Cheap and easy ways to maintain your fleet
By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 08:59
EXPERT: Save money on your fleet maintenance
In our latest Expert Blog, Nicholas Moores, of Autokey Squad, gives his tips on maintaining your fleet as easily and cheaply as possible…
Cars. We all love them when they’re new, shiny, clean and running without problem.
To make sure the love affair with your car, or fleet or cars, never ends, here’s a few top tips to follow that could prevent a painful and messy break-up of the mechanical kind:
Look after your keys
A car key replacement bill can run into the hundreds if you haven’t taken steps to minimise wallet and stress damage beforehand – especially if you have a high tech smart key.
While there’s no guarantee that your keys will remain in a safe accessible place at all times, there are a few things you can do as to limit disruption and expense:
- Try not to lose them in the first place; have a spare made, and keep them out of sight of prying burglars at home.
- Sign up to an insurance policy with cover included – making sure it covers both loss and theft.
- Look around online and compare the many car locksmiths who offer competitive rates and super-fast response times and delivery services.
Perform regular maintenance checks
Look after your car, and she will keep you happy too. Make sure a regular preventative health-check includes:
- Tyre pressure checks
- Fluid and oil level checks and top-ups
- Cleaning and replacement of air and fuel filters
Drive with care
Putting less strain on your engine will eventually put less strain on your head and your wallet:
- Don’t rev your engine on start-up – the sound of it might make you all warm and fuzzy inside, but your engine won’t thank you for it.
- Accelerate slowly – give your engine a chance to warm up.
- Observe speed limits – they’re there for a reason and make dodging obstacles such as potholes a little less challenging.
- Park slowly – nobody gets a thrill from a scuffed wheel.
Buy the better stuff at fuel stations
Although we’re talking about being kind to the bank balance here, the more expensive fuel at stations brings with it a lot of benefits.
It’s filtered and kinder to your engine, plus it can improve performance and give you more mileage per gallon.
Be mindful of the seasons
No matter where in the world you live, at some time we all have to deal with a little extreme weather.
Simple measures such as good protective floor mats, a regular clean, the right engine fluids for the temperature and conditions outside, correct weather tyres, and maybe even winter driving lessons, can make your vehicle a safer and less-costly place to be.
Keep it clean
Beyond the regular car washes and waxes (we should all do more often and don’t), day-to-day nasties such as bird droppings, tree sap, bug splats and so on can dry hard on your paint work and really make things tricky when it come to removing.
Special ‘film spray’ is available from most good car supply stores and will help with the removal – make sure you get warm soapy water onto the bird poop as soon as you can though, as this can discolour the paint work.
Touch it up quickly
A small chip in the paintwork might not look like much, but it can rapidly turn into a source of bodywork rust if the protective layers of coating and paint have been broken down.
An inexpensive touch-up paint pot can fix these up in no time.
Fill it in
The tiniest chip in your windscreen can quickly spread into a large crack and mean that you need an entirely new pane of glass.
If fixed early on, small chips can be filled in to restore clarity and structural integrity of the glass.
Most insurance policies in the UK allow you to get this fixed for free by a windscreen specialist – talk to your insurance provider.