When it’s time to go just about anywhere, we rely on our cars to get us there. Like a faithful friend, they’re always there for us, ready to go at a moment’s notice. You may love your car, but do you show your car any love? You can’t exactly buy a car chocolates or flowers or write it a love note, but there are ways you can take care of your car to show it some love. Read our tips on some simple ways you can take care of your car in the New Year so that it continues to take care of you.
Treat It to A Day at the Spa
A good thorough washing makes the car look great and it’s a smart way to help protect the exterior paint. As dirt settles onto the exterior surface, small scratches are made that threaten the car’s clear coat which aids in protecting the paint. To really spoil your car, go for a complete detail to make it feel like new again. For the cost conscious, invest in some quality car wash supplies and do it yourself. Be sure to purchase quality materials that won’t scratch or damage the exterior.
Take It in For a Check-Up Regularly
Just like you go to the doctor for routine check-ups, so should your car. This includes routine oil changes as well as regular maintenance. Oil changes are necessary because engines thrive on fresh, clean oil to lubricate and cool internal components. Other maintenance services such as fluid changes and belt and hose replacements keep the rest of your vehicle operating smoothly. Schedule a time to have a technician check the power steering, brake, coolant, transmission, and wiper fluids to ensure they’re at the appropriate levels and are clean and fresh looking. Additionally, replace hoses and belts at the recommended mileage to avoid unnecessary break downs. Be sure tires are properly inflated and aren’t showing signs of wear. Worn out or underinflated tires can affect your suspension system, reduce fuel economy, and can cause blowouts.
Personalize your vehicle from the inside out. You can do something as simple as installing upgraded seat covers or floor mats to putting in a new stereo or entertainment system, or even colorful interior lighting upgrades. On the outside of the vehicle, you may consider vanity plates, an upgrade to LED headlights, or even a custom wrap with your favorite color or artwork. Anything that makes your ride more comfortable and fun is a great way to invest in your car. The options to choose from are endless!
Curb Bad Driving Habits
Some driving habits can be dangerous while others can cause damage to your vehicle. How you drive can significantly impact the life of your car. Certain habits can lead to costly repairs while some may put you at more risk for an accident. Here are some tips to prevent damage to your vehicle and ways to stay safe on the road:
- Take A Brake – Use the parking brake, every time you park. Not using it forces the weight of the vehicle onto a very tiny piece of metal within the transmission. After time, this little metal piece could wear out or break off.
- Lighten Your Load – Clear out any unnecessary cargo. Every pound of weight your vehicle carries impacts fuel economy and handling as well as adds stress to the suspension, brake, and drive train components. Your safety is also at risk when carrying unneeded items in your car. In a collision, unsecured cargo becomes dangerous projectiles. Bring only essentials in your car and secure them properly.
- Let’s Switch Gears – Stop moving before you switch gears, that is. Changing gears while the car is moving puts strain on the drivetrain when it is forced into another direction. Take a moment for the car to come to a complete stop before shifting gears from reverse, park, or drive.
- Don’t Ignore Me – Lights on your OBD (on-board diagnostic) is how your vehicle communicates any trouble with you. Squeaks, rattles, and other unusual noises are also warnings that something is not right. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out the cause of these lights or sounds. Have them inspected by a technician immediately.
- It Can Wait – Driving requires 100% of your focus and attention. Using a mobile device behind the wheel takes attention away from the road. Keep yourself and others safe from major collisions by prohibiting yourself from using a mobile device.
- Back Off – Following the vehicle in front of you too closely may put you at risk for a fender bender, ticket, or both. Safe distances may vary based on the weather or traffic conditions; always keep a reasonable and prudent distance from the car in front of you.
- Sending Signals – Using your turn signal or blinker is the only way to communicate your intentions with drivers around you. In some states, not using your turn signal may be illegal and may earn you a traffic violation.
- Not So Fast – Running late? Speeding won’t help. At best, you may save yourself 1-2 minutes by speeding but greatly increase the risk of causing or being involved in a wreck. Traveling at higher speeds makes it more difficult to stop or slow down.
- Click It – Wear your seatbelt at all times. If you’re not already in the habit of using your seatbelt on a regular basis, it’s time to start. Seat Belts have saved many lives in crashes, driving without one may have the consequence of getting a ticket.