Whether you've just bought a new vehicle or have been driving an old favorite for a long time, regular car maintenance can improve your vehicle's performance, safety and your wallet. Many car owners mistakenly pay attention to maintaining their car only when an expensive problem arises.
In addition to high-quality details and protective paint, regular car maintenance can keep your car in top condition, lower future maintenance costs and extend its service life. You don't need to have an in-depth knowledge of your car to get started, as simple car maintenance steps such as checking tire pressure or replacing windshield wipers can improve the performance and life of your car.
Keep your car in good condition and its resale value as high as possible with these 7 practical car care tips.
1. Keep the car clean
The simplest and most cost-effective vehicle maintenance you can do is wash your car. In addition to the obvious aesthetic benefits, keeping the car clean protects its exterior and ensures good visibility while driving.
We recommend washing your car every 2 - 4 weeks depending on factors such as weather, driving frequency and how often the windshield is dirty.
Regular car washing can also prevent costly paint repairs by removing dirt and residual dirt that can damage the paintwork over time.
While many of us have fond memories of washing the family car in the driveway, washing it at home has the potential to damage your vehicle. Many people use a bucket of soap to clean their car, but if you don't wet a cloth or sponge in clean water every time, you risk picking up dirt and debris that can scratch the paintwork.
When it comes to keeping your car clean and in good condition, it's best to avoid the risk and invest in a professional car wash or premium detailing service instead.
2. Check the engine oil
Regardless of what the gauges on your dashboard may display, it's a good idea to regularly check the engine oil level. A car's engine oil is critical to its performance, and problems with engine oil can lead to serious and costly damage to the vehicle.
Protect your vehicle by having your engine oil checked regularly using this simple process:
Make sure your vehicle is parked on level ground.
With the engine cold, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth.
Reinsert the dipstick making sure it is fully seated.
Your oil level should be between the min and max lines on the dipstick and needs topping up if below the min (a drawing of this would be beneficial)
3. Check the tire pressure
Did you know that tires account for up to 20% of your car's fuel consumption? Even marginal deflation in tires can lead to a costly increase in fuel consumption. Tire emptying is also a safety issue that can result in poor driving or tire damage.
Although many modern cars are equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems, it is still important to check the tire pressure as part of your regular car care. In addition to tire pressure, you should also check that the tires have enough thread. The legal minimum depth is 1,5 millimeters, although you should consider changing your tires before they get to this point.
Tires can also deteriorate with age. With that in mind, if your vehicle currently has a set of tires that are over 6 years old, it may be time to replace them.
4. Check your lights
Another essential feature of car care is making sure your vehicle's lights are in working order. In addition to the legal requirements, obvious safety issues should also be considered.
While you can often see that the headlights are not working properly, it can be difficult to spot other lights on your vehicle that are failing. Make sure that all lights on your vehicle, including turn signals, reversing lights, and fog lights, are operational as part of your regular routine car maintenance.
5. Check the condition of the car battery
Carrying out regular battery checks is important to keep your car both safe and functional. A quick visual inspection and cleaning of your car's battery at least once a year will prolong its life and ensure optimal performance of your car.
The first thing to look for when inspecting a car battery is the presence of dried white battery acid, dirt, or corrosion. These materials can adversely affect the performance of your car, so be sure to keep the top of the car battery and its terminals clean.
Before starting the cleaning process, you must first remove the cables, starting with the negative. It is best to use a wire brush with corrosion remover to clean the corrosive material. An alternative can also be the traditional combination of baking soda and water.
6. Change the windshield wipers
Maintaining the highest level of visibility on the road is critical to the safety of you and other drivers. Whenever the windshield wipers show visible damage, they must be replaced.
Replacing the wiper blades is a quick and relatively inexpensive part of car maintenance and should be intuitive thanks to the instructions in the vehicle's manual. As a general rule, always replace the wiper blades every 6-12 months, regardless of their visible condition.
Another important feature of car care is topping up the windscreen wiper fluid. The washer fluid reservoir is located under the hood and is marked with the windshield wiper symbol. (Include a picture of where to find the wiper fluid). Fill the washer fluid reservoir with the correct amount of water and washer fluid according to the instructions on the bottle. Do not use any household detergents as they may damage the wiper blades or the car body.
7. Receive your car regularly
Combined with the usual car washes, professional auto detailing of your vehicle can help restore its appearance like new and prevent further wear and tear.
Car detailing is a specialized cleaning process that goes beyond simply washing your car to help restore and protect the interior and exterior of your car. While a regular car wash simply cleans your car, car details remove blemishes and tough stains, renew the paintwork and enliven the interior.
Extra retail services like applying specialty waxes or polishes will keep your car shiny while helping to ward off future minor paint marks.