Just like your home, a car is a huge investment. You’d want to keep it looking and working great for many years to come. Keeping your car in shape will save you money since it barely has to undergo repairs. It also prevents the car’s market value from depreciating quickly. That way, you can still sell your used car for a good price should you take that route.
8 Tips for Keeping Your Car in Nearly-Perfect Condition
1. Wash your car often
You should wash your vehicle at least once every 1 to 2 weeks. Depending on the weather and driving conditions, you may need to clean it more or less often.
Dust, mud, and grime will accumulate on the surface of your car. If left unattended, they can leave permanent marks, damage the paint, or corrode metal parts. That’s why you should clean them off.
Don’t forget to clean the tires and wheel rims. If possible, coat your car paint with wax. It provides an extra layer of protection against dirt and helps to preserve the paint, which may thin and fade over time.
2. Do some spring cleaning
Apart from the car surface, you should also keep the insides clean – including the trunk and glove compartment. Never leave behind food or liquids that could leave nasty stains and odors, or attract pests.
3. Get the windows tinted
Another way to preserve your car’s interiors is to have your windows tinted. Opt for glass tint that protects against both heat and UV rays. They can damage your seats and plastic parts like the dashboard.
4. Inflate, rotate, and align tires
Make sure that your tires are fully inflated at all times. Not only will it extend their lifespan and reduce your chances of needing a tire change. It also improves the car’s fuel efficiency.
Besides keeping them inflated, you should also have tires rotated once for every additional 3,000 to 5,000 miles; and aligned every 6 to 12 months. Rotating and aligning prevents uneven wear and tear of the tires. It also prevents damage to the car’s suspension.
5. Perform spark plug maintenance
You can further improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by cleaning and changing the spark plugs when necessary. Each misfiring spark plug decreases your fuel efficiency by 4 percent and cost you $4 for every $100 spent on gas.
6. Keep the radiator full
The radiator should always be filled with coolant. It prevents the car engine from overheating, which in turn, prevents damage and ensures that it’s working at optimum level.
7. Hire a car maintenance service
Get your vehicle checked out by a professional who can perform the following:
- Change the oils, air filters, and transmission fluid
- Test the car battery
- Secure hoses and belts in place
Every car is unique so be sure to check its manual for recommendations on preventive maintenance. Talk to your provider about other services which can preserve your car’s appearance and function.
8. Be a good driver
Above everything else, drive safely and properly care of your car. Take steps that will help you keep it in great shape, such as:
- Setting up ground rules regarding eating and smoking
- Parking your car in a shaded place
- Using a car cover and/or reflective windshields
- Protecting your car from the elements