Those of us who ensure the car we drive is fit for purpose are helping to keep our roads safe. This is why it’s fundamental for everyone to maintain their vehicle and ensure it is serviced and MoT’d on time. In this week’s buyer’s guide, we’ve come up with some basic tips to keep you on your toes:
Oil & Filter
Ensure the car’s oil and oil filter are changed at the right time and the proper engine oil is used. Not bothering with an oil change or using the incorrect oil is the fastest way to increase wear on an engine, particularly for parts such as pistons and turbochargers.
Anti-freeze must be examined annually and should be replaced every other year. It does more than safeguard the engine in winter; it stops erosion inside the engine. Blown head gaskets are a common symptom of not enough antifreeze, or of antifreeze past its best.
Change the cambelt when the age limit or mileage is reached. It might look fine and it’s a pricey job, but if the belt goes wrong, it usually means you need a replacement engine. And that is hugely expensive!
Alternator Drive Belt
The alternator drive belt must be checked at each service and replaced if worn out or when the car manufacturer recommends. If it suddenly breaks, you abruptly lose power steering on most vehicles.
Cabin Air Filter
The cabin air filter or pollen filter keeps fresh air coming in through the heater vents. If it isn’t replaced on time, you may get material in the heater unit which is costly to remove, and you will be more predisposed to misted up windows, which impede your view.
Full Service History
Our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, added: “Ensure the service is logged accurately in the car’s record book and the garage rubber stamps it. A full, recorded service history makes a vehicle much easier to sell. An absent service history or hiatuses in the service log book can knock hundreds or thousands of pounds off the price you’ll get when you come to sell your car on.”