Happy 2016 Readers! I know we are coming to the end of January, which means for a lot of us that we are coming to the end of our new year good intentions. I know I always start off truly believing that I will go to the gym at least three times a week and cut down on my caffeine intake, but then I pass a cafe and before I know it I’m halfway through a large flat white with pastry crumbs over my face. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, right? Well when it comes to something that you should stay resolute on, it’s your car maintenance.
Your car can act as your saviour, your workplace and your means of transportation. It is the second most important possession you own – after a home. Whether this is a labor of love, or you’re planning on upgrading your vehicle and want the best deal you can get, there’s no harm in getting your car to its peak condition.
1. Get your Vehicle’s Body into Shape
Most people resolve to get their body into better shape in the New Year. Why not make the same resolution for your vehicle? f car maintenance isn’t something you usually get around to, chances are there are a few jobs stacking up. Damaged seat fabrics? Scratches? Funky smell you can’t find the source of? Streaky windscreen wipers? Now’s the time to get rid of this inconveniences. Make a list of all the things you need to get done. Then either complete them yourself if you have the know-how, or head on done to your local mechanic and see what you can get done for a reasonable price. A simple vehicle maintenance regime – including measuring your tire pressure, checking for leaks once a month, taking your vehicle in for regular tune-ups and reading the owner’s manual – will help you save money and fuel. Maintenance regimes vary widely from one vehicle to another so check with the manufacturer of your vehicle and find a trained automotive professional to tune up your vehicle.
2. Empty the boot
Have you really looked in there since your last trip away? There’s probably some random sports equipment, spare clothes, old receipts, and for some reason empty boxes that you really thought would come in handy at some point…..which you’ve never used. All that extra junk in the trunk could be increasing your fuel consumption by adding unnecessary weight to your vehicle. So clean it out and make sure you have the essentials: an accident kit, spare tyre, emergency shoes or clothes and maybe keep a few of those boxes, you never know.
3. Clean The Interior
Once you’ve finished the boot, move on to the interior. Whatever the fabric of your seat, they are all cleanable and you should at least give them a wipe down. If you love that new car smell, a great way to get it is to give your car seats a thorough cleaning. Sometimes the only way to really ensure your car’s cleanliness is to book it in for a wash and detail. Nothing will feel or look nicer than fresh, clean-smelling car seat fabric or leather.
4. Get a Service
Sometimes, there’s nobody better to care for your car than a professional, and there’s no better time than now to book your car in for a complete service to give it the pampering it needs and deserves after a long year. You should even look into booking your car in for regular services, to make sure it’s continuously working in prime condition. Your car should be serviced at least once a year, or in line with your car’s manufacturer guarantee or recommendations. Keep your passengers safe, improve fuel efficiency and performance and ensure that your car runs to its optimum condition with a regular service, and remember that when it comes to selling your car, buyers want to see regular service history. Plus, unless you are yourself a mechanic, trained technician can spot potential problems early, meaning less cost for you in the long-term.
5. Replace the Air Conditioning Filter
In the Australian heat we tend to use our air conditioning almost everyday, so, when was the last time you had your filter serviced? Filters keep the air in our car clean and prevent bugs and other debris from entering the system and insure that your children and passengers are breathing in clean air. You could be very surprised (or horrified!) to see what your current filter looks like!
8. Learn the Basics of DIY Maintenance
Not everyone has the funds to get an expensive car detail and service every other month. Prevent this from being a big job every year and simply engage in easy DIY maintenance. Clean out your rubbish after every commute. Hand wash your car every other weekend. Keep and eye on your car’s fluid levels, tyre pressure, and fuel consumption. Regular maintenance means that you won’t run into a big problem without any warning.
9. Invest in Decent Products
If you are going to commit to giving your car some extra care on the weekends with a nice hand wash, ensure you purchase decent products to avoid the chance of damaging your car’s paint or scratching the surface. Talk to your detailer for their recommendations, and ask for advice on how to do your own detailing. This is their craft after all