Your car may be ageing, but it can still run in tip-top condition. You just need regular servicing, and a little TLC
With COE prices skyrocketing to oblivion, new cars are becoming less obtainable to the majority of buyers. As such, they may be looking into either renewing their current car’s COE, or shopping in the pre-owned market.
While older cars tend to have lesser features, they can be just as reliable as their brand-new counterparts. As long as you don’t neglect regular servicing, they can happily pur along our roads for years to come. Here are some common faults that older cars tend to have, and how to avoid them.
Regular maintenance is key
With thousands of components working together in tandem, there’s so much that can go wrong in an engine, especially in older cars where components may be worn down. Thus, we feel it’s vital to get your older car looked at by a mechanic or workshop at least once a year.
The last thing you want is an unexpected problem to pop up when you are out for a nice drive. Being stranded at the side of the road is never a fun thing to experience, so to avoid this it’s always in your best interest to bring your car in for regular servicing.
Oil’s well that ends well
If you can’t remember the last time you changed your oil, go do it now. Healthy cars are regularly serviced, and arguably one of the easiest things to replace is engine oil.
Over time, oil can lose its viscosity, and you don’t want black sludge to be running around in your engine, clogging vital engine components. Worse still, if you do not have sufficient oil circulating in your engine, this can lead to overheating or accelerated wear and tear.
If you are unsure of what grade of oil to put in, consult your car’s owner’s manual for the recommended type. You can either take your car to a trusted mechanic or if you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty, oil changes are a great way to enter the world of DIY auto repairs.
Keeping it cool
Your engine is making thousands of explosions a day to keep you moving down the road. Understandably, things will get pretty hot, which is why cars have cooling systems.
While it doesn’t need to be replaced as often, coolant is just as important as oil in an engine. Make sure your car is topped off with coolant, and it’s always good to keep an eye on your temperature gauge for older cars. If there are any leaks coming from your radiator or hoses, get them replaced immediately. Without cooling, your car may suffer catastrophic failures, and blown engine parts are not something you would want to deal with.
Timing is everything
Most modern cars have a timing belt or chain which ensures all moving parts of the engine run smoothly. But, improper maintenance or worn belts can kill your car’s engine in a matter of seconds.
As a general guide, timing belts need to be replaced every 100,000 to 150,000 kilometres, while chains are more robust and need to be changed less frequently, with each needing to be replaced only every 130,000 to 200,000 kilometres, depending on your engine or car.
This isn’t going to be a cheap workshop visit, but once you get it over with, you won’t have to worry about another one for years.
Invest in the best tyres and brakes
We’ve all experienced this before – you ran over something while driving and your tyre is now a shredded mess. You obviously need a new tyre, and you hesitate on spending hundreds of dollars on a reputable brand, so you cheap out and get a tyre with a questionable brand. You do save money now, but going cheap on essentials like tyres can cost you more further down the line.
Tyres are one of the most important parts of a car. These round pieces of black rubber are the only things connecting your car to the road and are built to be able to keep you safe, even in precarious driving conditions. While they are cheaper, off-brand tyres may wear out faster or unevenly. Plus, without proper certification, these tyres may not be able to work effectively in situations like emergency braking or aquaplaning. To stay safe on the roads, it is advisable to get tyre brands that are reputable.
This rule also applies to your brakes. They’re the only things that can stop your car effectively, and having sub-par brakes may affect your car’s effective braking distance in emergencies. If you love your car, pay a little more and get the best. Trust us, it can save you money over the long haul!
Don’t be afraid to drive it
Say you own an older, high-mileage car. Yes, it is going to have its quirks, but contrary to popular belief, driving your car regularly can actually prolong its life.
A car that’s driven regularly is definitely a happy car, and driving it can keep things like hoses and gaskets from drying out, while essential vehicle fluids like oil, and coolants keep metal parts sufficiently lubricated and cool.
If you neglect an old car for a while, chances are you’ll start seeing leaks, and it is not an enjoyable experience to frequently visit workshops. So do your car a favour, and drive it regularly.
Need easy and simple car maintenance?
Here at AutoApp, we have lots of specialists who are able to take care of your car’s regular servicing. Best of all, you don’t even have to do anything! Just book an appointment via our mobile application, and sit back and relax as our team handles all the nitty gritty for you. It’s that simple!