How to maintain a pre-owned car: Key tips

  • Maintaining a used car is similar to maintaining a new one.
Maintaining a used car is similar to maintaining a new one. (REUTERS)
Maintaining a used car is similar to maintaining a new one.

Just like the rest of the global automotive market, in India as well, used cars have been witnessing a surge in demand and sales over the last few years, especially after the disruption created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Even the growth of used car sales across India has been rising faster than the sales of new cars across India. The used car market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15-20 per cent in the next five years. Clearly, the segment is thriving to become a deciding factor in fulfilling the growing demand for personal mobility across the country.

Buying a used car is often a smart financial decision for many consumers. While the used cars offer an affordable and more practical alternative to buying new cars, the consumer needs to ensure the pre-owned car remains reliable and safe for a longer period. For this, the first and foremost thing required is proper maintenance.

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Maintaining a used car is not a complicated practice and it is similar to maintaining a new car. Here are some key tips to make sure your used car remains properly maintained.

Fetch service history

No matter how good the condition of the used car is, always get the service history of the vehicle. Reviewing the car's service history will help you to assess the vehicle's maintenance and any prior issues. It will ensure you get valuable insights into the real condition of the car, enabling you to decide what maintenance works need to be performed on it.

Change oil periodically

Regular oil changes are highly crucial for your car's engine health. Always follow the car manufacturer's recommendations for the type of oil and change intervals. The recommended type of engine oil ensures smooth and efficient functioning of the powertrain. Usually, the user manuals of every car come with the change intervals mentioned in them.

Check and top up fluids timely

Every car needs a wide range of technical fluids. Inspect the levels of the essential fluids like coolant, brake fluid and power steering fluid. Low fluid levels can result in severe problems such as increased heat emitting from the engine and poor performance as well. Hence, topping up the fluid timely is essential to ensure the vehicle functions properly.

Check and change filters

Checking and changing the oil filter, air filter and cabin filters are necessary to ensure the overall proper functionality of the vehicle. While oil filters ensure the contaminants remain away from damaging the intricating parts, the air filter saves the engine's performance from being compromised. The cabin filter ensures the quality of the air inside the cabin remains good.

Take care of wheels and tyres

Ensure proper care for the tyres. Make sure the wheels are properly aligned, which is crucial for safe driving. Also, make sure you rotate the tyres during every periodical maintenance or after driving every 10,000 kilometres. This ensures even wear and tear for the tyres and extends their lifespan.

Check the health of the brakes

Brakes are the first line of defence against any mishap. So, always pay close attention to the car's brakes. Examine if there are any squeaking or grinding noises or if the brake pedal feels spongy. In such cases, make sure to get the brake pads checked by a technician and replace them with new ones.

Check the battery

Examine the battery terminals for corrosion and ensure they provide a secure connection. If the battery is old and unreliable, make sure to replace it with a new one. Always buy batteries from good brands. Using a local battery may save you some money initially, but there are risks of non-reliability and performance-related issues, which can eventually damage the vehicle and the overall performance-related experience as well.

Check suspension

Check the suspension setup for unusual noises while driving. Suspension is one of the most important components of any vehicle as it ensures a comfortable riding experience for the occupants as well as it saves the vehicle's chassis from damage. Proper alignment of the suspension setup is essential for tyres' longevity and safe handling of the vehicle.

Give the car a comprehensive cleaning

Regularly clean the car and wax its exterior to protect it from natural or artificial damaging elements. Also, this ensures the prevention of rust, which is considered one of the key damaging elements of any vehicle. Not only the exterior but cleaning and vacuuming the interior of the vehicle as well to maintain a comfortable and hygienic experience inside the cabin.

How to maintain a used car
Step 1 :

Fetch service history of the car

Step 2 :

Change engine oil periodically

Step 3 :

Check and top up essential fluids

Step 4 :

Check and change filters

Step 5 :

Check the health of the brakes

Step 6 :

Check the battery

Step 7 :

Check suspension setup

Step 8 :

Give the car a comprehensive cleaning

First Published Date: 05 Nov 2023, 15:15 PM IST

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