Cars inevitably age over time and sometimes, it can feel like all you do is repair them. There are things you can do to make your life easier though, which may cost you a little bit more money now but can save you a great deal of money in the long term.
First of all, carry out basic checks on your car every so often. This can just be a quick visual check to make sure nothing is physically damaged and things like the lights and windscreen wipers are working as they should.
You should get your oil changed according to the instructions in your manual as well. Monitor the oil though, as this can be a good indicator if something else is going wrong with your vehicle.
Check your tyre pressure regularly, perhaps once or twice a month. It’s easy to do and can actually make a big difference to the way your car drives and the amount of fuel it is using.
Electric cars have been growing in popularity for many years now. They have gone from being clearly inferior in terms of the technology behind them to actually quite decent and viable car options. If you are thinking about buying an electric car, it can be hard to know whether or not it will be worthwhile.
The main advantage of driving an electric car is being able to help the environment. Electric cars are much more environmentally friendly than petrol or diesel cars and they have the potential to make a big difference to the atmosphere. You may also be able to enjoy other benefits like free parking and reduced costs when driving on toll roads or in restricted areas.
The main disadvantage is the lack of places to charge electric cars. Whilst charging stations are becoming a more regular fixture, they are still by no means common and it may be difficult to find one.
Cars work very hard for us every day, so it’s inevitable that you will need to replace parts every now and again. If you need to replace any parts on your vehicle, it’s essential you source ones that are completely reliable. Here is our quick guide to finding the right ones for you:
- Check exactly what you need. Even if you plan on finding the parts yourself, it’s important that you speak to a professional to establish the requirements. Make a proper note of what you need and any serial numbers, product codes etc. that you might need to find the compatible parts.
- Get your vehicle parts from a professional. Certain parts will only be verified if they come directly from a manufacturer or approved retailer. Make sure you know what is required for the job and ask any questions that you need to. If it means spending a little bit more money to get a verified part, do it.
- Visit a scrapyard. You never know what you might find in a place like this. A scrapyard is especially useful if you need body parts such as wing mirrors or exhausts – parts which don’t really require much alteration and can’t have gotten too damaged.
- Make sure you get a warranty. It’s essential that you make sure you are covered in case anything goes wrong. Check the length or the warranty and get all of the correct documentation. Hopefully you won’t need it and your vehicle will continue to function, but it’s better to stay safe with something so important.
Last but not least, it’s essential that you make sure any replacement parts are fitted properly. Even if they are the right parts and are brand new, your vehicle might malfunction if they’re not fitted correctly. If you’re not 100% sure what you’re doing, speak to a professional and call upon their services.
Forking out for tyres can be expensive and many of us get confused with the number of options available to us when it comes to choosing which type of tyre we want. You firstly need to decide whether you want new or part worn tyres. If you simply need a legal tyre as quick and as cheaply as possible then you may want to go for part worns. New tyres come with 8 mm of tread on and many garages recommend you change these at 3mm or 2mm to ensure optimal driving. The legal limit for tyres in the UK is 1.6 mm. Part worns tyres can be sold with as little as 2mm of tread left on them not giving you much driving time before they become illegal and need to be replaced again.
When buying new tyres you will have to decide if you want budget, midrange or premium tyres. The price will increase accordingly so it may be that you have to choose tyres within a certain budget. Even if you are choosing budget or midrange tyres it is still worth researching the make to check what ratings that tyre has been given in terms of wet grip, fuel economy and road noise.
If you are happy to buy second hand car parts for your vehicle then you may be able to save yourself a huge chunk of money compared to prices for the brand new equivalent.
There are risks involved when looking to buy a second hand car part and unless you buy a refurbished one or off a dealer you may find that you have no warranty or even guarantee that it is going to work. Not only do you have to consider the risk of it being faulty, but also ensuring it is the correct part and fitment for your vehicle. Many people will not take back second hand parts because you have purchased the wrong one, it may be that you are then stuck with it.
If you can, always get a mechanic to check over the part or to at least confirm it is the correct one before agreeing to any purchase. Ask the seller if you can have any sort of warranty as even if it is only 30 days, it may be enough to see any intermittent faults.