What with finance packages, personal loans and lease options having a new or nearly new car has never been easier. While there are many advantages to owning a new car, such as warranties and improved technology it can also be costly. Monthly payments and interest rates can be high and of course there is major depreciation in the value of the vehicle over a short period of time.
Some people actually prefer to run an older car. It might be because of the costs involved in having a new car, it could be that they have sentimental feelings for a particular model no longer made or they may even own a modern-day classic.
Whatever the reason, owning and running an older car can be great fun, provide excellent value and the car may even be an asset! However, in order to make sure older cars continue to live a long and reliable life they need to be treated with respect and given just that little bit extra TLC.
Here are our top 5 tips to looking after an older car.
1. Be a careful driver
Older cars have quite often already done fairly high mileage, because of this the major components such as the engine, gearbox and suspension would have suffered a certain amount of wear and tear. You can reduce further wear and tear to the vehicle by driving it in a sensible manner.
Avoid late and hard braking, don’t over accelerate or needlessly rev the engine when parked. Older cars particularly operate better when at their proper running temperature so avoid doing lots of short journeys or alternatively start the car and let it run for a while before driving away. Treating the car with a bit of respect and driving cautiously will help reduce further wear and tear and avoid costly repairs.
2. Budget for unexpected repairs
Whilst owning an older car may work out cheaper in the long run the downside is, that unlike a new car, it doesn’t have a warranty. Inevitably older vehicles are more likely to need a part replacing or be repaired. Older cars need more care and attention so if you think there may be something wrong don’t ignore it as it could lead to major damage and a huge bill from your local garage.
Our advice is to plan in advance so that you can afford to get faults rectified quickly. Put money aside every month and build up and emergency fund. That way it won’t be so painful when you have to pay out for repairs and by sorting smaller issues quickly can mean you avoid bigger, more expensive issues later on.
3. Be familiar with your car’s instruction and maintenance manual
The manufacturer supplies a manual with the car for a reason. Not only is it full of useful information on how to correctly operate certain equipment within the car but it also gives you the correct schedule for maintenance. The maintenance schedule will tell you how often the car needs to be serviced and when certain parts need to be replaced. If you don’t follow these recommendations it can lead to serious and costly problems with your car in the future.
If your car didn’t have the original manual when you bought it or you’ve since lost it, you can normally find a downloadable version online.
4. Regularly wash and polish your car
Most people like to have a clean and shiny car because it makes the car looks nice. There is however a more practical reason to keeping your car clean and waxed. Older cars especially can suffer more from rust problems. By keeping the outside of the car clean and free from dirt and salt will help prevent bodywork corrosion and by applying a good wax polish will add a protective barrier to the paintwork and help repel water and moisture.
Also pay particular attention to known problem areas such as wheel arches, the tops of doors and around light clusters. Certain older cars are known for rusting in particular areas so keep a special eye on these. If you already have small areas of rust it might be worth getting these treated before they get out of hand.
5. Get your car regularly checked and serviced
Probably the best advice we can give you to keep your older car problem-free is to make sure you take it to an experienced professional at least once a year for a full health check and service.
Your friendly local independent garage will service the car in accordance with the manufacture’s recommendations. Amongst other things they will also check the brakes, tyres, lights and fluid levels. Having the car serviced every year is crucial maintenance that is required to keep the car running. It also gives the opportunity for smaller issues to be brought to your attention and fixed early before they turn in to large problems.
Keeping your car well maintained will extend its life, make it more reliable and help it hold its value.
If you need any help or advice regarding keeping your older car in tip top condition please give DCS Bristol Ltd a call. Call for an appointment on 0117 972 4343 or email email@example.com