As a car owner, you can’t do away with routine maintenance. It boosts your car’s health and safety as you cruise the streets every day for work, school, or play.
Although taking care of your vehicle is like looking at a long list of to-dos, it helps to think that you’re maintaining its performance and physical appearance too. You can achieve this goal with these doable yet viable steps.
You spend almost an hour behind the wheel daily. Here’s what you can do for your daily ride.
Know Your Car’s Maintenance Schedule
Periodic car maintenance generally entails a monthly, three-month, six-month, or annual check and inspection of the engine parts and the car itself. While your manual tells you when the best time to change your engine oil is, you also have to consider the driving conditions (e.g., dusty roads and short distances, stop-and-go traffic) that affect the vehicle’s roadworthiness.
These are some of the general maintenance tasks that you or a mechanic carries out:
- Change engine oil.
- Change oil, air, and fuel filter.
- Replace worn spark plugs.
- Check tire pressure and general condition.
- Check transmission fluid.
- Clean battery and cables.
- Inspect the emission system.
- Inspect brakes.
- Check belts and hoses.
- Clean car interior and exterior.
Keep Receipts of Your Car Repairs
File away receipts of your trips for repairs and checks. These receipts will help you and the mechanic track your car’s condition (e.g., last engine oil change and repairs done). And when you are to sell the vehicle, you can show the receipts as proof of maintenance and responsible car ownership.
Clean Your Car Interior as You Go
As simple as putting away trash in a bag or taking out the day’s garbage after a drive shaves time off your next monthly cleanup. Cleaning after messes and spills further staves off the grime that can build up and damage the interior.
Detect Smells in Your Car
Car odors can range from the usual smells arising from spilled food or drink to strange ones that can indicate serious problems. The latter requires that you take immediate action or take your car to the nearest repair shop.
As for commonplace odors, you can sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, leave it for a few hours (possibly overnight), and vacuum. Another hack is to leave charcoal briquettes for a day or two. The charcoal will absorb the odors.
Install Floor Mats
It’s hard work to clean your vehicle’s carpeting with the shampooing and drying off involved. You can install floor mats or liners that will contain spills and stains and prevent them from getting into the carpet. Car floor mats are also convenient to wash, and you can hang them out to dry.
Clean Bird Poop off Your Car without Delay
Bird droppings not only look nasty but are also acidic and corrosive. That spells damage to your car’s paint. Some swear by a squirt of multipurpose spray WD-40 on the affected area and wipe or rinse after a minute. Another simple remedy is a mixture of baking soda and water that you can spray on the spot; let it soak for a few minutes and then rinse.
Protect Your Fenders
Fenders themselves act as your car’s shield from roadside elements that can harm the car’s body and/or get into the engine. These fender flares for cars like Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram, and Ford Ranger protect those panels in charge of keeping mud, sand, and other debris from inflicting any dent to the vehicle. Also, expect to have an easier time cleaning the car’s exterior, thanks to flares that are customized for your car.
As you can see, the little things you put into your car can make a big difference.