How to keep your car like new

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Next to purchasing a new house, for many buying a car is one of the most expensive single purchases they ever take on and one that needs to last. Once you drive your new car off the lot it’s up to you to keep it running and looking its best. 

Even if you’re not a car enthusiast or don’t know the first thing about mechanics, there’s plenty you can do to help keep your car like new – making it a pleasure to drive while its yours, and even sometimes pushing up the value when it comes time to sell it on.

Taking care of the engine 

One of the easiest ways to keep your car at its best is to leave it at home from time to time – particularly on short journeys, consider whether it might be worth leaving the car in the driveway and walking, cycling or using public transport instead. Short journeys – especially ones less than 10 minutes – can be particularly hard on your vehicle’s engine because it never has a chance to heat up, which could lead to water being left in the engine and exhaust, causing rust.

Regular maintenance is also essential to keep your engine at its best – don’t ignore your engine lights and make sure you’re changing fluids like transmission, antifreeze and oil at regular intervals. Using high quality products in your car and making sure the engine has everything it needs to operate smoothly will help avoid strain.

If you’re looking for more ways to protect your engine and extend the life of your car, the internet is a great tool – there are hundreds of articles all over the web that share tips and can help you do more research, like this one on tips to make your car last longer from MSN Autos.

Simple tips and tricks 

Keeping your car clean and making sure the air in your tyres is at the optimum level are just two simple tricks you can use to protect your car and keep it running smoothly. Reader’s Digest has published a list of 74 tips to extend the life of your car, and has collated some of the most popular tips all in one place. You don’t need to be an expert to take advantage of this list – tricks of the trade include parking in the shade, washing in winter and using a lighter keychain to avoid straining the ignition.

Popular Mechanics has also published a similar guide that is aimed particularly at older vehicles and helping them feel like new, and includes tips like replacing the car’s sound system and cleaning the car’s air conditioning.

Auto experts like Halfords and Mobil both offer car care guides on their websites, and can answer common questions like when to change your oil and things to check before a long car journey.  The advantage of incorporating a few small and simple tips into your route is that you can help avoid costly repairs in the long run – instead of large maintenance bills if you make a point of treating your engine with care and servicing it regularly you can address and prevent small problems as they happen and extend the life of your car longer.

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