Car Care and Maintenance Tips From the Pros
Cars decline in value over time, this will happen naturally as the car is used and its parts age. However, not all cars decline in value at the same rate. If you are not taking care of your car, you are not only going to increase the likelihood of it breaking down, but your car is going to decline in value at a faster rate. For those who are not interested in the resale value of their cars, the principle is based on the useful life cycle of the vehicle. This means that the better you care for your car, the longer that you will be able to drive it for i.e it has a longer useful lifespan. Being able to sell your car or its parts at the end of its useful life is then a bonus that can be invested into your new vehicle. Now that you have more of an idea of why others may place such an emphasis on caring for their cars, let’s discuss some common care and maintenance tips from people who know what they are talking about.
Don’t Ignore Problems
A common theme in new car owners or people who have a lot of car trouble is to ignore minor problems because the car can still drive. Or, to block out that new squeak, hiss, bang, or grinding sound. This is akin to not seeing a medical professional when you pull a hamstring or sprain an ankle because you can still hobble from A to B. While this very human behavior is understandable (Because car maintenance can be expensive!), you are going to save money in the long run by paying for maintenance in the short run. In this case, prevention is definitely better than cure. Replacing a car, an engine, and other expensive parts is going to be a lot more expensive than the inconvenient car fix that you didn’t account for this month, not to mention the forgone transport or loss in value of your vehicle. It’s worth educating yourself on common car issues, check out AutoGuysLand to learn all things cars. For those who may not be concerned about ignoring problems, because they haven’t driven their cars in a while, this is a problem in itself. When cars are not driven for a long time, problems can occur, such as dead batteries, misshapen tires, and even pests getting under the hood.
Do Routine Checkups
This is another common habit amongst car owners. People are busy and often forget to have a mechanic check their car, but more importantly, people forget to check on their cars themselves. Make it a habit of doing your own regular routine checks, and then, every few months have a mechanic check it out. Things to keep in mind when you do your own routine checks are things like water, oil levels, oil changes, and tire pressure. The car gurus say that you should never guess these quantities (especially tire pressure), always check inside your car or your owner’s manual to get the correct amount. Less frequent things to do are rotating your wheels and checking your wheel alignment.
You should also consult your owner’s manual to know what parts need to be routinely replaced. For example, brake pads will need to be replaced, usually around every 50 000km. These things can easily slip through the cracks, so take stock and leave a visible sticky note on your mirror if you need to. However, this is also the benefit of seeing a mechanic, as they have the experience and foresight to check these for you and ask you these questions.
It’s also important to have your car washed, which is a great excuse to get outside and get some sun these days. Chemicals, mud, and salt can slowly damage your car’s paint over time, which can lead to rusting. This is why it is essential to spray underneath your vehicle to protect the most important parts. Keep this in mind when going on an off-road trip. The interior also needs your love and care. Vacuum to remove dust, sand, and grit that can damage the floor and seats. This is especially important if you are planning on trading your car in to buy a new vehicle.
After reading this you should now hopefully have an idea of why it’s important to care for your car. You should also have a grasp of the two principles discussed, “Don’t ignore problems” and “Do routine checkups”. You can also benefit from visiting a mechanic routinely. However, don’t leave it all up to the mechanics, do your own regular checks and consult your owner’s manual.