5 New Year’s resolutions for your car

The new year is the perfect time to make resolutions. Starting afresh, you may find that you have created a list of conscious changes that you would like to make over the next 12 months, but how many of those relate to your car? Despite being one of the most important purchases you’re likely to make, your car can often be overlooked and in dire need of some TLC. January is the perfect time to start putting those changes into practice so, take a look at these resolutions which will ensure that your car is in its best condition at all times.

Educate yourself on tyres

A tyre

Your tyres are one of the most crucial aspects of your car. However, this doesn’t mean that most wheels are equipped for road use. The tread of your tyre is what grips to the road, providing stability when you’re driving in wet or icy conditions. Their grooves allow water to be pushed out from beneath the wheel and are essential in allowing you to drive safely. With this in mind, every month, you should check the tread depth to see if they are roadworthy. The RAC website states: “The difference in wet braking distance between a tyre worn to 3mm and one worn to 1.6mm can be as much as 44%.” Anything under 1.6mm is deemed insufficient, and you can be given 3 points on your license, as well as a fine of £2,500 for each tyre that doesn’t meet this standard.

Top up your fluids

A man looking at the inside of his car

If you often find yourself wishing you’d got screen wash, then the chances are, the rest of the fluids inside your car go unchecked, too. Your coolant and oil should all be checked on a regular basis. However, your brake fluid should also be checked on occasion. If you think you have found a problem with any of the fluids in your car, then you should always ask a certified mechanic. Otherwise, following the steps below for your oil and coolant will help your car to perform at its best.

Oil

Your oil is the most vital fluid that you should be checking, but it is also one of the easiest. Opening up your bonnet, there is a dipstick that you can pull out to check the oil level. Before setting off on a journey, and whilst your car’s engine is cool, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean on a towel. Once this is clean, place the stick back into the oil and remove again. This will allow you to see how high the oil is on the dipstick, and if it is still within the minimum and maximum lines on the stick.

Coolant

Coolant, or antifreeze, makes sure that your car is running at the appropriate temperature and stops important components from overheating. This is something that you should aim to stay on top of, as it can cause damage to your engine, which can be pricey. Before travelling long distances, this is something that you should check, as running out of coolant can also mean that your engine will cut off until it is cool enough to move again. Although there should be warning signs when you are approaching minimum coolant, such as a light on your dashboard, the easiest way to prevent overheating from happening is by taking a look at the coolant reservoir and topping it up with a mixture of water and antifreeze if necessary.

Schedule your service

A mechanic holding car keys

"Regularly servicing your car can make the difference between it running smoothly and fuel efficiently, and the risk of it breaking down and incurring an expensive and unexpected repair”, says The AA. Time and money are usually the biggest factors preventing people from having their car serviced. However, taking your car into the garage on a regular basis can prevent larger bills popping up in the future.

Each manufacturer creates a car service schedule which it is advised that you stick to. Not only does this keep your car running at its optimum, but it can also extend the life of your car. When it comes to driving, ensuring that your vehicle is safe should be of paramount importance, and although services aren’t a legal requirement, they can provide you with peace of mind.

Clean your car

A car in a car wash

Whether you’ve had your car for years or are thinking about purchasing a new one, it’s undeniable that it can be satisfying when both the interior and exterior are clean. Despite this, many people allow rubbish to build up inside, and the exterior to desperately require a wash. Creating a New Year’s resolution to ensure that your car always looks clean is not only good for the vehicle but can also improve your mental wellbeing. Having a tidy environment can reduce feelings of anxiety, which can be helpful when driving in stressful situations.

Your car is covered in a paint which helps combat against the elements, but as you start to allow dust and dirt to build up, this can erode, allowing the body of your car to rust and corrode. It is especially useful to clean your car during the winter months, as grit and salt from the road can also cause havoc, with the build-up acting like sandpaper. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is making sure that once a month your car is given a thorough clean, whilst removing rubbish from inside whenever possible.

Drive safely

A car dashboard at night

The new year is a great time to look at your driving and kick any bad habits that you may have developed. Aggressive and distracted driving are some of the worst traits for drivers to pick up as not only are they dangerous but put other road users at risk. Sticking to the speed limit is a requirement that is often overlooked, however being caught exceeding this can result in points on your license. Additionally, if you frequently find yourself speeding off only to have to slam the brakes on later, you’re causing your car to use more fuel, hiking up your petrol or diesel bill.

In a study by road safety charity Brake, it was “found that 19% of young drivers admitted texting at the wheel at least once a month, compared with 11% of older drivers taking this risk”. Mobile phones are a major contributor to road traffic accidents so should be kept out of arms reach whilst driving. This will prevent you from getting distracted and allow your eyes to remain focused on the road.

Five New Year’s resolutions for your car

If you’re thinking of purchasing a new Ford car, there has never been a better time to divert your attention to your driving capabilities, so, make this January the perfect time to brush up on your knowledge whilst giving your car the attention it deserves.

  • Educate yourself on your tyres and make sure that they are roadworthy before setting off
  • Top up your fluids regularly, including your oil, brake fluid and coolant
  • Make sure to schedule a service for your car at least once a year to ensure it is in top running order
  • Clean your car’s interior and exterior to prevent any damage from occurring
  • Kick any bad habits that you may have picked up, including speeding, texting whilst behind the wheel, and driving aggressively