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This article is sponsored by Six Horizon Enterprises Inc. — the exclusive distributor of Mobil™ Lubricants in Bulacan. All the car care tips here come from standard car maintenance manuals and ideas from Bulakenyo car enthusiasts and experts.
1. Drive With Care
Do not accelerate your engine right after start-up, as this quickly adds to the wear of the car engine. Accelerate slowly when you begin your drive. Shift to neutral at red lights to give the engine some time to rest. Be car considerate, and you will be rewarded with a long time between repairs.
2. Keep An Eye On The Fluids
Keeping the motor oil, power steering fluid, and coolant topped up is an easy way to maintain your car’s performance. Refer to your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic to show you how to check your fluid levels and where to pour in more, if needed. Fluids are the lifeblood of cars. Without certain fluids – expensive damages happen. If you are consistently adding fluids to your car, much more frequently than normal, then there is a reason for it. Soemthing might be wrong in your engine parts, and you should discuss the situation with your trusted auto care mechanic.
3. Wash Your Car Once A Week
Washing your car keeps it clean, shiny and free from corrosion. Remember to clean the car interior too. Dirt particles are abrasive, while spilled liquids such as sodas and juices can be corrosive. Vacuum your car interior thoroughly, and wipe the lenses on the dashboard with a soft damp cloth. Take your mats out and brush or hose them down. This will remove dirt that may otherwise create wear in your mats if they build up. Dry the mats thoroughly under the sun before placing them back in the car.
4. Wax Your Car
Waxing your car regularly protects your paint job. This slows down oxidation, and creates a barrier against bird droppings and pollution. It also makes the car look good by adding extra shine.
5. Park In The Shade
Parking your car in the shade prevents interior damage from UV rays, and protects your car’s paint job. It can also helps your wiper blades last longer. If a shaded area is not available, use a car shade on your dashboard / behind the windshield to minimize the sun’s impact.
6. Change Engine Oil And Filter Regularly
Many car owner’s manual today recommend increasing the interval between oil changes. But frequent oil change is still necessary especially if you are maintaining a used car. Frequent oil changes flush abrasive dirt and metal particles out of the engine, thus prolonging its life. Change the oil filters also. The old filters contain the buildup of oil and dirt particles that will otherwise remain and mix with the new, clean oil.
7. Take Care Of Your Tires
Check your tire pressure at regular intervals, and keep them inflated to the recommended pressure specified in your manual. Another thing to look out for is uneven wear. If you have properly maintained the tire pressure, then uneven wear might suggest that your car needs wheel realignment. Uneven wear also suggests worn-out brakes or shock absorbers, a bent wheel or internal tyre damage. Make sure you have these checked right away.
Have your wheel alignment checked every 50,000 km. Improper wheel alignment shortens the life of your tires and causes steering problems. Check if your steering is stiffer than usual, or if your car pulls to one side. If it does, you need to have your wheel alignment checked ASAP.
8. Clean Your Car Engine
Wash your engine at least every year. A clean engine runs cooler than a dirty one. A clean engine also enables you to easily spot leaks and service its components. You may have your engine professionally steam cleaned or you may opt to do it yourself. In this case, make sure you protect sensitive engine components including the air intake, distributor and electrical parts with plastic bags before getting started. You may use a grease-cutting detergent and a bristle brush to scrub the engine. Make sure to rinse thoroughly once done.
9. Change Spark Plugs
Many manufacturers recommend changing spark plugs every 50, 000 km. This ensures good fuel mileage and high engine performance.
10. Maintain Your Car Battery
It does not matter if the manufacturer claims that the battery is maintenance-free, you still have to regularly check your car battery to extend its life. Start by keeping your battery terminals clean. You may wipe it with a damp rag with some detergent, if needed. Also check the battery case for any sign of damage. Cracks or bulges are signs that your car battery needs to be replaced.
11. Replace Your Wiper Blades
A good pair of windshield wipers can last up to two years with proper maintenance. Driving around especially when its rainy season is dangerous without good wipers, since you cannot see things clearly. There are plenty of Do-It-Yourself videos on YouTube showing tutorials on how to replace wiper blades. A lot of auto shops that sell good wiper blades can also install these for free.
12. Select A Reliable Car Insurer
No matter how careful you are, accidents or damages may be inevitable. In this case, you need to have a car insurer you can trust. Choose a car insurer that replaces damaged parts only with original parts from the manufacturer, and who can give you guarantees on repairs. Look for one that is also easy to reach, not just during times when you need to renew your coverage, but also during emergencies and processing of your claims.