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Top tips to keep your car safe and economical

Top tips to keep your car safe and economical

Keeping your car safe and economical can be easy with top tips from transportation commentator Conor Faughan.

About half of all cars in Ireland fail their NCT, but this can often be avoided with small amounts of maintenance between tests:

“We often fail in the NCT in this country. Statistically, we fail more often than in the UK,” Mr Faughan explained to ” The Pat Kenny Show.

“When a car first presents for the NCT in Ireland, half of them fail when they first show up.

“That’s not as alarming as it sounds, because 93% pass a retest — it’s usually something very simple.”

It often pays to invest in your car. If a mechanic suggests something that will extend the life and durability of your car, it’s usually worth paying for it.

“If you want to have your car serviced, it will cost you around €200 and you’re afraid the mechanic will tell you the list of other things to do,” he added.

“So you understand why it’s tempting to say ‘I don’t bother,’ but if you have a poorly maintained car, you’re probably adding about 5% to your fuel economy.”

Two women in a car in June 2019. Photo By: Petar Maksimovic / Alamy Stock Photo

Tires and suspension

Tires and suspension are especially crucial; if they’re in bad shape, they can greatly increase your fuel economy – something that will cost you thousands over the lifetime of a car:

“If your tires are overinflated, your wheels will be a little misaligned, you’ll cost money in fuel economy and your tires will wear out faster,” added Mr Faughan.

Warning lights

The worst thing you can do is ignore a warning light when it pings. While it may be something very simple to fix, it could mean that there is a major problem on the way that will be much more expensive to fix the longer you let it go.

“Some cars are smart and sense when filters get clogged, for example, and they will be full of different types of censorship,” explained Mr Faughan.

“A brand new Mercedes might have hundreds of censorship in the engine management system.

“But in principle it will tell you when a service is due.

“Again, a lot of drivers will ignore the lights on the dashboard. It seems extraordinary that you can do that.

“But there are people who ignore the lights on the dashboard.

“If you have a catastrophic outage, it’s going to cost you real money, but even before it happens, if you ignore those lights… while you’re rolling down the road, you’re costing yourself money.

“You’re probably deteriorating your fuel economy… by at least 5% and count on that. It’s a lot of money.”

White man using mobile phone and driving car. White man using mobile phone and driving car. Image: Mint Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo

A little and often

The best way to maintain a car is to treat it the way you should treat your teeth – with small but frequent checkups:

“So if you’re in the habit of not bothering to check your car unless it’s about to do the NCT, you could develop dangerous mistakes there,” warned Mr Faughan.

“And as I said, we seem to be worse at that than the British. The British seem to be better at regular routine maintenance.

“We treat it like the dentist. You go to the dentist when you have a toothache when you know that you should actually go for an annual check-up.

“Shorts the life of your car and costs you money if you do it.”

Main image: A man in a car. Image By: RioPatuca / Alamy Stock Photo

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