Consumer Daily Deals

Consumer Daily Deals

10 ways to make your car last forever

10 ways to make your car last forever

1: Pick your routes

This might seem extreme, but it isn't. If you use a really badly surfaced road every day it can take its toll on your car with broken springsbuckled wheels and potentially damaged tyres all resulting.

Taking a different route that's better surfaced could save you a lot more than you realise.

2: Use your air-con

You've probably got loads of friends who refuse to switch on their air-con because "it pushes up the fuel consumption".

Modern air-con systems are very efficient and by not switching them on from one month to the next you're doing untold damage to the seals and other components – so when you do finally use it, it'll probably leak or a major component will expire and it'll end up costing you a lot more than you've saved on fuel.

3: Brakes to slow

There's a maxim that says 'gears to go, brakes to slow'. Some drivers change down through the gearbox to slow down, but this puts extra stress on the bearings, reducing the life of your gearbox's components.

So if you need to slow, use engine braking by all means – but use the foot brake to shed most of your speed.

4: Clutch control

If you have a manual gearbox and let your foot rest on the clutch pedal it will partly engage the clutch, leading to it wearing out faster.

It might seem like an obvious point, but don't ride the clutch – because it's amazing how many people do.

5: Garage it

So many people have a garage and don't use it to store their car – they keep the lawn mower in it instead, along with boxes of rubbish that will never be used.

Garaging your car will stop the sun from bleaching its interior and it'll also prevent the interior from getting really hot on sunny days – and that heat won't do the trim or plastics any good.

6: Speed is what you need

Today all diesel-engined cars have had to be fitted with a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). To stop the filter from getting blocked up you have to sit at high revs for a bit on a regular basis.

Fail to do this and problems are highly likely, so if you have a modern diesel make sure you give it a high-speed run on a regular basis.

7: Use it regularly…

You might not have the luxury of being able to let your car stand unused for more than a day or two, but if you've got more than one car or you don't drive all that much, don't just abandon your car altogether for weeks on end.

The battery will probably go flat, the brakes and clutch will probably seize up and if you leave the car long enough the fuel will go stale and you could even get flat spots on your tyres.

8: …but not too regularly

Most engine wear occurs at the start of a journey, when the oil is thick because it's cold.

The engine also burns more fuel when it's cold, which accelerates wear of the cylinder bores, so if you regularly make very short journeys, if you can, leave the car at home and walk instead.

9: Let the engine warm up

Modern engines warm up pretty quickly, which helps to reduce wear, but it's easy to get carried away and pile on the revs while the engine is still cold.

Get into the habit of revving the engine when cold and it'll wear out that much faster. Incidentally, an engine warms up much faster when it's under load, rather than just idling.

Generally, before the engine is up to temperature, drivers of petrols should change gear at around 2500 rpm and diesel drivers around 2000.

10: Use those revs

Whether your car has a petrol engine or a diesel, you need to explore the upper reaches of the rev range occasionally, because this helps to reduce the carbon deposits that can build up in the injection system and the cylinder head.

But don't overdo it!

1: Pick your routes

This might seem extreme, but it isn't. If you use a really badly surfaced road every day it can take its toll on your car with broken springsbuckled wheels and potentially damaged tyres all resulting.

Taking a different route that's better surfaced could save you a lot more than you realise.

2: Use your air-con

You've probably got loads of friends who refuse to switch on their air-con because "it pushes up the fuel consumption".

Modern air-con systems are very efficient and by not switching them on from one month to the next you're doing untold damage to the seals and other components – so when you do finally use it, it'll probably leak or a major component will expire and it'll end up costing you a lot more than you've saved on fuel.

3: Brakes to slow

There's a maxim that says 'gears to go, brakes to slow'. Some drivers change down through the gearbox to slow down, but this puts extra stress on the bearings, reducing the life of your gearbox's components.

So if you need to slow, use engine braking by all means – but use the foot brake to shed most of your speed.

4: Clutch control

If you have a manual gearbox and let your foot rest on the clutch pedal it will partly engage the clutch, leading to it wearing out faster.

It might seem like an obvious point, but don't ride the clutch – because it's amazing how many people do.

5: Garage it

So many people have a garage and don't use it to store their car – they keep the lawn mower in it instead, along with boxes of rubbish that will never be used.

Garaging your car will stop the sun from bleaching its interior and it'll also prevent the interior from getting really hot on sunny days – and that heat won't do the trim or plastics any good.

6: Speed is what you need

Today all diesel-engined cars have had to be fitted with a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). To stop the filter from getting blocked up you have to sit at high revs for a bit on a regular basis.

Fail to do this and problems are highly likely, so if you have a modern diesel make sure you give it a high-speed run on a regular basis.

7: Use it regularly…

You might not have the luxury of being able to let your car stand unused for more than a day or two, but if you've got more than one car or you don't drive all that much, don't just abandon your car altogether for weeks on end.

The battery will probably go flat, the brakes and clutch will probably seize up and if you leave the car long enough the fuel will go stale and you could even get flat spots on your tyres.

8: …but not too regularly

Most engine wear occurs at the start of a journey, when the oil is thick because it's cold.

The engine also burns more fuel when it's cold, which accelerates wear of the cylinder bores, so if you regularly make very short journeys, if you can, leave the car at home and walk instead.

9: Let the engine warm up

Modern engines warm up pretty quickly, which helps to reduce wear, but it's easy to get carried away and pile on the revs while the engine is still cold.

Get into the habit of revving the engine when cold and it'll wear out that much faster. Incidentally, an engine warms up much faster when it's under load, rather than just idling.

Generally, before the engine is up to temperature, drivers of petrols should change gear at around 2500 rpm and diesel drivers around 2000.

10: Use those revs

Whether your car has a petrol engine or a diesel, you need to explore the upper reaches of the rev range occasionally, because this helps to reduce the carbon deposits that can build up in the injection system and the cylinder head.

But don't overdo it!