Essential car care questions answered
Buying a vehicle is a matter of great pride and happiness, especially for a first-time car owner. The feeling of cruising around in your own vehicle is a thrill that may only be matched by a few other moments in life. While new cars come with insurance that takes care of many things, buying a second-hand car means you need to be particular and careful with its maintenance. Knowing how to look after your vehicle may indeed be a confusing affair for those new to the game. To help you out, here are some basic car care questions answered by experts.
What should you check to ensure that the engine fluids are in place?
- Your car stays in good shape as long as its engine fluids are up to the mark and are changed as often as they should be.
- Check the engine oil levels by removing the dipstick, wiping it clean, and reinserting it for a fresh read. Your car manual will let you know how frequently the engine oil needs to be replaced.
- The level of coolant should also be above the minimum. The coolant is stored in the clear plastic compartment next to the car radiator.
- Brake fluid and power steering fluids need to be checked. If they are below the minimum level, it may indicate a leak in the engine.
- Always keep the windshield washer fluid filled with water or a soapy mix.
What kind of care is required for the tires?
- One of the primary facets of essential car maintenance is to ensure that the tires are in good shape. This is not just a matter of good car care but also an important aspect of safety.
- Always physically inspect all the tires of the car before you start driving. A small nail or a stone stuck in a tire may lead to a major puncture.
- As soon as you start your engine, check the air pressure on all the tires as reflected on the dashboard readings. All car manuals come with the ideal pressure information for the front and back tires. Ensure that you know yours well.
- If you live in areas where there is heavy snowfall, one of the important car care tips is to ensure that you change your car tires to winter tires. Even if you have an all-wheel drive, regular tires do not help brake abruptly in snow.
What steps should you take to maintain the interiors of your car?
The interiors of a car are often the most difficult to clean. So, taking a few precautionary car care measures helps keep them in good condition.
- Buy seat covers to maintain the texture and feel of the original car seats. This will also fetch you a good price in the future, should you choose to sell the car.
- Install sunshades for all car windows as well as the back windshield. Sunshades help keep the car cool from within and prevent the dashboard from overheating and fading over time.
- Try to park your car in the shade as much as possible to minimize exposure to the sun.
- Install rubber mats to protect the original car carpets. Also, rubber mats are easier to clean, so it’s more convenient for car care too.
What can you do to maintain the exterior look of your car?
You bring home a new car and it looks all swanky. Yet, within a few months, your brand-new car begins to look old and faded. To avoid this, keep the following car care tips in mind:
- Ensure that you apply a good coat of wax to the exterior of the car at least once in six months to keep the paint looking new and fresh.
- Replace the windshield wipers as soon as they start making squeaky sounds. A damaged wiper will not clean your windshield properly and may end up leaving scratches on it, which will hamper your vision while driving.
- Always replace broken indicator bulbs. This is not only an issue of basic car care but also a matter of safety to let other motorists know which way you will turn.
- Take your car for a professional wash at least once in six months for effective and proper care. Washing the car yourself is great, but it may be difficult to clean the underside, which accumulates a lot of grime.