Looking after your car doesn’t just mean making sure it’s free of empty soda cans and take away cartons. Beyond the mere aesthetics, keeping your car in top shape will keep running costs down and will extend the lifespan of your motor.

Whilst many of the things you should be doing to keep your car around for longer should be common sense, you’d be surprised how often such things get overlooked by even the most vigilant car owner. So, below we’ve compiled a few of the top tips to keep your car in tip-top condition.

  • Change the air filters regularly, as over time they can become clogged with dust and dirt. Consult your vehicle’s handbook before replacing any parts, however, as poor or incompatible parts will damage your car in the long term.
  • Drive consistently and smoothly. Revving your engine and driving aggressively too often will wear out your engine faster and will significantly diminish your fuel efficiency. Drive carefully and be kinder to your car and your car will be kinder to you in return.
  • Remember to use your air conditioning. There is a school of thought that believes not using your car’s air conditioning is the best way to keep it functioning. However, if they are not used regularly then they could leak refrigerant. So, even if it’s not particularly warm, remember to give your air con a whirl every once in a while to keep it fresh.
  • Change your oil at least every 5,000 miles or so to keep your engine comfortably lubricated and make sure you use a brand of oil that you trust. Old oil will cause dirt to build up and that might eventually kill your engine. Also, make sure to check your coolant reservoir and windscreen washer.
  • Whilst changing your fluids, also remember to check your tire pressure. Bad or uneven tire pressure can mean poor mileage, bad breaking and (eventually) a flat tire.
  • Keep your car clean and covered. It might be seen as the height of vanity by many, but a clean car is a long-lasting car, as the grit, game and dirt that will build up over time can lead to corrosion on the paintwork if left untreated. If your car is left on the road overnight, meanwhile, consider a decent quality car cover, which will dramatically reduce the risk of damage, vandalism and theft.
  • Don’t carry too much weight in your vehicle if you can help it. Too much weight (and this includes passengers) will put greater strain on the tyres, brakes and suspension.
  • Check your spark plugs at least every 30,000 miles or so and replace them if they have gone bad. Don’t try to change it yourself though! Always take it into a professional garage if possible.

Finally, remember to sign up to the AA for your own protection, don’t scrimp on the insurance and consider investing in extras such as a dashboard camera or a wheel security lock to protect your car from thieves and cover yourself in case of an accident that wasn’t your fault.