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How To Keep Your Leased Car In Top Condition
posted on Apr 17 2014 by Kiri Nowak
When you lease a car you are expected to return it in good condition. Understandably, over a 2, 3 or 4 year contract there will be some unavoidable wear and tear. There is an allowance for reasonable wear and tear; however, this does not include damage that is as a result of impact or failure to maintain your car properly. Read the industry fair wear and tear standards here.
When you lease a car you need to ensure that the following aspects of the car are kept in an acceptable condition:
· Tyres and wheels
· Mechanical condition
· The underside of the car
· Equipment and controls
So how do you keep your car in good condition? There are some handy tips that can really make a difference and some precautions to take that can help protect your car. Check out our top tips below:
1. Keep your car in a safe place
One of the best things you can do to keep your car in good condition is to keep it in a safe place. Don’t leave it on the roadside where it will be exposed to the elements and potential vandalism. Keep your car in a garage or covered up on your driveway.
If you lease a car you will have agreed to a specific yearly mileage. It’s important to stick to this to avoid additional fees but also because going over the mileage causes additional wear and tear. Only use your car when you need to and avoid extremely long, lengthy journeys where possible.
3. Checks and home maintenance
On top of the standard servicing you need to carry out some of your own home maintenance. There are regular checks that you need to carry out in order to keep your car healthy such as checking the oil levels, your tyre tread and inflation. It’s also beneficial to get your car checked over by a mechanic on a regular basis.
An excessive build-up of dirt and residue can cause damage to your car. It can cause rusting and sometimes even damage the paintwork. It’s important to clean your car regularly, both inside and out. Getting your car professionally valeted every so often can also help to keep it in tip top condition.
Don’t leave strong smelling food in your car as this could leave a lasting smell. Eating food inside your car can also leave stains and residue that can be difficult to clean up. Anything messy that you are likely to drop everywhere should be avoided.
6. Petrol Gauge
It’s not a good idea to regularly let your petrol run really low. If you always let it run right down to empty and you petrol light is often on you are not doing your car any favours. Sediment can build up at the bottom of your petrol tank and when fuel is low, your car has to use the dirty fuel at the bottom. The fuel pump can overheat and the fuel filter can get clogged. As a general rule try and always keep your tank at least half full.
7. Break –in Period
As lease cars are brand new there may be a break-in period. Check your manufacturer’s guidelines as to how you should drive the car for the first few thousand miles. This includes things like keeping your speed lower, avoiding heavy loads, using light to medium acceleration only and going easy on the breaks.
8. Drive Sensibly
The longer you drive your car with care the longer you will go without having to repair it. Driving your car conservatively can really make a difference to its overall performance. This includes avoiding excessively driving at high speeds, accelerating rapidly, driving through potholes and turning corners sharply.
9. Get floor mats and seat covers
Invest in some top quality floor mats and seat covers to protect the interior of your car. Car seats can get stained, worn and dirty very easily so it’s a good idea to protect them with covers.
10. Fix windscreen chips
If you get a small chip on your windscreen don’t leave it, get it fixed right away. The longer you leave it the less likely you will be able to get it fixed. If chips are left for too long they get worse and turn into large cracks in the windscreen. By getting chips fixed straight away you could avoid having to pay to get the entire windscreen replaced. Most insurance companies include windscreen chips in their cover.
11. Read the owner’s manual
As soon as you get your brand new car spend some time reading through the owner’s manual in detail. It contains vital advice for the maintenance and every day running of your car, as well as important safety information. Make sure you have the knowledge to look after your car effectively.
12. Don’t ignore warning lights
If any warning lights come on, don’t ignore them. By ignoring them you could cause potentially irreparable damage. Getting your car seen to as soon as possible is in your best interests. As soon as any warning light comes on refer to your owner’s manual so see whether the car is safe to drive.
13. Wax your car regularly
Waxing your car regularly protects the paintwork from various substances such as salt from the air, acid rain and dirt. If it’s waxed you don’t to polish it when you clean it and it helps to retain its original factory colour and shine.
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