwork dinks, meanwhile, can begin to rust, not only causing unsightly marks but damaging the car’s bodywork too. Get both repaired as quickly as possible.

  • Test heating and cooling

Before winter sets in, give your heating system a blast to ensure it’s working properly before you need it. Similarly, ensure the air conditioning is run regularly to keep it in working order and avoid future problems.

  • Replace the battery

Battery life depends on how often you use your car and how long your journeys are. If you’re lucky, a warning light will illuminate before the battery fails, but to be on the safe side, get a replacement every five to seven years.

  • Check lights

This simple check will ensure you’re not a hazard to other drivers and pedestrians when you’re out and about at night. Check head and taillights, indicators, brake and reverse lights every few weeks and get replacements where necessary.

  • Wash and polish

A regular wash and occasional polish do more than simply keep your car clean. Washing away dirt helps prevent erosion of the paintwork and the build up of muck around external parts. Wash every couple of weeks and polish once or twice a year.

  • Top up windscreen wash

Finally, ensure you keep your front and rear windscreens clean by keeping washer fluid topped up. It makes visibility in all weathers clearer.

You can find a range of quality used cars for sale at Carwise Group in Maidstone, Harlow and Dunstable.