Americans have always been known to have a love affair with cars with the average household spending as much as $9,049 (and countless hours) on everything including fuel, repairs and general maintenance according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Taking proper care of your car’s interior, exterior, and the engine is of utmost importance if you want to ensure your car remains in peak condition. Though there will be instances where qualified mechanics may be required to carry out advanced vehicle repairs, most car owners are more than capable of carrying out routine maintenance themselves.
Regular maintenance is a must
As a rule of thumb, most automotive manufacturers will recommend servicing your car every twelve months or 8,000 miles, whichever comes first. Although it may be ideal to always have a professional mechanic work on your car, it is not always financially viable or necessary as there are a number of routine checks and maintenance jobs you can do yourself. As long as you have the correct tools on hand and have a basic understanding of how the various parts of a car function, you can easily install new windscreen wipers, change your air filter, and fit new spark plugs without batting an eyelid.
Top up your fluids and change your oil regularly
To keep your car in tip-top shape you need to regularly check the levels of important fluids including radiator fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, air conditioning coolant, and oil. Apart from keeping your oil level in check, you also need to change it which entails buying a new oil filter and some oil. Don’t ever attempt changing your oil without laying down one or two containment mats, depending on size, to prevent your garage floor or driveway being soiled by old oil. Changing your oil isn’t difficult but it will require you to have some safety precautions in place to prevent you from getting badly hurt or your car getting damaged in the process.
Keep your car looking its best
Not only does your car’s paint contribute immensely to its aesthetic appeal, but it also acts as its primary line of defense against rust. One of your car’s greatest enemies in terms of deteriorating paint is the sun. The sun’s UV rays can cause substantial damage to your car’s paint job, causing it to fade and make your car look old and worn-out. Caustic bird droppings can also cut through the paint on your car, making it imperative to park your car in a safe place at all times. While it is ideal to always park in a garage it is, understandably, not always possible. Thankfully there are a number of ways in which you can keep your car exterior looking brand-new such as regular washing and waxing.
Clean your car with care
Unless you take your car for a full valet service on a regular basis, you will have to take care of its washing and waxing at home. Before you start washing your car make sure you have parked it out of direct sunlight. Always hose off any loose dirt and grime that can result in scratches during the washing process. Only ever use a soft cloth or mitt and a decent automotive shampoo to give your pride and joy a good wash. After hand-drying the exterior you can gently apply a good-quality wax that will leave your car shining like the day it was bought while also protecting it against the sun. Don’t forget to clean the interior of your car with the same enthusiasm as you did the outside, paying special attention to both the dashboard and the upholstery.
Taking care of a beloved vehicle will hardly ever feel like a chore. Instead, you will be rewarded with a vehicle that looks and sounds brand-new for many years to come thanks to your diligence in keeping it well maintained inside and out.
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