Maintaining your car is a very important step that every car owner must follow to increase the life span of a car and always make it look brand new. Always follow your maintenance schedule and never ignore or delay it. Preventive maintenance is the best thing that you can do for your car to increase its life and also save money on repairs.
Never ignore your preventive maintenance as they may tell you when to change oil, check tire pressure or get inspections. The best guide you can get is from your owner’s manual. However, we have provided some car maintenance tips to help you plan your schedule. Here are ten basic car care and maintenance tips to follow:
Drive with care
Do not accelerate your engine during start-up as this quickly adds to the wear of the car engine. Accelerate slowly when you begin your drive. Shift to neutral at red lights to give the engine some time to rest. Be car considerate and you will be rewarded with longer time between repairs.
Wash your car once a week
Washing your car keeps it clean, shiny and free from corrosion. Remember to clean the car interior too. Dirt particles are abrasive while spilled liquids such as sodas and juices can be corrosive. Vacuum your car interior thoroughly and wipe the lenses on the dashboard with a soft damp cloth.
Take your mats out and brush or hose them down. This will remove dirt that may otherwise create wear in your mats if they build up. Dry the mats thoroughly in the sun before placing them back in the car.
Wax your car
Waxing your car regularly protects your cars paint job by slowing oxidation and by creating a barrier against bird droppings and pollution. It also makes the car look good by adding extra shine.
Park in the shade
Parking your car in the shade prevents interior damage by UV rays and protects your cars paint job. If a shaded area is not available, use a car shade to minimise the suns impact.
Change engine oil and filter regularly
Many new car owner manuals recommend increasing the interval between oil changes. It is still necessary especially if you are maintaining a used car. Frequent oil changes flush abrasive dirt and metal particles out of the engine, thus prolonging its life. Change the oil filters as old filters contain build-up of oil and dirt particles that will otherwise remain and mix with the new, clean oil.
Take care of your tyres
Check your tyre pressure at regular intervals and keep them inflated to the recommended pressure specified in your user manual. Another thing to look out for is uneven wear. If you have properly maintained the tyre pressure, then uneven wear might suggest that it is time for wheel realignment. Uneven wear also suggests worn-out brakes or shock absorbers, a bent wheel or internal tyre damage.
Also have your wheel alignment checked every 50 000 km. Improper wheel alignment shortens the life of your tyres and causes steering problems. See if your steering is stiffer than usual or if your car pulls to one side. If it does, you need to have your wheel alignment checked.
Clean your car engine
Wash your engine at least every year. A clean engine runs cooler than a dirty one. A clean engine also enables you to easily spot leaks and service its components. You may have your engine professionally steam cleaned or you may opt to do it yourself.
In this case, make sure you protect sensitive engine components including the air intake, distributor and electrical parts with plastic bags before getting started. You may use a grease-cutting detergent and a bristle brush to scrub the engine. Make sure to rinse thoroughly once done.
Change spark plugs
Many manufacturers recommend changing spark plugs every 50 000 km. This ensures good fuel mileage and high engine performance.
Maintain your car battery
It does not matter if the manufacturer claims that the battery is maintenance-free, you still have to regularly check your car battery to extend its life. Start by keeping your battery terminals clean. You may wipe it with a damp rag with some detergent if needed. Also check the battery case for any sign of damage. Cracks or bulges are signs that your car battery needs to be replaced.
Select a reliable car insurer
No matter how careful you are, accidents or damages are inevitable. In this case, you need to have a car insurer you can trust. Choose a car insurer who replaces damaged parts only with original parts from the manufacturer and who can give you guarantees on repairs.