Whether you’ve just purchased a brand new vehicle or have been driving an old favourite for a long time, regular car maintenance can benefit your vehicle’s performance, it’s safety and your wallet. Many car owners mistakenly only pay attention to their car’s maintenance after a costly problem arises.
On top of a premium detailing and protective polish, performing regular car maintenance can keep your car in top shape, reduce future maintenance costs, and prolong its life. You do not need to have in-depth car knowledge to get started, as simple car maintenance tasks like checking your tyre pressure or changing your windshield wipers can all improve the performance and longevity of your car.
Keep your car healthy and its resale value as high as possible with these 7 actionable car care tips.
1. Keep your car clean
The simple and most cost-effective vehicle maintenance that you can perform is washing your car. Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits, keeping your car clean protects its exterior and allows for proper visibility while driving.
It’s recommended that you wash your car every 2 – 4 weeks depending on factors such as the weather, how frequently you drive, and how often your windshield gets dirty.
Regularly washing your car can also prevent costly paint repairs, by removing debris and lingering dirt that can lead to paint damage over time.
While many of us have fond memories of washing the family car in the driveway, you could potentially damage your vehicle by washing it at home. Many people use a bucket of soap to clean their cars, but unless you’re soaking your cloth or sponge in clean water every time, you risk picking up dirt and debris that can scratch the paintwork.
2. Check your engine oil
Despite what the dashboard indicators may display, it’s wise to check your engine’s oil levels regularly. A car’s engine oil is vital to its functioning, and problems with the engine oil can lead to serious and expensive vehicle damage.
Protect your vehicle by regularly checking your engine’s oil through this simple process:
- Ensure that your vehicle is parked on level ground.
- When the engine is cold, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth.
- Reinsert the dipstick, making sure it’s entirely inserted.
- Your oil level should sit between the minimum and maximum level lines on the dipstick and needs replenishing if below the minimum (picture to illustrate this would be beneficial)
3. Check tyre pressure
Did you know that tyres account for up to 20% of your car’s fuel consumption? Even marginal deflation in your tyres can lead to expensive increases in fuel consumption. Tyre deflation is also a safety concern that can cause poor vehicle handling or damaged tyres.
While many modern cars are outfitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems, it’s still important to check tyre pressure as part of your regular car care routine. Along with tyre pressure, you should also check that your tyres have enough thread. The legal minimum depth is 1.5 millimetres, although you should consider changing your tyres before they reach this point.
Tyres can also damage with age. With this in mind, if your vehicle currently possesses a set of tyres that are over 6 years old, then it might be time to get them replaced.
4. Check your lights
Another essential feature of car care is making sure that your vehicle’s lights are in working order. Apart from the legal requirements, there are obvious safety concerns to consider as well.
While it’s often apparent when headlights aren’t functioning properly, it can be difficult to notice failure of other lights on a vehicle. Make it part of your regular car maintenance routine to check the function of all your vehicle’s lights, including indicator lights, reversing lights and fog lights.
5. Check your car battery condition
Performing a regular battery inspection is important to keeping your car both safe and functional. A quick visual inspection and cleaning of your car’s battery at least once a year will prolong its life and ensure your car’s optimal performance.
The first thing to look out for when checking your car battery is the presence of any dried, white battery acid, grime or corrosion. These materials can adversely affect your car’s performance, so be sure to keep the top of your car battery and its terminals clean.
Before starting the cleaning process, you’ll need to remove the cables first, starting with the negative one. When cleaning up the corrosive material, it’s best to use a wire brush along with corrosion removal fluid. The traditional baking soda and water combination can also suffice as an alternative.
6. Change your windshield wipers
Maintaining the highest level of visibility on the road is vital to keeping you and other drivers safe. Any time your windshield wipers display visible damage, it’s crucial that you replace them.
Replacing wiper blades is a quick and relatively inexpensive part of car maintenance that should be intuitive by using the guidance in your vehicle’s manual. As a general rule, always replace your wiper blades every 6-12 months regardless of their apparent condition.
Another important feature of car care is ensuring that your wiper fluid is topped up. The washer fluid reservoir can be found under the bonnet and will be marked with a windshield wiper symbol. (Include an illustration of where to find the wiper fluid). Fill the washer fluid reservoir with the right balance of water and wiper fluid, as indicated by the instructions on the bottle. Don’t use any household detergents as they may damage your wiper blades or your car’s exterior.
7. Get your car regularly detailed
Combined with regular car washes, a professional auto detailing of your vehicle can help restore your car’s like-new appearance and prevent further wear and tear.
Car detailing is a specialised cleaning process that goes beyond a regular car wash to help restore and protect your car’s interior and exterior. While a regular car wash simply cleans your car, a car detailing removes blemishes and tough stains, restores paintwork, and revitalises the interiors.
Additional detailing services like the application of specialist waxes or polishes will leave your car with a sparkle finish while helping to repel future minor marks from the paintwork.
Car Detailing from Star Car Wash
As Australia’s leading professional car cleaning service, we’re committed to helping our customers maintain and restore their vehicles through our professional auto detailing. If you want the best for your vehicle, our car detailing packages include premium services such as the steam cleaning of fabric and carpets, leather cleaning and conditioning, and the application of an all over-protective wax to clean and enhance paintwork.
Much like checking your tyre pressure or inspecting your car’s battery, car detailing is another important part of regular car maintenance. Take a look at our car detailing services to learn how our professional detailers can help restore your car to its factory freshness.