Choosing the right car is a big decision. It is often a large purchase and something you will rely on for many years to come.
You want your car to go the distance and get you safely to your destination again and again. While cars can be unpredictable, some extra attention could prolong the life, and looks, of your vehicle.
Here are our top tips for maintaining your car:
Keep Your Car Looking Good
The first thing you can do to maintain your car is look after its appearance. If possible, try to wash your car once a week. At the very least you should aim for once a fortnight. Keeping your car in good condition will mean when it is time to sell, you will be able to get the best possible price.
After traveling around the world, it is a good idea to wash your car. When washing your car, try to park somewhere in the shade and avoid days of extreme heat. If your car dries too quickly from the sun it may leave unsightly streaks.
Always wet your car first to remove any dust and dirt particles, and start from the roof and work your way down. It is important to use dedicated products which are designed specifically for vehicles. Your regular dish-washing liquid will be too harsh and could damage the shiny paint.
Use two separate sponges, one for the body and one for the wheels and try to avoid spreading grease and grime all over your car. Never let your car air dry as you will end up with water marks, instead use a chamois to remove any excess moisture.
If you notice any bird droppings on your car, make sure you remove them immediately. It is corrosive and can eat through the paintwork.
Once you have washed the outside, give the inside a clean using a portable vacuum. You can follow these steps at home, or at a car wash if it is more convenient.
If you can, keep your car parked under cover to keep it looking fresh and clean while avoiding paint fade from the sun. If you notice any dents or scratches, seeking assistance with car scratch repair may be required.
Schedule Regular Services
Now you know how to keep your car sparkling, you need to focus on its performance by having regular services. These should be done at least once every six months.
Choose a mechanic you can trust and make sure they keep your log book updated. The type of service you require may vary depending on how your car is running, but they are likely to do the following:
- Change the oil
- Check the various filters
- Replace the spark plugs
- Check the brake pads
- Tune the engine
- Check the brake fluid
- Check the battery
Check Your Oil
In between your regular car services, there are a few extra things you can do at home. If you have a copy of your cars manual you should become familiar with it as every vehicle is slightly different in how the parts are positioned.
Checking your oil should be done on a weekly basis and needs to be performed when the car is cool and on a flat surface. To check the level, push the dipstick in and see where a mark is left. It should be somewhere between the 2 grooves.
If you notice oil leaking underneath your car, it is a good idea to call your mechanic to make sure it isn’t something serious.
Other Items Which May Require a Top Up
While you are checking your oil, you may also like to fill up the water for your windscreen wipers. You should always use clean water and if you want to use a detergent it needs to be designed specifically for this purpose.
Check your wipers are still intact and not scraping your windscreen, these can be easily replaced by visiting your local car parts store.
Your power steering fluid and cooling should be done when the car is warm, after you have had it running for a short period. Check your manual for details on how to perform these actions.
Check Your Tires
Your tires should be checked monthly to ensure they have the correct air pressure. Visit your local petrol station as this is usually offered as a free service. If your tires are continuously deflating, they may be damaged and need to be replaced.
While you are there, check to ensure all of your lights are working correctly as you may need to occasionally change them.
By having a good mechanic and being able to get help with car scratch repair when you need it, you will prolong the life of your vehicle. Even if you aren’t mechanically minded, you should be able to master the basics and care for your car in between services.