Tips on maintaining your car
Business wisdom suggests you have to spend money to make money, and in a way, the same philosophy applies to your car. Years of looking good and running well don’t just happen. You have to give a little (or sometimes, a lot) to get something in return.
While there are a lot of individual steps to improving your car’s lifespan, let’s categorise them into our top tips to maintain your car. With some effort on your part, you’ll find that your reward is a car that outlives the payments.
A tank of 97 octane fuel will not turn your golf into a Porche 911, sorry. The extra octane in premium unleaded petrol does no special favours for engines with low to moderate compression, that are designed to run on regular 95 octane. And while “over-octaning” at the petrol station won’t necessarily harm the average engine, it is a waste of money and cash that could be better spent on the upcoming tips to maintain your vehicle.
Whether it’s the impending gloom of winter, summer road trips or anything in between, seasonal changes mean you need to prepare your vehicle accordingly. For many drivers, winter and summer are the most demanding on their cars‘ batteries, coolant and tires, among other components. Extra attention to those critical areas could mean the difference between getting there and getting stranded. If you can, swing the extra cost and your climate dumps even moderate snow on you, upgrade to winter tires for priceless extra traction and control.
The notorious “Check Engine” light gets a bad rap for overdramatising trivial on board diagnostic (OBD) codes like a tabloid newspaper, but in fairness, it also reports news you can use. Most shops and auto-parts stores can scan the codes and translate the issues. It could be a loose sensor or it could be a serious power train issue developing — knowing makes all the difference. Do not ignore this light as the costs could far out weigh the value of you vehicle depending on it’s age!
You should already understand that your car’s redline on the rev counter is not the starting point for throttle position; if you don’t, the painful sound of bouncing off the rev limiter should smack some sense into you. Less obvious is that you can also damage your car by spending too much time at the lower end of the performance spectrum: Extended idling, even in cold climates, is pointless and wasteful. At the very least, it can promote carbon buildup and catalytic converter deterioration, all while wasting petrol and pumping more emissions into the atmosphere than necessary.
Don’t over think it, just do what you need to do when it comes to engine oil. Your owner’s manual spells out accepted viscosities and possibly even the recommended brand. If you see Mobil 1 listed, for example, don’t take it as none-too-subtle advertising: It probably means your car was born with that brand in the crankcase and was designed to run best with it. Make sure this is what you use. Check your oil level at least once a week because you never know you might have an internal leak burning out your exhaust system.
Regular servicing is imperative to maintaining not just a smooth running vehicle, but also to ensure its road safety. We offer a 6 month interim service followed by a full service after 12 months.