The reason why most people barely get five years of service out of their cars is that they don’t look after them properly; so long as the check engine light is off then you’re good to go, right? Wrong! A lot more goes into the proper care of a car than that and here’s the complete lowdown that could save you tons of money, and possibly your life, in the long run.
1) Cleaning your car at least once every 30 days
The importance of cleaning a car, both the exterior and interior, is often a simple yet overlooked practice that could alleviate long-term mechanical problems as grim and dirt tend to build up in places where they ought not to be. For effective cleaning, you’ll need a topnotch vacuum cleaner for the inside and a quality car wash for the outside.
2) Change your oil regularly
There is generally a grey area about the standard requirement for oil (you can find out from your local mechanic what suits your car best) but what professionals do agree on is that you should change yours regularly. As a general rule of thumb, do so as soon as your distance gauge hits the 7,000-mile mark and be sure to use a reputable name. Not changing your oil could eventually send your engine to the mechanic’s ICU and you could be staring at an eyewatering bill upwards of a thousand dollars.
3) Keep tabs on tire pressure and practice frequent rotation
A new tire will set you back between $300 and $800 dollars so it’s important that you make the most of what you have. You can do so by rotating tires every 7,000 miles to facilitate even wear and by ensuring correct tire pressure which avoids problems such as a flat tire, reduced gas mileage, body imbalance and ineffective braking.
4) Know how to deal with scratches
You’ll need a quality polish and wax for this purpose and it’s important that you steer clear of buffers- unless you’re looking at some very deep scratches- rather use your hand and a microfiber towel or a clean, cotton cloth for removing car scratches. For maximum effectiveness, apply the product to the cloth then use your finger to gently apply pressure on it and swipe along the scratch back and forth for about half a minute. The scratch should be gone and you can clean up with the microfiber towel to better the polish. If it won’t budge though, you’ll need a more aggressive compound with heavier grit.
5) Replace your breaks periodically
It’s really a no-brainer why you need to get your brakes checked out by a professional every so often as aside from saving you hundreds of bucks in replacing failing brake rotors, it’ll also save you a trip to the ER. Preferably, have your brakes changed after every 25,000 miles.
A car is a long-term investment that should be treated as such. If you take good care of it then it will do the same for you.