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New Year’s resolution: Look after your car

31 Dec 2015 Car Style

New Year’s resolution: Look after your car

As the year draws to a close and we get ready for the year ahead, it’s time for the dreaded New Year resolutions. Why not make a promise to take better care of your car? Here’s how.

YEARLY

Check/replace the battery

Every four years or so, it’s a good idea to check your battery and see if it needs replacing. Your service centre should let you know, if you get your car serviced regularly. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of nowhere for no reason other than a dead battery.

Don’t forget the brakes

Like your battery, getting your brakes checked by a professional every few years is an important step in caring for your car. Not only can worn brakes lead to costly replacement of your brake rotors, but it can also be a life-threatening mistake. If you hear any strange noises such as things grinding, then it’s best you get them check as soon as possible.

Headlights

This shouldn’t happen regularly but it’s important to pay attention to your car’s headlights. If one goes out, replace it as soon as possible. It not only makes driving in the dark easier, but also avoids a potentially expensive discussion with the police. Bulbs age, so even if they still work, replacing them will usually give them a brighter edge.



MONTHLY

Clean your car

You may be able to hide the mess in other areas of your life – your home, your desk, your love life – but everyone can see your car. Make sure you give the interior a vacuum and dust, and treat exposed plastics to a wipe with a UV protectant now and then. Then give the exterior a wash and polish. Things like dirt and bird poop (which you should clean off straight away, FYI) can do some damage to your paint. Plus, once the cobwebs start to appear and a spider crawls across your windscreen, you’ll be wishing you’d pulled out the bucket and shammy earlier. 

Service

As a general rule, you should get your car serviced every six months or 10,000km. Service centres will always tell you when your car is due for a service – maintenance varies with models. Even older car owners should get a professional to cast their eye over their vehicles. If you do nothing else, regular oil and filter changes are vital to the engine’s health.

FORTNIGHTLY

Check your tyre pressures

A good habit to get into is checking your tyre pressures when you go to refuel your car. There’s a world of problems associated with low tyre pressures and it can affect your braking, fuel efficiency and put you at higher risk of a flat tyre.

Oil checks

Without a decent oil level, your engine isn’t going to work smoothly, and could cause costly problems. Click here to find out how to check your oil levels. If oil is low, it’s not too expensive to get your oil replaced by a mechanic, which saves you the mess of doing it yourself.

DAILY

Mirrors

Think back to when you were learning to drive, and your instructor directed you: “Mirrors? Check.” Your rear-view mirror is a given, but a range of factors can affect your side mirrors. Check them when you jump into the car and make sure they’re clean so you’re never driving blind.

Bird poo

You’ve just paid to have your car washed and then parked under a tree. You return to see your vehicle is covered in that awful spotty crap. Sorry to tell you but you’ll need to wash it again, ASAP. Bird poo is quite acidic and can burn your paint so we guarantee it’s cheaper and easier to wash it straight away – new paint jobs don’t come cheap.