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Driving tips

5 ways you can love your car this Valentine’s Day

In winter, we don't treat our cars right. We trek them through mud, we leave them out in the rain, we force their cold engines into spluttery life on frosty days.

Now spring is starting to look more likely, it's time to give your car a bit of a pick-me-up.

  1. Treat your car to a proper car wash

  2. Yep, the ones that cost a fiver. I know, last of the big spenders.

    Why getting a professional car wash every now and then is a good idea:

    • Stopping your car from getting deeply dirty keeps the surface in good nick, maintaining the value
    • Regular and thorough washes can keep rust at bay because there's less damp or acidic muck eating away at the undercarriage and wheel arches of your car
    • Winter can cause a horrible blurry build-up on your windscreen, causing serious glare - and a car wash is going to SCOUR that better than you ever could
    • A car wash uses up to 70% less water than doing it yourself with a hose
    Look after your car and your car will look after you.
     
  3. Check out those tread depths

  4. If you're baby is looking a little bit rough around the wheels, measure your tread depths. These should be the legal MINIMUM of 1.6mm around the centre 3/4 of the tyre.

    But in reality, that's not enough for winter. The AA recommends 3mm to deal with ice and snow - and let's face it, February can still see plenty of that

    If you've been putting off the price of new tyres, Valentine's Day is the perfect time for a grand gesture.

     
  5. Lose some weight

  6. Admit it: you cart around approximately 2 tonnes of junk in your car. Broken sunglasses, 7 shoes, 2 coats, a tennis racket (which is weird because you don't actually play tennis), a layer of empty crisp packets and your entire filing system. Enough!

    Set aside some time for a full clear-out. You'll feel better, your car will smell better - and you'll be more fuel efficient from the lost weight.

     
  7. Go for a romantic drive

  8. Work, home. Home, work. It's hardly adventurous is it? If you're not careful, you car will leave you for someone more exciting.

    Make a date to go somewhere nice, just you and your car. Park up with a good view and eat a sandwich. Top up the old screenwash. Lovely.

    If your chosen romantic location turns out to be more popular than you'd imagined, you've accidentally picked a local dogging spot. Leave immediately, before you're arrested.
     
  9. Promise you'll change

  10. What's one bad habit your car would thank you to give up?

    Mine's got to be going up through gears rather than skipping them when I can. I'm told I'll get through clutches like nobody's business. Eeek.

    Valentine's Day resolutions:

    • Filling up before the engine starts running on the gross fuel gunk at the bottom of your tank
    • Taking speed bumps slower to avoid grinding your exhaust on the road
    • Braking early and gently to keep your tyres and brakes nice (and be safe, obv)
    • Taking your foot off the clutch as soon as you're done changing gear to avoid wear

    You can find more car love tips on our Facebook and Instagram.
    Enjoy Valentine's Day!


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Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .