10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Car in Good Shape
Published: 08/12/2010 by Autoshopit
A car is an investment, and the more time and care that you invest into your car the longer it will stay on the road. Keeping your car in good shape doesn’t have to take a lot of time and effort, however. Here are 10 easy ways to keep your car in good running condition, ensuring a longer automotive life with minimal effort.
- Minimize Engine Wear. Accelerate gradually and keep an eye on your overall speed. Don’t rev your engine unnecessarily. Check your oil every time you fill up with gas. Basically, make sure that your engine runs smoothly and doesn’t have to do more work than what is already necessary.
- Know Your Maintenance Schedule. Pay attention to the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. Have your oil and other fluids filled or changed regularly according to the schedule. Don’t forget to have the alignment checked periodically as well.
- Wash the Car. Washing your car removes bugs, dirt, and other debris which can damage the paint or cause rust over time. Wash the car regularly and apply a coat of wax periodically as well. It will not only make the car look better but will improve the life of the paint and body overall.
- Check Your Tires. Keep an eye on your tires. Check for signs of air loss periodically, and check the air pressure each time the temperature changes significantly. Add or remove air as needed to maintain proper air pressure. Also keep an eye on uneven wear that may indicate alignment or balance problems.
- Pay Attention. Many car problems can be detected early if you pay attention to unusual sounds from the engine or other parts of the car when driving. You should also pay heed to any warning lights that appear on the dashboard; take the car to be serviced as soon as possible to find out the cause of the problem.
- Clean Inside and Out. Don’t neglect your interior when cleaning. Vacuum the floorboards and seats, making sure that you get into the various creases and folds of the car interior as well. Clean up spills promptly, and wipe down leather or vinyl components with a damp rag or other cleaner periodically.
- Find a Trustworthy Mechanic. Be picky about your mechanic. A good mechanic will take better care of your car and won’t pad your bill, even if some of their prices are slightly higher than some discount mechanic services.
- Be Picky About Gas. Buy gas from a station that you know that you can trust, even if it costs one or two cents more per gallon than the grungy station down the street. You should also be hesitant to buy gas during or soon after a tanker has refilled the station’s tanks; the act of filling the tanks may swirl up sediment that could end up in your tank.
- Reduce Unnecessary Strain. Take the heavy boxes out of the trunk until you’re ready to haul them. Remove some of your keychain decorations so that it’s not so heavy in the ignition. Reducing the strain on auto parts ensures that they will last significantly longer.
- Check Your Gas Mileage. Keep a pen and paper in your glove compartment and record your mileage and how much gas you buy each time you fill up. This will help you to monitor your gas mileage over time so that you’ll see when major drops in fuel efficiency start to occur. This is a good early indicator of automotive problems.