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Avoid being driven mad: Looking after a vehicle

Author: pmcindoe  |  Category: Vehicles
Published: August 23, 2008

The average driver in the UK travels around 16,000 kilometres every year in their vehicle. As well as having a huge effect on the country’s roads, which were mostly designed and built to carry far fewer vehicles, these distances can often be detrimental to cars and other forms of transport, in terms of general wear and tear.

In fact, the RAC estimate that they attended more than 2.5 million breakdowns in 2003, stating that the majority of these could have been avoided by drivers spending a little more time maintaining their vehicles. The top two reasons for drivers needing assistance were the battery being flat or non-serviceable, and tyre problems, both of which can be easily avoided with regular checks.

In recent years, fuel prices have steadily risen, understandably encouraging some drivers to avoid filling up their tank as much as possible. However, ‘lack of fuel’ actually came in 6th in the list of main reasons for breakdowns, highlighting that a thrifty attitude can easily be replaced by an irresponsible one. If this translates to the vehicle upkeep in general, it becomes far more likely that a motorist will encounter problems with that vehicle.

Fortunately, there are a number of easily-performed checks which can be made in order to avoid an embarrassing and inconvenient car problem. The AA suggests that flat batteries are often caused by numerous short-distance trips. In order for those who do not take longer journeys to better avoid the problem, drivers should recharge their battery every few weeks. Modern maintenance-free batteries should bypass this problem altogether.

To avoid tyre damage, a driver should be aware of the optimum pressure to maintain and most garages have self-service air lines for use by motorists. A worn spare-tyre won’t be useful if it is needed in an emergency, so this should be checked regularly too, as should the tread on the four wheels in use. If anything appears as it shouldn’t, a trip to a garage sooner will avoid more trips later.

A car will generally represent a large proportion of an individual’s annual spend. In fact, it is estimated that the average British person will spend ?137,126 in their lifetime on running and maintaining a vehicle. Many mechanical failures can be avoided with the right care but, even with a huge amount of regular upkeep, there will inevitably be more serious problems on occasion. It is better to deal with these as early as possible too.

With simple checks being so effective and services such as online car insurance being so readily available, it is worth avoiding the problems early rather than waiting for them to arise and dealing with them when they do. Many of Britain’s drivers are very proud of their cars and even more are reliant on them, so it may be surprising just how easy it can be to make sure they continue to be a best friend rather than an enemy.

Paul McIndoe writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Author: pmcindoe

Paul McIndoe writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

This author has published 174 articles so far.

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