Our vehicles are not only an investment in convenience and lifestyle, they’re responsible for keeping us safe in our travels. If you fail to properly maintain your vehicle you risk hefty future maintenance costs and unexpected problems which can quickly worsen. Even more importantly, the safety of your family and other road users could be compromised by hidden dangers brewing under the bonnet. These are our top tips on how to keep your car in tip top shape.
How to keep your car clean
Cleaning your car regularly helps to keep it healthy. Wash the body exterior regularly to remove the dirt, grime, droppings, bugs and debris we collect on a daily basis. Letting these environmental pollutants build up can lead to premature damage to your paintwork and rust problems. These issues can be extremely costly to repair are largely preventable with thorough regular cleaning.
When you wash your car, add a good sealant or wax as an added layer of protection. This not only makes your general cleaning easier, it can protect your surfaces for months against scratching and fading.
Cleaning the interior of your vehicle is equally as important. The condition of the vehicle interior is a determining factor in its resale value. And if you keep the inside of your car nice, you’ll enjoy your vehicle more yourself. Keep the dash and steering wheel clean with a microfibre cloth and small amount of dedicated vehicle interior cleaner.
Although it can be almost impossible for families with children or people who drive for extended periods, try not to eat or drink in your vehicle. It’s best to avoid stains, spills, smells and crumbs dropped in hard-to-reach places; not only that, it’s not safe to eat while you’re driving. Invest in floor mats and seat covers to preserve the condition of your upholstery and flooring.
In addition to your own cleaning efforts it would be ideal if you could book your vehicle in for a pampering with a professional detailer at least twice per year; but we understand that’s not always in the budget.
How to maintain your tyres
The condition of your tyres is a critical safety concern, and proper tyre care can save you a lot of money in fuel and vehicle maintenance. Regular wheel alignments and balancing helps to minimise wear and tear on other parts of the vehicle; such as your brakes and steering.
Ensure the tread of your tyres is nice and deep and not too worn down, this affects your vehicle handling and helps your car run efficiently. You should also check your tyre pressure and keep them inflated to the optimal level according to manufacturing instructions.
Choose clean fuel
You may have noticed on some occasions when you’ve filled up your vehicle, it doesn’t seem to run and hum as smoothly as it was before. If you’ve refueled at a different service station than your usual, the culprit might be dirty fuel. Generally this occurs at service stations with a low turnover of petrol. When it comes time for them to replenish fuel stores, the tanker pump system can stir up sediment and residue from fuel that had been sitting in the tank for a period of time. If your car loves high quality fuel, drive past the empty servo’s with the western-style tumble weeds, and line up with everyone else at the busy ones.
Perform regular checks and on-time services
You should regularly check your car’s fluids to maintain your oil, water, and coolant levels. While doing that, check there’s no corrosion around your battery terminals, which is a common cause of a car that won’t start. If you find a white powder around the terminals, clean using water and a wire brush; but wear protective eyewear and gloves because the substance is toxic.
Check your windscreen and windows for any minor damage, loose seals or scratches. Damage to your windscreen should be attended to immediately to avoid it hindering the structural integrity of the car and/or getting worse, and leading to a costly replacement. Ensure your wipers are clean and clear of debris that may scratch your windscreen, and maintain washer fluid levels. If your wipers are not efficiently cleaning your windscreen, or have cracked or perished in our harsh climate, it’s time they are replaced – which most people can easily do themselves.
Have your vehicle professionally serviced by your trusted mechanic, preferably prior to the service coming due. Be sure to tell your technician of any noises, bumps, changes in performance and general concerns you may have.
How to tell when your vehicle needs some love
Modern cars in particular have a number of indicators if there’s something wrong with the vehicle. These are the warning signs to look out for, if any of these things occur, visit your trusted mechanic for a checkup ASAP.
- Dashboard warning light staying on
- Temperature gauge is running hot
- Unusual noises, clunks, bumps or vibrations
- Oil pressure gauge returning a low reading
- Steering is pulling to one side or vehicle is wandering
- Any concerns or abnormalities when braking
- Unusual elevated consumption of oil or fuel
- Car is difficult to start
- Spilling oil or coolant when parked
- Smoke is emanating from the exhaust pipe
Love your car, save money and maintain value
The great news is you don’t have to be a mechanic to take care of many important aspects of your vehicle maintenance. Together with your trusty serviceman you can keep your car schmick and happy for a long time to come. You’ll thank yourself when it comes time to sell. Well looked after vehicles hold their value and sell significantly faster than their poor neglected counterparts. Drive safely, carefully, cleanly and well maintained.
Novus Auto Glass specialise in windscreen repair technology and strive to provide you with the best possible care for your car. Services include windscreen repair and replacement as well as glass restoration and polishing. Call us to see how we can help you on 13 22 34.