If you own or lease a vehicle, then you know it is a sizeable investment, and therefore, not one that should be neglected. There are many reasons for maintaining both the function and appearance of your vehicle, but safety, reliability and trade-in value are a few of the most important. Here are some things you can do to help preserve prime condition for the age and mileage of your car.
Maintaining proper levels of oil and transmission fluid is important to keeping your vehicle running smoothly. Filters, gaskets and belts are also critical to the safe function of your car and should be inspected regularly and changed as needed. You should always heed the “dummy lights” on your dashboard if a new one lights up to alert you to potential problems.
Keeping your car clean will help preserve the finish and maintain higher resale value. Regularly washing the exterior is helpful, but add the couple extra dollars worth of wax for a protective finish. Vacuuming the interior often can help prevent dirt from becoming a ground-in stain or wearing out the fabric and carpet. Cosmetic issues may not be problematic but can keep your car from looking its best. Shallow dings or scratches, or more serious issues may be popped out by a qualified auto body shop.
You may not realize it, but your car manufacturer recommends a specific type of fuel for the best and most efficient operation of your vehicle. The operator’s manual will discuss this, along with acceptable alternatives. It may suggest using an ethanol-free fuel or supreme level. It could even tell you that for your make and model. The gas doesn’t matter that much, so check before needlessly spending fifty cents a gallon more for premium fuel. There are additives you can put in at the time of fueling to help keep your system clean and improve efficiency as well.
Rotate your tires every three months to keep wear more even and prolong the life of the tires. Many places offer this service for free. Proper inflation is key to longer wear and optimizes gas mileage as well. Inside the car door, there should be a label indicating the appropriate inflation pressure for the tires. Re-check the pressure with the change of the seasons as air temperature can affect the readings.
Show your pride of ownership by keeping your car in top shape inside and out. A clean and well-functioning vehicle is not only a joy to own but can provide the security your family needs.