You probably associate the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ with medical problems, but this mantra can also be applied to keeping your car on the road and lowering the cost of car ownership. Most drivers are familiar with that impending sense of doom that descends when the car starts making screeching noises, or something feels like it’s not quite right. If you’re keen to stay on track, here are some top tips to take on board.
It takes five minutes to give your tires a once-over, but it can save you a lot of time and money. Nobody wants to be that person who has to pull over and change the tire on the side of the road. Check the condition of your tyres, drive carefully in adverse weather conditions and monitor the air pressure. You may need to pump the tires up from time to time, but if you’re doing this on a regular basis, this may indicate that you’ve got a slow puncture. If you have an old car, it’s best to keep a spare tire in the trunk. If you’ve got a new vehicle, you may find that it comes with a puncture repair kit.
You don’t want to find yourself on the hard shoulder with the hood up and queuing traffic behind you, so it pays to be vigilant when it comes to your car’s battery. Most people encounter battery problems when they’ve left on the lights on without realizing, but it is possible for a battery to fail in other circumstances. Signs that you may need to investigate car battery replacement include the engine taking longer to start and warm up, problems with the lights and leaks that are visible when you open up the hood. Old age can also be a contributing factor. If you are replacing the battery, it’s worth paying for a battery that is suitable for the specific model. You shouldn’t go for a one size fits all option.
Have you noticed that the clutch doesn’t feel as stable when you put your foot on the pedal? If it doesn’t feel normal, it’s always a good idea to get it checked out as quickly as possible. There may be an issue with the clutch cable, which could cause more serious problems further down the line. If you’ve been doing a lot of stop-start driving or you’ve been driving in a hilly or mountainous area, you may find that there’s a greater risk of complications.
Keeping a car running can be an expensive business. Just like in medicine, it’s always better to prevent mechanical issues that to try and cure them at a later stage. It’s not always possible to keep problems at bay, but keeping up with general maintenance and getting unusual signs and symptoms checked out should save you time and money in the long-run. Take a minute to have a good look under the hood and inspect the tires before you hit the roads, and make sure you’re up to date with maintenance checks.