New drivers should understand that some work is involved, other than just driving when you own a car.
Moreover, used cars deserve extra special attention if you wish to keep them running smoothly. And whether it’s a new or used car, working to prevent problems occurring can save you a lot of money in the long run.
This article will explore ten car maintenance tips that should stand you in good stead.
So now enough of the introductions, let’s get to it!
1. Steady Starts
When turning on your engine, it’s always worth letting the engine run for 30 seconds if you’re not in a rush and it’s cold out.
But, the car only really starts to warm up when you begin to accelerate the engine. The trick is to take it slowly when accelerating, though. Also, it’s good practice to put your engine in neutral when your stop at red lights.
Follow these practices, and you’ll have a better chance of running your car for longer.
2. Change Your Oil and Filter Often
There is a bit of a debate about how long the period between oil changes should.
However, a safe bet is to make regular oil changes, particularly if you maintain a used vehicle. Oil changes regularly remove abrasive dirt and metal particles from the engine, extending its existence.
Ensure to replace the oil filters because the old ones have a residue of oil and dirt particles that can mix with the fresh, clean oil if not replaced.
3. Wash Your Car Regularly
Car washing keeps your car looking fresh but, more importantly, corrosion-free.
It’s also worth paying attention to the inside of your vehicle too. Liquids such as coffee and juice can be corrosive, while dirt can scuff up your upholstery. Vacuum your car interior well, then use a soft, damp rag to clean the screens on the dashboard. Finally, brush or hose down your mats – and obviously take them out of the car before you do that!.
Try to carry out this type of thorough cleaning routine for the inside and of your car every week.
4. Wax Your Vehicle
Of course, waxing is optional, and it can be an extra expense that you might not need.
But when you wax your car, it protects your paintwork by slowing down the oxidation process. Furthermore, it will act as a protective layer against bird excrement and other types of dirt and bugs that can hit your car.
Also, your car will look great after a thorough waxing. And you should only really think about getting your car max maybe every three months or so.
5. Park Your Car in the Shade
Parking in the shade protects the car’s interior from UV rays and protects the paintwork.
If you don’t have access to a shaded area, you can consider using a car shade to reduce the sun’s harsh effects. There are some very easy-to-erect car shades on the market these days that don’t take long to set up.
6. Look After Your Tires Correctly
Check your tire pressures and maintain them to the required pressure stated in your user manual at regular intervals.
Uneven wear is another thing to keep an eye out for. Even if your tire’s pressures have been adequately checked and controlled, uneven wear can indicate that it is time for a wheel realignment. Uneven wear may also be a warning sign of worn brakes or shock absorbers, a bent rim, or tire damage from inside.
Many mechanics will recommend you have your wheel alignment tested every two to three years. Wheel alignment issues shorten the life of your tires and trigger steering issues. Check to see if the car’s steering is stiffer than expected or if it pulls to one side. If it does, you need to get your wheel alignment tested.
7. Clean Your Engine
At the very least, wash your engine once a year. A clean engine runs at better temperatures than one that has been dirtied. A clean engine also makes it easier to detect leaks and maintain its components.
You can opt to get your engine professionally cleaned with steam. Or you can clean your engine by yourself if you have the time and want to save money.
To clean your engine, you can use plastic bags to cover sensitive engine components such as the air intake, distributor, and electrical parts before starting. Scrub the engine with a grease-cutting detergent and a bristled brush. Once you’ve finished, make sure to rinse thoroughly.
8. Maintain Your Vehicle’s Battery
Even if the manufacturer says that the battery is maintenance-free, check your car battery regularly to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.
If necessary, wipe down your battery’s terminals with a damp rag and some detergent. Also, search for any signs of damage on the battery case. Cracks or swelling in your car battery indicates that it will need replacing.
9. Change Your Spark Plugs
Changing your spark plugs is an excellent way to keep the engine running efficiently and effectively.
The potential for misfires will increase your exhaust emissions while also reducing gas mileage. As a result, a car owner needs to pay attention to warning signs of potential spark plug issues.
10. Select a Reputable Insurance Provider
Accidents and damage to your car are likely, no matter how diligent you are. In this scenario, you’ll need a dependable auto insurer.
Therefore, choosing a car insurance company that only replaces defective components with original manufacturer parts makes sense. Plus, it would help if the company also offers you repair guarantees.
We should also recommend that you find a highly reputable car service in your area and listen to their valuable advice.
Take Note of These Car Maintenance Tips
If you are a new driver getting into the groove with driving, make sure to take note of this general maintenance advice.
Carrying out these suggested car maintenance tips from the get-go will help you to develop them as good habits. And then, years down the line, when your car is still looking great and running smoothly, you’ll be able to pat yourself on the back.
So all that’s left to say is, good luck with the new ride, and please check out our blog for all things cars!