While some people prefer brand new wheels every few years, others have a different mentality – why fix something when it’s not broken? Sometimes you might feel sentimental towards a certain vehicle and want to keep it running as long as possible. Perhaps you have a classic car or vintage beauty that you still like to take for a spin! Older cars can be great assets as long as they are maintained well. Find out how to keep maintaining an older car.
Most drivers want their vehicle to live a long and healthy life, to serve them as long as they can. While the amount of miles you drive can have an impact on the life of your car, there are various other ways you can reduce wear and tear and keep your vehicle in tip top shape.
Of course, you will experience wear and tear with older vehicles and cars that have done well over 100,000 miles. Expect to spend quite a bit on repairs and maintenance, and don’t presume it will pass every MOT! However, there are some ways you can keep maintaining an older car for decades and make it worth your while. Follow some of Windmill Garage’s top tips for maintaining older cars.
Treat it well on the road
If you love your car and want her to last, then you need to think about how you drive. Harsh breaking, over accelerating and other bad driving habits will only increase the amount of wear and tear on the vehicle. The best way to maintain a car is to be gentle with it in the driving seat.
You may have heard that using vehicles for short trips only is not a good idea. This is because if you’re only driving your car to the local supermarket or picking the kids up from school, the vehicle doesn’t reach its full operating temperature. If you regularly do short trips of ten minutes or less, it could result in excess wear and tear and reduce the life of the vehicle.
Keep an emergency fund
When running an older car, you’ll often find that things go wrong, and it’s usually at a time when you really can’t afford repairs. If you know something is wrong with the vehicle and you ignore the warning signs, you’ll be looking at a huge bill from the mechanic. The bigger the cost of the repair, the more likely you’ll be tempted into the new car dealership! Keep some money aside each month for any unexpected repairs or replacements.
Follow the owner’s manual
It sounds obvious, but following the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual is absolutely crucial. Some parts may need replacing after you hit a certain mileage, and you should always follow the guidelines for getting your car serviced. Nobody is going to force you to look after the car as the manufacturer recommends, it’s your responsibility.
Keep it clean
Looking after your car is about more than just the engine. Keeping it clean and tidy on the outside can prevent rust and generally keep the car in better all-round health. Salt and grime can cause problems, so make sure you wash your car regularly and even give it a wax every now and then to protect the paintwork.
The best way to look after your car is to make sure it is well maintained and looked over by a professional at least once a year. A bit of maintenance and small repairs take a little time and won’t break the bank, but they can extend the life of your vehicle. An annual car service is recommended but it is voluntary for older cars. A mechanic will change the oil and air filters, clean the brakes and check all lights and fluid levels. This is essential maintenance for keeping the car running but also gives the opportunity for small issues to be flagged, which could lead to bigger problems.
Well maintained tyres improve the safety and efficiency of your vehicle as well as the shelf life of the tyres – so why would you skip tyre maintenance? Be sure to check the air pressure and tread depth of your tyres regularly, especially before long journeys. If you spot any potential problems head to a local garage to see what can be done – if you get a problem seen to as soon as possible you could save yourself from costly repairs in the future.
If you need more advice for maintaining an older car or need a repair, speak to your local garage.