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This post is all about how to take care of your car and keep it in great condition.
The secret to a car that works well for years and years isn’t actually a secret at all. It’s simply to keep your car in good condition.
So whether you just got your first car, your favorite so far, or you’re the proud owner of an old faithful — you’re going to want to take good care of it.
Related: The Best First Car For New Drivers
Luckily, there are some basic steps you can add to your car maintenance routine that can help to keep your car in tip-top shape and avoid having to break the bank later on.
In this post we’ll look at 3 super important car maintenance checks you can do to take good care of your car.
How To Keep Your Car In A Good Condition
1. Check On Your Battery
It’s obvious, the battery is one of the most important parts of the vehicle. Without it, you can’t start your car or power your lights, so a battery-less car is pretty much useless.
The main thing is to keep your car’s battery charged. Luckily, this is pretty straightforward.
Here are three quick tips for maintaining your car’s battery:
- Use your car regularly: you may think that letting your car ‘rest’ will do it good, but that’s not the way things work in a vehicle. Your car’s engine charges the battery as it is running which means that your battery can drain completely if you keep your car parked and unused for too long. You don’t have to use your car every day, just be sure to turn on the engine every now and then.
- Get a jump starter: in the event that your battery does fail – which it sometimes will – you can always jump-start it. Thankfully portable jump starters are easy to use and don’t require two vehicles to work. Keeping a portable jump starter in your car will definitely save your butt in an emergency.
- Avoid leaving your lights on: Keeping your headlights (or any other lights) on while your car is off is a sure way to wind up with a dead car battery. Be sure to turn them off when you’ve parked your vehicle.
2. Keep Your Car Clean
Having a clean car isn’t all about aesthetics. It’s actually an effective way to keep it in great condition.
Dirt and debris can cause damage over time, both on the interior and exterior of your vehicle. Think of scratches on the paintwork, rust, and stained leather seats, all of which aren’t free to fix.
Regular cleaning not only helps to prevent this damage but also helps you to identify and fix any existing damage before it worsens.
In addition, a well-maintained vehicle tends to have a higher resale value, so your efforts in keeping your car clean can literally pay off if you decide to sell it.
The best part is that keeping your car clean doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
If you do a weekly cleaning, it can be as simple as hosing down the tires and exterior, vacuuming the mats and seats, and wiping down the mirrors, windows, dashboard, and center console.
You can also go the extra step and keep your garage clean too!
A containment mat is a great tool for this, as it catches any dirt, spills, and debris from your car, keeping them from dirtying your garage floor. This effectively reduces the amount of dust and grime that could potentially get transferred back to your vehicle, leading to a clean garage and, in turn, a clean vehicle.
3. Do Your Inspections
There are a few regular checks that every driver should be familiar with in order to keep their vehicle in the best possible condition.
You don’t need to be skilled, strong, or car enthusiast to do these. But you do need to know what you’re looking for.
These round heroes carry you everywhere, so giving them a little TLC is key.
Give them a quick check every six weeks, and definitely before any long trips. Using a tire pressure gauge (like this one from Amazon), you want to ensure that your tires are at the right pressure level.
Not sure what that is? You can find that info in your car’s manual or on the inner part of the driver’s door.
If their pressure is less than perfect, you can easily top up at any gas station.
Next, you’ll need to pop open the hood of your car. You’re checking for two very important fluids that are like the lifeblood of your car.
First, use a dipstick to ensure that you have enough oil. The level should be right between the two magic lines. If not, add some engine oil to get it where it needs to be.
After that, check your coolant a.k.a antifreeze. This is super important because it prevents the engine from overheating.
A quick check to ensure it’s not running low will save you from some steamy situations down the road.
The Little Things
These components might not be so small in size but they can often be ignored. Every now and then, you want to check out your car’s your car’s bodywork, mirrors, lights, and indicators.
Doing this helps you spot any issues before the issues stop you. Keeping these in check not only keeps your car working well but also keeps you safe on the road.
So there you have it!
These three regular checks are the not-so-secret secret sauce to keeping your car in tip-top shape, running efficiently, and avoiding nasty surprises.
Stay on top of these, and you and your car are all set for many happy miles ahead!