5 easy ways to look after your car
You don’t need to be a mechanical expert to take good care of your car. All it takes is a little bit of know-how and maybe getting your hands dirty once in a while. Here are five things you can do to keep your car on the road for many years and kilometres to come.
1. Check your Fluids
Fluids are easy and important to keep an eye on as they will ensure that your car is kept running smoothly.
The big one is oil. You can check your oil by pulling out the dipstick, wiping off the excess oil, dipping it back in, and checking the level.
Aside from oil, there’s engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, engine coolant, etc.
Your owner's manual should be able to help you check all of these levels and find the location of your oil dipstick.
2. Watch your Tyres
It’s always worth investing in quality tyres that will safely keep you attached to the road. Keep an eye on the tread life and pressure of your tyres as they eat up kilometres.
Proper tyre pressure can extend the life of your tyres and even improve your fuel efficiency.
The same goes for tread life - if they’re uneven make sure they get rotated or aligned to keep them wearing evenly. The more evenly the tyres wear, the longer you can go between buying expensive new tyres.
We have an entire article dedicated to maintaining your car tyres. Check it out!
3. Keep it Clean
Keeping your car clean can extend its life by protecting it from rust.
Most modern cars have unibody construction which means the body is imperative to the structure of the car.
If the body is neglected, it can have an effect on the structural integrity of your vehicle. Wash your car regularly, keep it in a garage if possible, and fix any body damage as soon as you can.
Keeping your interior clean can help hold the car’s resale value.
4. Take Care of that Check Engine Light
Is there a check engine light glowing on your dashboard every time you drive your car? It’s all too easy to ignore.
It might be something simple like a loose petrol cap, but it should be taken care of as soon as possible.
If you don’t happen to have an OBD (Onboard Diagnostics) scanner in your garage, you can take your car to a mechanic or auto parts store and they’ll scan it for you.
Once you have a diagnosis, you can discern whether you can take care of it yourself or if a professional needs to work on it.
5. Drive Carefully!
Something you can do to look after your car every time you take a spin is to drive carefully.
Dangerous or careless driving can cause costly accidents that could destroy your car; not to mention the dangers to yourself and other drivers.
Follow the road rules, mind the local traffic laws, and don’t drive too aggressively on public roads.
If you’re just not comfortable with any kind of car maintenance, ask a professional. There’s no shame in being intimidated by a complicated machine like a car. Find a mechanic you can trust and they’ll help keep you and your car happy for a long time.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.
We let you search, compare and book from over 1600 qualified mechanics who eat car troubles for breakfast.
Eric is a US writer residing in Wisconsin that specialises in automotive news and car culture.
With a versatile writing style and an interest in high-performance cars, Eric has been fortunate enough to review cars like the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro even an Autocycle - it’s not quite a car, but also not quite a motorcycle…