Gone are the days when one thought that taking care of the car was such a ‘guy’s’ thing after all. Or that it, in some ways, signalled an obsession with the machine.
Today, keeping the car in a healthy shape is a habit akin to where one keeps the body in a healthy condition.
It’s painful at times to break your savings for untimely car repairs especially in our country where waterlogged bad roads have a role to play. But, to make sure we keep the value of our car and minimize repair costs, here are 10 simple, easy-to-remember tips on how to keep your car in top condition.
10. Engine Oil
Akin to the blood of the human body, oil is the blood of your car. And at all times, you’ve got to ensure that this vital element is pumping at the right levels. Every now and again check the oil level using the dipstick test, make sure to visit your mechanic if you find the level unusually low. Most oil manufacturers claim that standard oil can last up to 15,000 kms on an average.
But wisdom suggests that one should get the oil changed every 10,000 kms. This is best advised for reliability purposes.
9. Check if the brakes, belts and battery are in good condition
Akin to the liver, lungs or kidneys being the vital organs of the human body, key car components like brakes, belts and battery are the vital organs of your car. One doesn’t want to run into a situation where a car on a high-speed journey runs into braking problems. It is pertinent, therefore, to have the braking system checked, at least once every three months or up to a quarter of a year.
A good car battery will usually last up until a year and a half, depending on various manufacturers in the market. Also, make sure you check the distilled water level on older batteries.
8. Watch out for Heed Warnings
There are crucial warning signs that suggest that all’s not well with your car. For instance, if the warning lights on the dashboard of your car illuminate, then it’s probably time to ring up your mechanic.
Pay mind to the owner’s manual, something that one’ advised to be thoroughly aware of, instead of only relying on the mechanic. You are best advised to not delay repair requirements as they can only turn to be a cumulative trouble for the car later.
In addition to the above, always a handy practice to be aware of the repair prices, as per the normal market standards.
7. Best practice is to use reputed mechanics
When it comes to scouting for the best possible mechanic, then adopting an often underestimated or underrated marketing practice works best. Which is that, you might ask?
None other than ‘word of the mouth.’
Often, it’s been seen that in order to save a quick buck or two, people resort to inept mechanics. Think of your car as your body. Would you go to a doctor who’s rather unheard about or would you opt for a regular, acclaimed medical practitioner.
Enquire from different sources about the right mechanic for your car’s job, scroll through comprehensive auto directories.
6. Look after the car body
True to one of the four ‘Ps’ of marketing, where packaging is an eternal element, the cosmetic presence of the car is about as important as what’s on its inside.
Ensure that your car is regularly washed instead of idling time and being happy in being laidback about its presence. Ensure that the dents and dings are taken care of. An important long-term issue to avoid is rust.
5. Condition of your Tyres
What’s a car sans or minus good tyres? Tire degradation is an essential, recurring phenomenon with the best of machines raging on the roads out there. So you’ve got to ensure the fact that the tires are properly inflated as per the manufacturer’s specified pressure.
The treads between the tyres often indicate when they are to be replaced. A common practice is to check your tyre-pressure in your car each morning, before you begin your journey. The rotation of tyres every 5000kms is a must in order to avoid uneven tyre wear out.
4. Check the fluids of your car
Power steering fluid, Engine oil, brake oil, the right quantity of coolant, wiper washer fluid/water, what else- is it that you haven’t checked regularly in your car? When left undetected, these can prove to be critical anomalies to good car health.
These critical fluids of your car are akin to the bodily fluids of the human body. Anything over moderate variation, and you know all’s not well.
If you are in doubt about any of these components, then ask your mechanic to demonstrate each of these to you.
3. Emission Control Systems
Regardless of where we live today, given that the threat of global warming is no longer imminent but a dominant discourse and dilemma of our times, the least that we can do in order to ensure that we aren’t at the contributing end of car pollution, is to check our vehicles for emissions.
Depending upon varying civilian laws existing in different countries, you may be required to check your car for emissions. Most fuel stations (or gas stations) are equipped with checking your car for pollution. But be careful to save the certification upon completing a check.
2. Window check & Head Lights
Another handy practice is to ensure that not only the windowpanes but the headlights are in proper, working condition at all times. Often, due to negligence, we do not correct minor mechanical errors such as an immobile (stuck) window owing to some problem with the automatic switch.
On a rainy day, this could be a problem, the same way a headlamp not working during the night hours could cause hindrance in smooth driving and can be dangerous. Also, be sure to check for cracks and damage at all times.
1. The interiors of the car
You could be in for a drive with your boss, or traveling with seniors at work to an important meeting. In another scenario, you could well be sharing a ride with a good-looking colleague or a friend. Ever heard of impressions?
What kind of an impression will a sluggish, unkempt, disorganized car interior give?
Something’s got to change, right and for the better? Regular dusting of the car is always a handy practice for good overall upkeep.
Keeping your car in the best possible condition will be helpful when it comes to selling it and undoubtedly the better is condition, higher the resale value.