Purchasing a second-hand car doesn’t have to mean you’re always at the mechanic, or that the car won’t last long on the road.
If you invest a little extra care and time to look after your used car, you can spend less time at the mechanic, or searching for another vehicle to trade-up.
Here are 5 key maintenance tips to keep your pre-loved bug in good shape.
1. Check your tyre pressure regularly.
Checking your tyre pressure on a monthly basis, will help reduce wear on your tyres and maintain your used-vehicle’s overall performance, and can reduce your fuel consumption.
All service stations have pumps that you can use for free to check your tyre pressure and inflate or deflate your tyres, depending on your driving use.
Remember that the recommended pressure for your tyres will depend on the distance, driving surface and also the temperature.
Check your tyre manufacturers guidelines when checking your tyres.
2. Make sure you keep to your used vehicle’s servicing requirements.
Regular servicing of your second hand can can seem like a pain – both in time spent and money. But by keeping your vehicle serviced to the recommended requirements, means that you’re less likely to breakdown due to general wear and tear and also will ensure that you do not void any manufacturers or extended warranties you have purchased.
Paying for an engine flush, to have your oil changed, or new brake discs, may seem like a pain, but in the long term, it will ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises when you finally get to your local mechanic.
3. Seat belts only save lives if they’re working properly.
Over time, all seat belts get a bit slower at retracting. This is a vital function for your seatbelt, as this retraction is what holds you in place if you have a car accident.
If you’re in an accident with a seatbelt that is faulty, it won’t hold you in place and could do more harm, through the force of the accident, because it isn’t in the right place across your body.
Like a sticky screen door, seat belts can be lubricated to maintain their sliding function. You can pick up a can of Wurth Curtain Track Lube (in an aerosol), to get your seatbelt sliding again.
- Starting with the driver’s seat belt, pull it out all the way and spray both sides of the seat belt webbing (you know the black material), then allow the seat belt to retract.
- Now pull it out all the way and let it retract several times. You’ll notice it getting faster each time you let it retract.
- Repeat this procedure on all other seat belts in the vehicle.
If you find that this process doesn’t help get the seatbelt working again. Get it looked at by a professional, immediately. It is a legal requirement for your seatbelts to be in working order.
4. Remember to look after the exterior of your used-vehicle too.
Regular washing of your used car will help prolong the life of the paintwork, as paintwork left dirty with contaminates over time will cause paint deterioration.
If your car isn’t cleaned regularly, dirt and grime can also build up in your window and door seals. This can lead to the accelerated deterioration of the seals, which can leave the interior of your vehicle open to the elements..
5. Make sure you use the right fuel for your engine.
Now that a lot of the second-hand vehicles on our roads are more modern, there is a higher chance that they require premium unleaded fuel. This can be either 95 or 98 octane fuel.
If you open the fuel cap on your car and it says Unleaded you will be able to use the standard 91. However, if it says Premium Unleaded you will need to use exactly that.
The manufacturer outlines the minimum required octane level to fuel your car. Whilst it will not harm your engine and may in fact, be beneficial to use a higher grade than the minimum required (using 95 when your car only requires standard unleaded).
It is definitely harmful to your engine, if you use a lower grade than the minimum required.