We often take our cars for granted as we use them for road trips, shopping runs, picking up the kids, going to work, or driving to visit friends. It’s only when they stop working that we realise how crucial our car is for transport and the smooth continuation of our everyday life.

It’s a good idea to learn some quick and easy ways to extend the life of your car. This will help delay you having to buy a new car, or from being stranded if your vehicle breaks down.

Here are a few tips that will help maximise your car’s lifespan and reliability:

You don’t need to warm up your car

When we first get a car, we often miss out on some basic good practices. In fact, we often unknowingly follow bad habits we’ve learned from others. An example of this is letting your car engine idle in the driveway to warm it up.

According to stuff, back in the olden days it was considered a good and important thing to warm up your car before driving. It’s an idea that has persisted, partly because it’s been handed down from generation to generation and also because it seems to make logical sense.

This used to be a good practice, back in the days when cars had carburettors that mixed air and fuel for combustion and when vehicle oils took a while to reach maximum protective viscosity. However, modern cars all have electronic fuel injection, rather than carburettors and modern oils circulate freely from start-up.

Not only this, cars also pollute more when they are cold and the quickest way to warm them up is to drive. These days a 30-second idle is considered more than enough.

Hard acceleration isn’t recommended

Another misconception many of us have is that we need to accelerate hard to warm up our car’s engine. However, this puts strain on your engine and ages it more quickly.

Also, when you drive, avoid accelerating rapidly as you pull off, as this puts tension on your vehicle’s mechanisms. Increased tension equals wear, which results in more frequent maintenance and higher bills. A better option is to accelerate smoothly and carefully, drive at the legal speed limits and try to avoid extreme turns and hard stops. If you see a pothole or an object on the road, for example, try and safely avoid it – don’t drive over it and hope for the best.

Don’t neglect your car’s exterior

The outside of your car is as important as its inner mechanisms. If rust gets into your paintwork and vehicle body it will spread and reduce your vehicle’s resale value and lifespan. To avoid this, wash your car frequently – not just when it appears to be dirty. Salty air, grease, air pollution, to name a few things, will damage the exterior paint of your car, then its metal body.

Check tyre pressure and oil

Another tip is to regularly check your type pressure every second petrol fill up. Correctly inflated tyres are crucial to the safety of your vehicle and fuel efficiency, so don’t forget about them. At the same time, check your oil level by examining the dipstick in your engine. If your oil is running low, top it up immediately, as oil is crucial for the health of your engine. By driving without oil, you may be doing irreparable damage to the engine and mechanisms inside your car.

These simple tips will help extend the life of your car. A few extra minutes here and there will ensure your car runs better and for longer.