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If you want your car to last for years then you need to make sure you maintain it properly. That means booking in for MOTs and services on time and regularly. If you do more than the average 10,000 miles a year then you might need a mini service between your major ones. Although services aren’t cheap – especially if they find a problem, having them done regularly will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

In order to keep your car maintained and to look after it well, there are a few things you should do:

1.    You need to find out as much as you can about your car because things will go wrong – that’s inevitable – so save yourself money and look up the type of problem that your car is known for having. This way you can educate a mechanic about the problem so they can sort it faster – as they don’t have to spend time searching for the problem in the first place.

2.    Keeping your car clean is essential; although you might not think that a bit of dirt makes any difference the paint is there to protect your car from the elements and when it’s covered in salt from the road the paint work is constantly being damaged. When you wash the car make sure you use car shampoo and if it needs waxing then wax it – you’ll know it needs it if the water no longer turns to beads on the body.

3.    Your car needs extra protection and maintenance in winter because salt, snow and ice are particularly corrosive to the finish. In order to be sure that it won’t cause a lot of damage then you need to wash it regularly and wax it when it needs it – you can’t afford not to. If you don’t have time to wash your car but you’ve been driving over salty roads then don’t park it in a garage overnight because the warmth allows the salt to do even more damage. If you have to leave salt on your car then leave it outside – especially if it’s given out freezing weather because the salt can’t do anything when it’s frozen.

4.    If you have your car serviced regularly then you won’t have to worry about changing your engine oil because the mechanics will do it for you at your service. If you don’t have your car serviced though then you need to be changing the oil every 10,000 miles and checking it in between.

5.    It’s essential to respect your vehicle – this doesn’t mean that you have to drive like your granddad – by driving it carefully. This doesn’t mean that you can’t drive fast but don’t slam your brakes on or rev the engine for no reason, if the lights are on red then don’t touch the accelerator until they change. Doing this will not only protect your car but it will also save your fuel too.

Greg Holmes looks after his car better than anyone. It’s always washed, cleaned inside, serviced and full of fuel. He also uses a car cover from to protect his vehicle from the elements.