Taking care of your car is crucial for its longevity, performance and appearance. Cars are not cheap, so you need to know how to look after them!
Here are some top tips for looking after your car, technically and aesthetically:
Maintenance to carry out regularly:
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules for oil changes, fluid checks, filter replacements and tune-up. Check your tyres regularly, including tyre pressures, tread wear, and alignment.
Check and maintain the proper levels of engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and windshield washer fluid. Make an effort to check for any leaks and remember to address any issues promptly.
Check the battery terminals for corrosion and clean them if you need to. Test the battery occasionally, but especially before long trips. If there are signs of weakness, replace your battery.
Don’t brake suddenly and avoid accelerating harshly, this can increase wear and tear on your car's components.
Warm up the engine before driving in colder conditions, this allows the oil to circulate properly.
Protecting the exterior:
Wash your car as often as you can to remove dirt, salt, bird poo and so on, as this can all damage your paintwork.
Use wax or paint sealant to protect the paint and it also provides a nice glossy finish!
Try to park in shaded areas, or use a car cover to protect the car from excessive sun exposure.
Vacuum the interior of your car to remove any dirt or debris that could end up leaving a stain.
Use UV protectants on the dashboard surface, and leather seats if you have them, to prevent fading and cracking.
Try to resist eating or drinking in your car as crumbs and spillages can cause stains and bad smells, especially if you didn’t realise you’d dropped some!
If you’re going to not be driving your car for a while, consider storing your car in a garage or covered to protect it from the elements. Use car covers that have been designed for long-term storage to prevent dust and scratches.
Pay attention to any unusual sounds, vibrations, or warning lights on the dashboard. If you do notice anything suspicious, address them promptly to prevent any further damage.
Avoid speeding, potholes and drive defensively to minimise the risk of any accidents and damage to your car.
Proper care and maintenance can help your car last a lot longer than those that are neglected. Keeping your car in good condition will help it maintain its value too!
For any questions that you may have, check out the car's manual for specific maintenance guidelines and recommendations from the manufacturer.