Keeping your car for 10 years? Here's how to refresh it! (Part 2)
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Are you planning to keep driving your car till its COE expires? Here are six more things you can do to it to keep it looking fresh!

Category: Car Maintenance Advice


New cars, especially the mass-market and bread-and-butter models, are beyond the reach of many buyers. It's no surprise then, that many drivers are either purchasing pre-owned cars or just keeping their current one till the COE expires.

If you are one of the many car owners who are riding out the wave of high COE premiums, you've probably thought about how to give your car a 'facelift'.

In the first part of this story, we covered areas such as paintwork, upholstery, wheels/tyres, and window film. This time, we'll look at ways to not only make your car drive better, but smell nicer, too.


Change the engine mounts

Most drivers don't realise the need to replace worn engine mounts until the vibrations make their presence known
As you have probably guessed, engine mounts hold the car's engine in place. But did you know that they also help absorb vibrations that would otherwise be transmitted to the rest of the car?

Typical engine mounts are made with rubber to dampen said vibrations. But as they age and the rubber becomes worn or hardened, more noise and/or vibrations will be felt.

If your engine suddenly starts to feel 'rougher', a set of new engine mounts are probably what's needed.


Replace the suspension

You don't need fancy coilovers - for most drivers, replacing your springs and dampers with the stock or OE parts is enough
The car's suspension takes a real beating over time and when it finally starts to go, you'll notice that the car tends to 'crash' when going over potholes and undulating surfaces.

Said 'crash' is caused by the springs and dampers being unable to properly control the compression and rebound, resulting in poor ride quality.

To restore comfort, you'll need a new set of springs and dampers to absorb those nasty bumps. These will also prevent added wear and/or damage to your tyres.


Swap the wheel bearings

Think the loud groaning or growling noises are from worn suspension bushings? The cause could actually be worn wheel bearings
Wheel bearings are part of what connects the wheel to the axle. Their role is to help the wheels turn with less friction. These wheel bearings are housed in a sealed metal ring that's filled with grease.

But as with all moving parts, wheel bearings will wear out over time. When they do, you'll hear squealing and/or growling noises, especially when you accelerate.

If your suspension components and engine mounts have just been replaced but there are still noises when you drive, the wheel bearings are likely to be the cause.


Upgrade the brakes

Big brake kits look great, but they cost more and depending on your current wheels, may require you to also upgrade to larger rims
You might be feeling a lack of braking performance as your car ages. But an improvement in stopping power doesn't require you to change the entire braking system.

For most drivers, upgrading the standard brake pads to high-friction ones is enough to make the brakes feel like they have more bite. If you want a better brake pedal feel, then swapping out the standard brake lines for steel-braided ones will do the trick.

Of course, you could also consider a big brake kit. However, unless you already have bigger wheels that can fit said kit, you'll end up spending more that you expected.


Polish those head lights

Yes, it's possible to use toothpaste to clean up your head lights, but we still recommend asking a professional groomer to take on this task
Apart from faded paintwork, of the most obvious signs that a car is old is that it has dull, yellowed or cloudy head lights. The sun (and its UV rays) is the biggest cause of this.

It's possible to get your head lights to gleam again without changing them. Ask your groomer if polishing the headlamps will help - they can usually advise whether or not it will make a difference.

You can also attempt to hand-polish the headlamps yourself using glass polish, if DIY is your thing. If not, we suggest going to the groomer, as mechanical polishers can do a faster job and potentially achieve better results.


Clean the air-con system

If you're worried about COVID, you could consider getting your cabin fumigated after the air-con system is thoroughly cleaned
Now that your car is looking better inside and out, and offering improved driving performance as well, you should also make sure it smells nicer, too. And we are not talking about putting more air fresheners or spraying perfume in the cabin.

If your air-con system hasn't been serviced in ages (or all this time), it's time to do so. The process will help remove any bacteria or mould that's in the system, which should eliminate any bad smells that circulate whenever the air-con is switched on.

As a bonus, a cleaner system will be more efficient at cooling your cabin, which is arguably its most important function given our climate.


Seeking more car ownership advice? These stories may interest you

Keeping your car for 10 years? Here's how to refresh it! (Part 1)

Long-term maintenance issues to look out for

Don’t want your car to break down? Here are the parts you must maintain

COE renewal? Here are five key things to take note of

Neglecting these things in your car will cost you a fortune

Must-know tips for cheaper car maintenance

Seven ways to reduce car running costs

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