How To Care For Your Car At Each Stage Of Its Life
Whether it’s a new or used car, there are some basic things that you should do to keep it running smoothly. The first thing is checking the oil level and topping up as needed. You’ll also need to check tyre pressure and replace them if necessary. Finally, it’s essential to get an annual service to identify any problems early on before they become more expensive.
There is more to car care than just the basics, though, and vehicles of different ages have different requirements, which we will outline in this guide.
Don’t Delay Replacing Major Parts
Replacement parts for your vehicle can be expensive, but the cost of not replacing them can be much higher. If a major component fails, it can lead to other parts failing as well, not to mention the safety risk to you and your family. Fortunately, there are payment options available in the modern age that can ease the financial burden.
Mechanics Afterpay is a service that lets you buy now, pay later with no interest or fees. It’s quick, easy and convenient to use, and you can break up the payments into fortnightly instalments to ensure you get the necessary repairs completed in a timely fashion.
How To Care For a New Car
You’ve just bought a new car, and now you want to make sure that it lasts for years. That means taking care of the interior, exterior, and engine. Here are some tips on how to care for your new vehicle to last as long as possible.
Cleaning is one of the key factors if you want your vehicle to look new for as long as possible. Ensure you garage your car wherever possible and remove any deposits that may fall on your car immediately to protect your paint job. Wash the interior and exterior of your car weekly by hand. This includes using a chamois to dry the exterior and applying polish to protect your paint jobs. Don’t use automated car washes. They might be convenient, but the heavy brushes can damage your paint job. If your garage is an open space, maintain the paint by using a car cover when not in use.
When your car is new, major parts and components are likely to last for years. But numerous parts include consumables that need to be inspected from day one. These include your filters, brakes, fluids and your battery. Outside of your regular services, check these consumables and replace them immediately if there are any issues. Otherwise, you risk premature damage to your major components.
The Things To Look Out For As Your Car Ages
As your car ages, there are significant parts that will wear down and will need replacing. This varies on a range of factors, including the make and model, the type of driving you are doing and how well your vehicle has been maintained. Here is your rough time frame on how long these major parts will last, so you know when to prioritise each component:
- Battery: Modern batteries are built to last, and you should get three to five years of life. If you are noticing your lights are dimming or have difficulty turning the engine over, the battery may need replacing.
- Engine and timing belts: If these belts snap, they can cause significant damage to your engine, so they need replacing at the first sign of wear. Engine belts should be replaced every three years or 60,000km, and timing belts should be replaced every 150,000km.
- Tyres: A quick look should be enough to tell when the tread is starting to wear thin, but your tyres should be replaced every six to 10 years or when the minimum safe tread depth has been reached.
- Brakes: There is no hard and fast time frame on your brake pads; they must be replaced as soon as they begin to wear thin for safety reasons. They should be inspected every service and the brake fluid replaced.
Many other components are not part of a regular maintenance schedule and should be replaced when they fail, including your fuel pump, alternator and other parts.
How To Care For An Older Car
All of the previous points become more important as your car ages. For example, hoses and tubing can develop leaks, and parts and components become more prone to failure. Think of your older car as a human. When we get older, we require specialists, and your vehicle does as well. We know that working on your car at home can be a labour of love, but your car should be inspected by a dedicated mechanical specialist annually.
With a bit of diligence and proper care, your car will remain in good condition for many years to come!