Your car is important to you, not just because it gets you from one place to another, but also because it is a significant personal investment. As such, you probably know that you need to take good care of it to avoid breakdowns and ensure that it remains reliable for as long as possible. Regular maintenance is particularly important if the car is used than if it is a new car.
Therefore to help you get the most out of your vehicle whether it is new or used, we thought we’d share with you the 10 basic and maintenance tips to follow to keep your car in the best condition.
1. Drive Carefully
You’ve probably heard this before, but in reference to safety and not as a maintenance tip. What most people don’t realize is that if you accelerate you engine during start-up, you are likely to wear out your engine much faster. Accelerate slowly when you begin to drive and be sure to shift to neutral at a red light to give your engine some time to recover.
2. Wash Your Car
Aside from simply keeping the vehicle clean, washing your car is also one of the best ways to keep corrosion at bay. When cleaning, be sure to wash out every part of the car including the interior, mats and the dashboard.
3. Wax the Car
Waxing your car is also one way to protect the paint job from oxidation which can be caused by natural events such as bird droppings or various forms of pollution. It also doesn’t hurt that the car will appear shinier.
4. Keep the Car Out of the Sun
When you are not driving, try as much as you can to park the car in the shade. This will prevent interior damage that can be caused by UV rays and also protects the car’s pain job. If you can’t find shade, use a car shade to minimize the effects if the sun on your vehicle.
5. Change the Oil and Filter Regularly
Even though manufacturers recommend increasing the interval between oil changes, it is still important that you check and change the oil on a regular basis, particularly if you have an older vehicle. Changing the oil regularly can help remove abrasive dirt and metal particles from the engine which can go a long way in helping to prolong the engine’s life.
6. Care For Your Tires
It is also equally as important to check your tire pressure regularly and keep them inflated as per the specifications in your user manual. One other thing you should look out for in your tires is uneven wear which is usually an indication that you need wheel realignment. Improper wheel alignment can shorten the life of your tires and even cause steering problems.
7. Clean the Car Engine
It is also very important that you wash your engine at least one a year. This is because a clean engine will run a lot cooler than a dirty one and will also make it easier for you to spot leaks and repair them before they can become bigger problems. It may be a good idea to get the engine professionally cleaned rather than doing it yourself, especially if you have more sensitive components. But if you would like to do it yourself, you can use a detergent and a bristle brush to scrub the engine. Just make sure you rinse the engine properly.
8. Change the Spark Plugs
All manufacturers recommend that you replace your spark plugs every 50,000 km. This is to ensure that the vehicle remains in good performance and ensures good fuel mileage.
9. Practice Good Car Battery Maintenance
Even if the vehicle manufacturer says that the battery is maintenance-free, you still need to have the battery regularly checked if you want to extend its life. The simplest things to do, is to make sure that the battery terminals remain clean. You can do that easily by clean damp rug to wipe the terminals clean. It is also very important that you regularly check the battery for any signs of damage that may point to the need to replace the battery. If you see any cracks or bulges, it may be time to get a new battery for your car. Also be sure to check your number plates for any signs of dirt (as this can lead the car actually becoming illegal on the roads if others aren’t able to clearly see your number plate)
10. Get Good Insurance
It is important to recognize the importance of great insurance because no matter how careful you are, accidents or damage are almost inevitable. The best insurer will replace damaged parts with original parts from a manufacturer who can guarantee repairs in case of future damage.