You’re not interested in an after-market turbo boost to break your fastest commute to work so how can you improve the performance of your vehicle without channelling The Fast and the Furious?

A performance upgrade sounds like a daunting introduction to the world of Formula One racing but there are a few basic things you can do to get the best out of your trusty wagon and in the process, save money in the long run. With such reliable cars nowadays it’s easy to take them for granted but like our own health, they too need some TLC and running maintenance.

Here are five simple ways to keep your car in great shape and in turn, reduce your running costs and petrol bill:

Make sure you have the correct tyre pressure

Is the only time you think of tyres when they puncture? Correct tyre pressure is a huge step to staying safer on the road and reducing your fuel consumption. Tyres always appear rock hard when we give them a gentle boot but an underinflated tyre is first and foremost, compromising your safety. Optimum air pressure (PSI) changes from car to car but a tyre that is only slightly underinflated can increase its rolling resistance. The good news is, it’s easy to look after tyres – but how?

-       The PSI rating specific to your vehicle’s tyres will be on the inside of the door frames. Front and rear axles can have differing PSIs so take note of this and also check your spare tyre

-       Tyres lose air pressure all by themselves and even more so in the warmer summer months so check and inflate to the correct PSI whenever possible

-       Tyres inflated to their correct PSI will save on petrol, increase the life of your tyres and help maintain safer road handling.

Treat the old girl and change the oil

Like people, your car requires a good cleansing from time to time. If petrol is the food then oil is the blood for your car and needs to be replaced ideally every six months. As motor oil thins and flows more easily when heated, driving your car more often actually helps the oil protect the moving parts. Combined with a good condition air filter, contaminants in the oil are minimised as well. To the trained eye, old oil can also give clues like DNA and can pinpoint potential issues with your vehicle.

Get some fresh air and change the filter

Think of your car’s air filter as the security guard keeping unsavoury characters at bay. A car’s internal combustion engine requires a mix of oxygen and petrol to fire the pistons and for an engine to perform at its efficient best and last the distance, the air intake must be clean and free of contaminants like dirt and dust. This debris goes a long way to disrupting clean combustion and also the eroding of expensive engine parts.

Check and change the spark plugs

Hidden away in the depths of your engine are the spark plugs which primarily serve to provide the bolt of electricity to ignite the engine. In addition to a silky smooth start-up, fully operational spark plugs can increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and aide optimal engine performance. There are different spark plugs on the market so feel free to ask us which ones will give you the best performance and longevity.

Stop! Check and change your brake pads

Now that we have your vehicle running like a dream, we better think of how to stop it. Brakes are without a doubt the most important safety feature on any car and there are several ways to know if our brake pads need replacing. When applying the brakes, some of the more common ailments from worn brake pads include a shuddering through the steering wheel, taking longer to stop, a screech or squeal, a loss of grip or a feeling of pulling to the left or right. If you experience any of these, we recommend getting your brake pads checked out and replaced.

Keeping your vehicle in good working order is an investment in your vehicle, your family’s safety and will also save you costly repairs and fuel costs.

If you need a hand with any of the above, drop in and see your local mechanic for a tune-up. Or if you thinking it could be time for an upgrade, come in to City Motor Group for a free trade-in valuation.