The purchase of a brand new vehicle is always an expected and pleasant moment for the owner. Along with the purchase of the desired vehicle, the owner simultaneously receives a new concern: maintaining the aesthetic appearance of the car and its performance properties in pristine condition. Without careful and proper care, even a respectable car will turn into an unrespectable vehicle or into a simple scrap heap, which will be hard to sell later even on the secondary market for a bargain price – check a link.
Each car, irrespective of its status, is exposed to wear and tear at regular operation, and correct and regular car care will help to minimize it. In this article, let’s consider the rules of car care, which each car owner will be able to perform independently, and their regular observance will prolong the life of the vehicle both from the aesthetic and from the operational point of view.
1. Clean the inside and outside of your car every month
Why it’s important: Keeping your car clean is like keeping your room in your apartment clean. But unlike a room, your car is constantly in plain sight, and everyone can tell by its appearance how dirty (or clean) it is. To extend the life of the paintwork and keep the interior in good condition for a long time, you should wash your car completely at least once a month.
A comprehensive wash should include dry-cleaning the interior, treating the seats with various products, cleaning the windows from the inside, vacuuming dust. You must also use body protection after the wash, applying wax to the body. When washing the body, be sure to wash the arches and underside of the car.
Dirt from the body of an unclean car will get into the interior. Dirt, both on the body and in the interior, can cause damage to the paint coating, as well as the surface of the interior trim materials. Especially in winter, when roads are treated with de-icing agents that contain salt, which, as you know, causes metal corrosion. Also, the salts of road de-icing agents can easily damage the flooring of the car interior. Therefore, in winter, your vehicle should be washed twice as often.
2. Change the oil every 8000-10000 km and use a reliable brand
Why it’s important: Every car manufacturer’s manual (or service book) specifies the recommended conditions for routine oil changes in the engine. If earlier almost all automakers advised to change oil every 10000 km, today for many modern cars – every 12000-15000 km. But we do not recommend you to listen to such advice. It is better to change engine oil in old fashion – every 8000-10000 km. Especially if you mainly use your car in a city (traffic jams, frequent stops at traffic lights, short trips, etc.).
In this mode of driving it is better to change oil in general by moto-hours, not by kilometers. After all, compare how many kilometers you will drive for 1.5 hours on the empty road of a country highway at a speed of 100 km/h and how many kilometers you will drive, twitching, in a traffic jam for the same time. Agree, the difference is obvious.
And now imagine how many hours the engine will work, if you stand in a traffic jam every day and drive a short distance. You will not drive 10K kilometers in such mode very soon. But the engine oil will lose its properties long before the odometer will count another 10,000 km. So make a rule to change oil as often as possible. If there is a possibility, change it every 8000 km.
Also be attentive to a choice of engine oil. Don’t use cheap oil of dubious quality. Buy oil only from trusted stores.
3. Check tire pressure every month and rotate wheels every 8000-10000 km
Why it’s important: Incorrect tire pressure can lead to a variety of problems. This includes breakdowns, inconsistent driving, increased fuel consumption, and, of course, flat tires. So check your tire pressure regularly with a tire pressure gauge. Also, periodically inspect your tire tread for even wear. For more or less even wear, rotate your tires every 8000-10000 km.
Replacing your tires can cost a pretty penny (new tires + tire fitting). If you don’t monitor your tire pressure and move them from place to place, your tires will wear out much faster. So it’s better to check your tire pressure and don’t spare the money to move your tires.
4. Change the brake pads every 30,000-40,000 km or sooner
Why it’s important: You should make it a habit to check the brake system every service inspection. If you hear an unpleasant squeaking or creaking noise when braking, you should be concerned. Your car may have worn out brake pads or brake discs. Pads that are subjected to high temperatures are the most likely to wear out.
Do not let the brake pads wear out completely, so you do not damage the brake discs. If you delay replacing the pads, it can lead to premature failure of the brake discs, which cost a lot of money. So, it’s better to replace your brake pads an extra time than to replace your brake discs more often. If your brake discs are the cause of the bad brakes, replace them immediately with new ones. Remember that it is dangerous to drive with worn brake discs (a worn brake disc may burst under braking).
5. Change the air filter every 30,000-50,000 km or every year
Why it matters: Think of your car’s air filter as your lungs (it is important to keep our lungs clean and healthy so that we can breathe easier and harmful substances do not interfere with our breathing). In a car, a dirty air filter will result in a lack of oxygen for the fuel mixture. Also, a dirty filter will cause various pollutants to enter the engine. This will cause the oil in the engine to become contaminated faster.
A dirty filter will also lead to increased fuel consumption. So don’t forget to check the condition of the air filter and replace it with a new one if it gets dirty. If your area has had a lot of smog from forest fires or grass burning in the summertime, the life of the air filter is usually cut in half.
Your car won’t explode, of course, from a dirty air filter, but it’s quite possible that by leaving it on your car for a long time, you’ll contribute to engine failure. Take 15 minutes to install a new air filter, and you’ll have peace of mind for your engine and for your pocket, which may be empty due to extra spending on fuel.
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