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New Year’s resolutions… for your car

9th January 2013

People all over the country will have over-indulged this Christmas and will have a New Year’s resolution to get back in shape, but what about your car?

It is easy to tell if you have had a few too many mince pies, but if you have neglected your car over the past year, you might not realise before it’s too late. So the experts at Haynes have come up with these New Year’s Resolutions for your car to prevent any problems before they arise:

1. I will check the tyres at least once a month.

Correct tyre pressures are vital for good grip, maximum tyre life and good fuel consumption. Check tyre condition (no cuts or bulges) and tread depth too. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6 mm, but stopping distances in the wet are seriously affected by anything below 3 mm.

2. I will check the engine oil level regularly.

Once the oil pressure warning light comes on, engine damage may already have occurred. Extended service intervals make it more likely that topping-up will be required between services. How often you need to check will depend on your mileage and your particular car.

3. I will be kind to my car's battery.

Reduce the strain on the battery, and prolong its life, by starting the engine before switching on the lights, heater blower, heated rear window etc. Follow the same procedure in reverse at the end of your journey: switch off all electrical consumers before stopping the engine.

4. I will make a few simple checks before putting the car in for its MoT.

Around 40% of cars fail their MoT at the first attempt, and most of these failures are due to simple faults such as a blown light bulb, a split wiper blade or an excessively worn tyre – all items which are easy to detect and fix before the test.

5. I will save money by driving more economically.

Fierce acceleration and hard braking are bad for fuel consumption, and also increase wear and tear on suspension, brakes and tyres. High speeds are bad for fuel consumption too – cruising at 60 mph instead of 70 will improve consumption by nearly 10%, whereas cruising at 80 instead of 70 will worsen it by up to 25% (not to mention the speeding tickets...).

Finally, remember that a well-maintained vehicle is more economical, more reliable and holds its resale value better.

Haynes manuals have been helping motorists to repair and maintain their vehicles for over 50 years and the company has now launched its top 100 car and motorcycle manuals online, so you can now access service and repair information on your PC, laptop or smart phone.

The new Manuals Online include all the content from the printed manuals with the additional benefits of a glossary of terms, searchable menus and quick links. The car manuals also include ‘how? to’ videos.

To view the range of printed and online manuals visit

The information on this page is supplied courtesy of Haynes Publishing, please credit accordingly if you intend to use it. For more information or to request a review copy please contact Spirit PR on 0117 944 1415 or email Haynes PR

Haynes Manuals is the world's leading publisher of illustrated workshop car and motorcycle manuals, as well as producing manuals on a wide range of DIY, leisure and lifestyle subjects. These will continue to include motoring and motorsport related subjects. Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7JJ. Telephone: 01963 440635 Fax: 01963 440001 E-mail: