We’ve all heard a million different variations on how to take care of your car, but what are the big hitters for making sure your car is performing and running the way it should? Below are the best and easiest things you can do to keep your car running great for years to come.
- Regular oil changes
The easiest way to keep your car running properly with barely any work required is to get regular oil changes. And, the fastest way to ruin your car is to not get regular oil changes. So, the decision should be quite easy if you want your car’s engine to last as long as possible! Oil keeps your car’s engine lubricated and running smoothly, and if you are low on oil or don’t change it, the oil will become dirty and run less efficiently.
If you let your oil go for too long, your entire engine may shut down and need to be replaced altogether. Replacing an engine can often be just as much as buying a used car, so make sure those oil changes are done regularly! Oil changes are relatively simple to do yourself as well, if you feel up for it and want to save the extra money. Make sure you do your research first, and follow detailed instructions like these.
- Follow your car’s service schedule
Another really simple way to keep your car running great is to follow the service schedule recommended for your type of car. Most makes of cars will have a recommended service schedule that you can get from your car dealership if purchased new. You can also look on the internet for the schedule, such as this one for Honda cars. These schedules make it incredibly easy to add to your calendar and bring to your auto mechanic to review.
- Warrant of fitness
You already know that your car will need to pass the regular warrant of fitness check, so why not make sure your car is ready to go prior to your inspection? This way, you won’t have any unwelcome surprises come inspection time that stop you from being able to drive your car. A couple of the big issues that are easy to take care of right now are your tyres and lights. Head on over to your nearest air station and check your tyre pressure and fill if needed. While you’re at it, check all of your lights to make sure they’re working properly.
An easy way to make sure your car will always pass the warrant of fitness is to find a mechanic that can service your car as well as perform the inspection. That way you’ll be ahead of the game and the inspection should go smoothly with no surprise issues.
- Keep your car clean
It may not seem like it, but keeping your car clean is a vital part of keeping your car in good condition. For the interior, things like dust, dirt, remnants of food, rocks and sand can make their way into the crevices of your seats, upholstery, and car mats. Over time this will wear down the carpet fibres and will be much more difficult to clean out. Make sure you are vacuuming your car on a regular basis to remove surface dirt as well as the dirt embedded in your seats and car mats.
If you live in an area that uses salt or sand for slippery roads, you’ll need to be especially concerned with keeping your car clean. Salt, in particular, can wear down your car and eventually result in rust. To avoid this, wash your car yourself or in a car wash as often as possible.
Leather seats can also wear down by cracking and fading without proper maintenance, reducing the resale value by quite a bit. Keep them clean and new looking by vacuuming and wiping down regularly, and also applying an oil based leather care product at regular intervals throughout the year to prevent cracking. Use this guide for maintaining leather seats for your reference.
- Replace fluids and filters
This is another do it yourself option that can save you lots of money, and keep your car running smoothly without having to do too much work. If you’ve never changed, flushed, or topped off fluids or changed filters before, see if your mechanic will show you once through. Your car fluids, such as brake, transmission, or power steering, should be checked about monthly and flushed or replaced at varying times. This fluid guide is helpful for timing on each one.
Your car’s air filters are also relatively simple to change yourself, and ought to be changed at recommended times to keep your engine working efficiently. Take a look for yourself at the benefits of changing filters in case you’re one of the many who don’t realise the importance.
- Find a trustworthy mechanic
Easier said than done, right? Finding a mechanic that you can trust is one of the best ways for your car to stay in its best shape. A mechanic that you know you can count on will know your car better than anyone, and can help you look to the future when doing maintenance on it. Since they know your car inside and out, they will also be able to tell if something small is off or sounding wrong, and perhaps be able to diagnose big issues much sooner than you could on your own.
If you have a newer car, you may also want to make sure your mechanic is one that has extensive knowledge and skills, such as an auto electrician who can not only service your car, but also make sure your car’s computer system, alarms, and audio system are working correctly.
- Drive calmly
This one cannot be expressed enough. The rougher you drive your car, the worse off it will be over the long run. More wear and tear on your car means decreased longevity and more maintenance, more often. So, remember to take it easy and treat your car kindly!
Keep these tips in mind and you may just find that you can keep your car running in great shape for much longer than you ever expected!