Smart tips on how to take better care of your car

Your car may be one of your biggest investments, and naturally you’re proud of it. But did you know that you should do a lot more than take it to a car wash and valet to help preserve its value?

Keeping a vehicle in the best possible condition is one of the best ways to maintain its value. If you ever want to trade in or sell your car, its overall appearance and condition are what matter most. And what starts out as a minor scratch in the bodywork or tear in the upholstery may not seem like a big deal when they do, over time, an accumulation of dents, broken mirrors or windows will not only detract from your car’s visual appeal, but also reduce its resale value.

And while a car’s exterior features typically receive the majority of an owner’s attention, maintaining the entire car should be the focus.

a regular service

Just like humans need medical check-ups for good health, your car needs to see a “specialist” regularly to keep it running optimally. Taking good care of your car will also save you money in the long run, says Keletso Mpisane, director of digital auto insurer MiWay Blink.

“A car that is regularly serviced and maintained runs more efficiently and uses less fuel, saving you money,” she says. “It also means you’re driving a safer, more reliable vehicle. Any engine component that could cause a breakdown, such as a dying alternator or faulty spark plugs, or lead to an accident, such as worn tires or broken lights, are checked regularly to see that they are in good condition.”

“Wax up, wax up,” said Mr. Miyagi

Think of car wax as the sunscreen that will help protect your car. Waxing a vehicle after a wash not only makes it shiny and shiny, but the wax forms a protective barrier that protects the paint from the sun. If your car is exposed to the sun often, it can lead to paint fading and damage.

Taking care of your car’s paint isn’t just about aesthetics, however, it’s also about cost savings. Mpisane explains: “Auto insurance premiums are calculated based on a number of factors, one of which is the expected cost of repairing a particular vehicle. The repair cost is generally broken down into three components: parts, paint, and labor. In the current environment, the increase in the cost of parts and paint exceeds normal inflation.” The economic and commercial fallout from the pandemic has made it difficult to access auto parts for repair, due to shipping industry constraints and supply and demand pressures. For example, the price of paint has increased by at least six percent.

To give your car the best protection, you should wax it at least once every three months, and if you’re prepared to spend the extra money, ceramic coating and paint protection film will protect your car’s finish longer.

Between waxes, practice preventative maintenance by keeping the exterior clean. Gently wash off mud, dirt, insect splatter and bird droppings, which can damage paint. Car enthusiasts argue that you should even hose it down, dry it, and wax it after you’ve been out in the rain. Rain can leave water marks and cause a thin layer of pollutants to form on your car, but at a time on our planet where water should be used sparingly, pulling out the hose to clean your car after a storm can be frowned upon. for their neighbors. Even morning dew, left to sit on paint, can cause damage, which brings us to our next point: giving your baby the protection she really needs to stay safe from the elements.

parking under roof

A garage or carport will protect your car from the sun and rain, helping to preserve its condition. If you don’t have access to a garage, get a car cover for protection; just make sure you buy the right size and that water doesn’t get trapped under a 100% waterproof cover.

Your car’s windshield and dashboard will also thank you if you have a protected parking space. South Africa may be famous for its beautiful summer weather, but hot, sunny days can wreak havoc on the plastic on your dashboard and steering wheel, causing it to crack and disintegrate over time.

Windshields also suffer, as the scorching sun heats both the metal and glass of your car. Because metal heats up faster than glass, it can cause the windshield to crack at the edges and eventually the entire windshield. If you can’t park in the shade, use a fold-down windshield sunshade as a heat shield.

Clean under your car

It may not be an area you think needs cleaning, but washing under your car is important, especially if you regularly drive through dusty or muddy terrain. Because a vehicle’s undercarriage is so low to the ground, dirt, grime, and other items easily stick to it. If left to accumulate, accumulated grime can block the drain holes on the underside of your car, accelerate rust and cause general deterioration in the area. If washing the undercarriage yourself sounds like too much of a chore, do it at your car wash at least once a month, where operators will use high-pressure hoses to remove dirt.

Keep water damage at bay

In the rainy season, water can get into the smallest cracks in your car and cause damage. Make sure the rubber seals on your doors and windows are intact and airtight. Not only will they keep water out, but they will also minimize wind noises and rattles.

It’s also a good idea to invest in weather-resistant mats. Although mats made from carpet fabric absorb water better than rubber mats, they can remain damp or even soggy after getting wet, and can become smelly or even moldy, injecting a lingering damp odor into your car’s interior. Rubber mats are great for protecting against water getting into your car when it rains and any beverages (coffee, smoothies, or cold drinks) accidentally spilling onto your car floor.

Keeping your car in top condition will pay dividends in the future, extend the life of the vehicle, and ensure you have an attractive vehicle and a safer drive.

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