Preventative Maintenance

Prevention is better than a cure, and with used motor vehicles maintenance is always better than repairs. According to the AA, the leading causes of breakdown include flat batteries, burst tyres and alternator failures caused by broken belts. Many of these faults could be avoided with regular maintenance.

Getting recovered can be expensive, but the secondary effects of a part failing can also cause repair bills to escalate: insufficient antifreeze can cause the coolant to freeze, leading to cracked engine cases, and broken fan belts can lead to overheating and a damaged engine. Fan and alternator belts should be tightened and replaced regularly, and coolant checked for level and antifreeze before each journey.

A quarter of drivers have never changed their oil, and they’re just as dilatory at checking the levels. This can be a very costly mistake, as it requires no tools! Regular oil and filter changes prolong engine life, so should be part of a regular maintenance regime. Drivers are also guilty of driving with under-inflated tyres, leading to increased fuel consumption, wear and punctures.

Drivers who are not mechanically minded should commit to having their vehicles regularly serviced. However; learning to check these key points should be part of vehicle ownership, and this can save money and stress in the long run.