Some people have names for their cars, and many others don’t feel right driving another car for the first time. The point is that people consider their cars to be valuable, and you should, too. This entails taking proper care of your car so that it keeps its good look and performance for as long as possible.
Car maintenance doesn’t necessarily mean sliding under your car and peering into the engine. It is quite simple. Here are eight car maintenance tips to get you started:
You can always tell a terrible driver by the condition of their car. Bad drivers tend to bump into things, leaving their cars dented in multiple places. They also tend to over-speed, which is taxing for the car’s engine and tires – if it doesn’t kill you first.
It is advisable to drive carefully for your sake, the car’s sake, and the sake of other motorists. This means not over-speeding, following all the traffic laws, and more. It is also recommendable to practice defensive driving – it is good for your car, and it will reduce your chances of getting into accidents while on the road.
Clean Your Car Regularly
Dirt and dust on your car will make it look old, regardless of how new it is. It will also pose a wide range of mechanical problems. For example, mud on the body can cause staining and rust, while dust can increase friction between movable parts. As such, it is recommendable to clean your car regularly.
It is recommendable to clean your car at least twice weekly. However, the frequency will ultimately depend on how fast your car accumulates dirt – you will need to clean it more often if you usually drive on dusty roads, for example. Clean both the inside and outside, and be sure to use safe and non-corrosive detergents.
Check & Change the Air Filter Regularly
Clogged air filters are a common mechanical problem in most cars, and they tend to recur yearly. The problem is fairly simple at first, but it can cause more complicated mechanical problems.
The engine requires sufficient air supply for combustion. The air should be clean, or else dirt particles will damage the delicate mechanical components. This is what the air filter is designed for: to filter out particles from the air going into the engine.
However, the particles accumulate on the filter over time, causing clogging. Clogging limits the amount of air going into the engine, causing mechanical and performance complications. As such, it is recommendable to check the air filter regularly for clogging and replace it after every 12,000 miles – or as soon as you notice clogging.
Refill & Replace the Oil & Other Fluids Regularly
Your car’s engine also needs oil to perform optimally, in addition to clean air. The oil is necessary to lubricate the engine’s movable parts, which is necessary for rotating the wheels. To this end, insufficient oil causes friction, which is accompanied by disturbing car noises. To learn more about common car noises and what they mean click here.
It is recommendable to check your car’s oil regularly to ensure that it is both sufficient and clean. Refill the oil when it falls below the recommended amount, and replace it when it becomes dirty and discolored.
It is also recommendable to check all other car fluids regularly, as they are also crucial for the car’s performance. These fluids include transmission and power steering fluids.
Check the Tires Regularly
Check the tires regularly for two important aspects: treading and air pressure. Both of these aspects will determine your safety on the road, your car’s performance, and your overall driving experience.
For starters, the tires shouldn’t be too worn out. They should still feature visible treading, which is important for giving your car traction on the road for smooth and stable driving. Worn tires are a potential accident risk as they compromise braking by causing skidding.
Additionally, check to see that the tires always have the right amount of air pressure – not too much or too little. Interestingly, tire pressure will determine your car’s fuel efficiency – in addition to your safety on the road.
The Battery Isn’t Infinite
There is a growing call to switch from gas to electric cars. However, car manufacturers are still trying to make batteries that will store enough power to cover long distances. Sadly, even the current batteries have a limited charge capacity – and your battery will become depleted after some time.
The battery is necessary for ignition, and your car will not start without enough power – it can also suddenly switch off as you are driving. The battery is also necessary for powering the car’s electronic components, including the GPS and cell phone charger.
As such, check your car’s battery regularly and measure the remaining charge. Recharge it when the current charge gets depleted, and replace it when the cells become depleted.
Keep It Covered
Exposing your car to extreme elements for prolonged periods can cause a wide range of complications, so make sure to keep it covered if you aren't driving for a while. For example, prolonged exposure to sunlight causes damage to the paint job and affects the plastic and electrical components. Additionally, prolonged exposure to water and humidity can cause rusting. The car will also collect dirt inside and out when left outside for prolonged periods.
As such, it is recommendable to store your car in a garage. Alternatively, you can keep it covered if you plan on leaving it outdoors for longer than usual.
Schedule Regular Car Inspections
Your car may develop mechanical complications that are beyond your expertise or reach. Such complications should be handled by professional technicians or mechanics. To this end, it is advisable to schedule regular car inspections for your car – the recommended frequency is at least once per three months, depending on how much you use the car.
Your car is one of your most valuable assets – and it should be treated as such. You will save a lot of money on mechanical repairs (or buying another car) by taking better care of your car. Proper car maintenance will also help improve your safety on the road.