​14 ways to make your car last longer

The RAC’s top tips for prolonging your car’s life and keeping running costs down.

With the help of our very own RAC patrol ambassador 2017, Chris Burgess, we have compiled 13 detailed, but easy-to-follow, tips to help you make your car more efficient, nicer to drive and last longer.

Many seem like straightforward common sense, but you’d be surprised how few drivers adhere to them all.

1. Change filters regularly

Air filter

Your car’s oil filter and air filter become clogged over time, thus renewing them regularly is important.

They should be replaced as part of scheduled servicing, but both are relatively simple jobs – particularly an air filter swap – so you may wish to attempt them yourself. You could save money on servicing if so.

You can often prolong the life of the air filter by washing it, too.

Consult your handbook for advice on filter cleaning and changes, and be sure to use genuine parts. Cheap, poor quality filters could damage your engine in the longer term.

2. Drive smoothly… most of the time

Car rev counter

Driving with mechanical sympathy is something you should practise regardless of whether the engine has warmed up.

Doing so will reduce wear and eke out more miles per tankful. Smooth inputs through the major controls – steering wheel, gearbox and pedals – are key, along with looking well ahead to reduce the need for sudden braking.

RAC patrol of the year Chris Burgess says:

“The more aggressive you are on the pedals the higher your fuel and repair bills are likely to be.

“Learning to drive more smoothly is kinder to your car – and the environment – accelerating and decelerating in a controlled manner and anticipating the road ahead will save you pounds on your fuel bill.”

That said, if you never rev your engine fully, carbon deposits can build up and foul the valves, intake manifold and other parts, reducing efficiency and potentially causing a misfire.

You should therefore allow your engine to rev to the redline at least once every few hundred miles – but only when the oil is warm and you’re on a quiet road.

A longer motorway run once a month will help clear them.


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