KEEPING your car well maintained is important to ensure it stays in good condition and is safe to drive.
However, it turns out that some drivers are tempted to forego routine maintenance to save themselves some cash.
Research from Kwik Fit in 2018 states that car owners spent an average £191.53 on maintenance and servicing in the surveyed period. Yet some are tempted to skip this to benefit their bank balance.
Drivers are trying to cut costs in ways which may be more expensive in the long run – nearly one in ten (8%) car owners say they have spent nothing on routine maintenance, saving money by not getting their car serviced at all.
Failing to carry out essential car maintenance is not only dangerous but can actually be more costly in the long term. The longer that basic car servicing and maintenance is avoided, the greater the risk of more significant and expensive issues. Furthermore, unforeseen emergency situations are more likely to occur, meaning that people have to look to long term loans or other forms of credit to get back on the road.
So, what issues can arise when cars aren’t looked after well?
What problems can lack of maintenance cause?
Taking care to regularly service your car will help to identify any potential issues before they get worse. Avoiding car maintenance can cause a variety of issues in the long run, such as wearing tyres down to the point in which they are no longer road legal.
All tyres must meet the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm to ensure they are safe, and if they don’t, drivers can face a £2,500 fine and three penalty points per tyre.
As the RAC’s tread depth guide states, if all four tyres are worn below the legal limit, you could potentially lose your license and face a £10,000 fine.
Another key area of maintenance that drivers must check regularly is their engine oil levels. Failure to do this can cause serious long-term damage to the engine parts, such as the pistons, which can be costly to repair.
In addition, regular maintenance of brakes is of the utmost importance to ensure safety behind the wheel. If cars are not driven for long periods of time, brakes can seize.
Plus, brake pads and discs will eventually wear down and need replacing by a mechanic.
Simple car maintenance
Check engine oil levels – ensure sure your car is parked on level ground and your engine is cool, then pop the bonnet. You’ll need to grab the dipstick, wipe off any residue and insert all the way into the pipe, pull out again and see where the oil reaches on the dipstick. This will indicate whether you need to top up your oil.
Check tyre tread depths – a well-known trick for checking tread depth is using a 20p coin. Put your coin into the tread grooves and if you can’t see the outer band of the 20p, your tread is the appropriate depth.
Maintain the battery – if you don’t drive your car regularly, the battery is more likely to go flat. Make sure you drive or run it for around 15-20 minutes per week to recharge the battery.
Check lights regularly – sometimes, drivers don’t notice when one of their lights has gone out. It’s really important that all your lights function so that other road users can see when you break or indicate to turn a corner – so check your lights regularly.
If you don’t look after your car, it’s more likely to encounter costly problems later down the line. If repairs won’t fix the damage, then you may need to fork out for a new car earlier than expected.
While there are lots of ways to finance new cars, such as PCP and PCH deals, it’s worth taking care of your current car to extend its lifespan, ensure it’s safe to drive, and make it easier for you to sell when you want to upgrade.