That new car feeling is always fun, but unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever. However, with some proper care for your new car, you can prolong that new car feeling for a bit longer and keep your car in the best condition for as long as possible. Here’s how you can care for your car and keep it in like-new condition.
Wheels and Tires
Clean brake dust off regularly. By taking care of your brakes, you can avoid the heat from your brakes baking the grime from the road onto your wheels. You can do this very easily with just cold water and a damp sponge.
Check your tire pressure every couple of weeks. The right tire pressure will help you to improve your fuel economy, and the handling of the car and your comfort while driving. You can find what pressure your tires ought to have in your owner’s manual.
Check your tread depth. It should meet the minimum of 16.mm. If your tread is lower than that, it is time to make an investment in some new tires.
Rotate your tires every 5000 miles. Rotating your tires means you swap the front and back tires in order to even out the wear over time.
Check your windscreen for any stone damage or chips on a regular basis. If you notice any signs of damage, get the problem repaired as soon as possible before the issue gets worse. A chipped windscreen can shatter completely and is not safe to drive with for very long. Replace your windscreen wipers once a year to prevent them from smearing or scratching your windscreen too.
Keep your new car clean. If you’ve spent the money on a new car, especially if you’ve used Georgie – a car buying service to help you find a more desirable and expensive model, take the time to keep it clean and looking good. Winter salt and road grime should be hosed off first before you start washing the car to stop it from scratching the paintwork. If you don’t fancy cleaning your car yourself, you can take it through the car wash or have it valeted.
Wax the paint every six months. A coat of good quality wax can help your paint looking as polished as when you looked at the car in the showroom and will help to protect the car from damage.
Protect the interior plastic. Park your car in the shade whenever you possibly can, and make sure to use a window deflector screen to prevent the plastic and vinyl inside your car from becoming dried out or faded. Don’t use silicone-based sprays inside your car, as these sprays can make the pedals become slippery and dangerous to use when you drive
Check the belts at the front of your engine. The belts are a series of rubber belts that operate all kinds of important things inside the car, from the alternator to the A/C compressor. Check your car’s belts every 25000 miles to make sure they are still in good working order.
Check your oil level. Park on level ground and wait for your engine to cool down. When it has cooled, open the hood and find the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean with a cloth, then push it all the way back in. Remove the dipstick again and check the level of the oil. There will be high and low markings on the stick, and your oil level should be between these. If it isn’t, this can mean big trouble for your engine. Always do this with a cool engine, as an engine that is still warm can give a false result.
Check your coolant level. Check your car’s handbook to find out where the coolant reservoir is. The coolant reservoir is usually bolted to one side of the engine bay. The bottle will have high and low markings on it which you can read to check if the level of coolant is where it should be. You should also flush the cooling system and change the coolant once a year.
Maintain the battery too. If you don’t use your car for long periods of time, the battery will start to degrade and will go flat. You could think about using a trickle charger to keep the battery topped-up if your car is going to be left in the garage for a while or use a battery conditioner if it appears to hold less charge than usual. If your battery does go flat, you can jump-start it, but this puts a strain on your battery and could damage your engine management system and other electronics in the car. To look after your battery without a trickle charger, you will need to try to drive your car at least once a week, especially in the winter.
The way you drive can also affect your car. Driving with mechanical sympathy is something that you should practise at all times. Mechanical sympathy means using the controls of your car with an understanding of how it all works.
Doing this will reduce wear on components and can make your fuel go further. Simple things like using your steering wheel, gearbox, and pedals smoothly are important, as well as being alert so you can avoid sudden braking.
You can adjust your driving style to get the most from your car and improve its fuel economy. However, if you never rev your engine fully, carbon deposits can build up and foul the valves, intake manifold, and other parts, potentially causing a misfire and making the engine less efficient.
You should let your engine rev the to the redline at least once every few hundred miles, but should only do this if you’re on a quiet road and the oil is warm.
Diesel cars can also have trouble with clogged diesel particulate filters (DPFs), which are designed to trap harmful exhaust emissions. To help clear them, a longer motorway run once a month is a good idea.