Car Care Basics Tips For Keeping Your Vehicle in Good Shape

Cars are not considered an investment because their value depreciates over time. However, it can’t be argued they are very practical assets, as they ensure freedom of movement and independence. Having a good car is all the more important for people who live in areas with poor public transport infrastructure or those who have to travel long distances regularly.

As a car owner, you want to make sure your vehicle maintains its performance, reliability, and appearance over time so you can enjoy all the benefits it provides for longer. Good car care will help you prevent unexpected breakdowns, avoid costly repairs, extend the lifespan of your vehicle, and increase its resale value.

From maintenance tasks to driving habits, let’s see what you can do to keep your car in great working condition and enjoy comfortable and trouble-free trips in the long run.

Keeping Your Vehicle in Good Condition

1. Service Your Car Regularly

Just like you go (or at least should go) for routine check-ups at the doctor, you should also have your car regularly inspected, because prevention is better than cure. So, you don’t have to wait for your car to show signs of malfunction to get it serviced. When this happens, it usually means you might have to prepare for some serious repairs and associated costs.

Instead, you should schedule routine maintenance for your vehicle based on mileage or manufacturer recommendations. It is generally advised to perform a minor service on your car every six months or 6000 miles, and a major service once per year or every 12,000, depending on what comes first.

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Servicing implies checking different internal and external components and features of your vehicle such as:

  • Engine oil and filter
  • fluid and coolant levels
  • brakes
  • engine
  • transmission
  • steering
  • exhaust
  • tires
  • suspensions
  • lights, etc.

The purpose is to replace consumable items such as motor oil and brake fluid, see if your car is functioning correctly and detect any potential issues before they turn into a bigger problem, so you can enjoy peace of mind.

While you can take care of some basic maintenance tasks yourself, routine visits to the auto shop are still necessary given that professional mechanics have the knowledge, skills, and reliable diagnostic tools from reputable providers like Carvitas to ensure your car is properly serviced.

2. Develop Good Car Care Habits

Maintenance aside, your driving habits also have a major impact on your vehicle’s health and performance.

– Don’t neglect your car

You might think that keeping your car in the garage for a long time is going to minimise wear and tear and therefore prolong its lifespan. However, long periods of inactivity can have a detrimental effect on your car and lead to all sorts of issues, including running out of battery, tire pressure decreasing more quickly, rusted breaks, or rodent infestation.

Also, if you don’t use your car at all in the winter, the cold temperatures will likely reduce your battery’s life. The simple fix to all these problems is to drive your car regularly, at least a couple of times a week. 

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– Avoid damaging habits

It’s also important to avoid driving habits that can damage your car. Things like aggressive driving, skipping warm-up times, resting your foot on the clutch pedal while driving, overloading the vehicle, excessive revving, or driving on rough terrain can contribute to engine wear and tear and severely impact your car’s longevity. 

3. Don’t ignore warning lights 

Warning lights are there for a reason: to notify you of potential issues with your car so you can take immediate action and prevent further damage. Whether it’s the check engine light, the oil pressure warning, or the battery warning light, seeing these alerts pop up on your dashboard is usually not a good sign.

Therefore, you should never dismiss them as unimportant but investigate the issue further and address it promptly before it turns into an expensive repair. Having an OBD diagnostic device from popular brands like Autel can help a lot in this respect, but it’s much safer to take your car to the mechanic for a thorough check.

It’s equally important to pay attention to other warning signs like smells, leaks, or noises. If you happen to see fluid leaks underneath your car, hear unusual noises, or feel strange smells coming from your vehicle, it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection ASAP.

4. Keep your car clean 

Car cleanliness might not seem that important compared to other maintenance tasks, but it’s going to make a big difference in the long run. That’s because regularly cleaning your vehicle is not only going to ensure it looks nice and shiny and makes your rides more enjoyable, but it’s also going to extend its life and improve its resale value.

Here’s a quick list with some of the steps you should take to keep your car clean and safe:

  • wash and dry your car’s exterior
  • clean tires and wheels
  • apply wax to protect the paint
  • use a tire lubricant
  • remove trash and clutter
  • clean the seats
  • vacuum the carpets

Apart from cleaning your vehicle on a regular basis, you might also want to have a professional cleaning done every now and then. This will help you get rid of any stubborn stains and remove unpleasant odours from your vehicle.

While car maintenance can add an extra expense to your budget, the benefits it provides far exceed the costs. Prioritising car care is going to help you keep your car in perfect working condition for longer and save you a lot of money over time. Keep these simple steps in mind and make sure you give your car the care and attention it deserves.

Safe and happy driving, everyone.

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