With very little expense, you can keep your car running and looking like new. You can enjoy your car more now, and get more money back when you sell or trade-in your car. The difference between a poorly maintained car and a well-maintained car can amount to more than a thousand dollars in resale value. The paragraphs below offer tips for keeping your car driving and feeling like new.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Get regular, scheduled maintenance for your car, truck, or SUV, including tune-ups, fluid changes, and needed repairs. The repairs that you make on time prevent problems later. Don't let worn parts cause additional damage to other components.
Change the Oil On Schedule
Change your oil in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations. Regular oil changes cut down on the kind of engine wear that is the most expensive to repair.
Keep Your Tires Inflated
Inflate your tires to match the specifications published in your owner's manual. Your car will ride safer and smoother, you'll get better gas mileage, your tires will last longer, and you'll prevent costly wheel and rim damage.
Don't Be a Hot Rod - Drive Like Your Grandparents
Accelerate and slow down slowly and smoothly. You'll save gas and a lot of wear and tear on expensive driveline components. Burning rubber and slamming on the brakes, and skidding around corners, wastes huge amounts of gasoline, chews up tires, damages wheels and rims, and ruins your powertrain components.
Repair Windshield Chips Quickly
Small rock hits can become expensive windshield cracks. Unrepaired windshield damage not only makes your car look old and tired, it also reduces your car's resale value. When your windshield gets a small chip or crack, call your insurance company to send out the glass repairman to fill in the cracks and chips immediately. The longer you wait, the larger the chips and cracks will grow. In many cases, the repairs will cost you little or nothing.
Protect Your Paint
Follow your manufacturer's guidance on regular washing and less frequent waxing for your car's exterior. Avoid parking under trees, and choose covered parking instead of sunlit parking when possible. If you drive over road salt or beach salt, rinse your exterior and undercarriage with fresh water as soon as possible.
Avoid Bumper Stickers and Decals
Nothing detracts from the value of car's appearance more than outdated political bumper stickers and Grateful Dead decals. Keep your glass and chrome free from stickers and decals.
Keep it Clean
Regularly vacuum the headliner, upholstery, and carpets and clean the rubber and plastic parts. Clean cars smell clean and keep their new-car fragrance longer. Stop eating two meals a day in the car unless you want your car's interior to smell like a cheeseburger with onions. After you clean the interior of your car, apply a preservative to plastic surfaces. Be sure to clean the inside of your windshield every time you wash your car.
Be Careful Where You Park
Avoid tight parking spaces and park further away from the office so you can cut down on door damage. Sign up for a paintless dent repair service to keep your doors and body panels looking new.
Use Indoor/Outdoor Carpeting and a Boot Tray
Muddy shoes and football boots placed on the carpet in your trunk will grind soil, water, bacteria, and organic material into the carpeting. No amount of vacuuming will ever fully eliminate the odor caused by bacteria feeding on dirt and organic material in your trunk or hatchback carpeting.
To avoid this, buy either indoor/outdoor carpeting or a piece of rubber-backed bathroom carpeting, and cut the carpeting to fit your trunk or hatchback. Also purchase a small plastic boot tray for your trunk, 4 inches high, and large enough to hold two pairs of football or other shoes. With the carpet underneath, your muddy shoes and boots can go into the tray when you leave the football field. Your original carpet will stay clean and dry, and you can replace the indoor/outdoor carpet once a year for very little cost.
Don't Use Your Car for Storage
Remove heavy objects, objects with sharp edges, dirty clothes, pizza boxes, and non-essential gear from the trunk or hatchback of your car. You will improve your gas mileage and cut down on wear and tear on the interior of your car.
Keeping Your Car Driving and Feeling Like New
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