Owning a car is great, but there is a great difference between just owning one and taking care of it. Some car owners make the mistake of underestimating car maintenance costs. They think that once the payment has been made, it’s smooth sailing all the way.
You still have plenty of things to consider. Fuel costs and car repairs are the ones that will cost you a lot of money on a regular basis. Although certain repairs like an auto glass repair or engine overhaul are occasional occurrences, other car maintenance concerns should be done regularly such as replacing tires or changing your engine oil.
If you’re a new car owner, we have listed a few hacks for you that will help you keep your car in great condition as you learn to become a better and more responsible owner.
6 Simple Car Maintenance Hacks Every Newbie Will Find Very Helpful
1. Refer to your manual at all times.
Like a lot of other products, cars come with a manual that helps car owners get the most out of the vehicle. Keep your car’s manual in your glove compartment so you can whip it out anytime you need it. Other carmakers have digital downloads available for certain models, but we recommend having a hard copy with you in case your phone or tablet runs out of battery.
2. Have easy access to important information.
As a car owner, there are certain pieces of information that you should be privy to. If you bought a previously owned car, you need to have access to its history. Apps are available that will help you trace if a vehicle has been involved in an accident or the different repairs and services that have been done to it. You can easily get this information using your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and typing it in an app like AutoCheck and CarFax.
3. Get the right peripherals and accessories.
As a car owner, one of the things you’re probably excited to do is accessorize. There are a lot of aftermarket products and accessories that you can put in your car.
Cup holders. Storage bins. Tissue holders. Mounts for digital devices. Window visors. Seat belt pads. And a whole lot more.
But even though the choices are practically limitless, resist the temptation to go overboard to lessen the distractions inside and maintain your car’s functionality at an optimum level. Sometimes these things distract a driver and cause accidents on the road. You don’t want that, and the best you could do are these things that will help maintain your vehicle.
4. Tidy up inside.
Cleanliness has a great impact on your car’s overall appearance. A lot of car owners take very good care of their cars by washing them and wiping the windshield and mirrors.
However, your car’s interior is just as important as its exterior. Some even believe it’s more important since you will be spending most of your time inside. You don’t want it to be musty and smelly, especially if other people ride with you.
Take time at least once a week to vacuum the seats, clean out the mats, wipe the interiors, spray for bugs, and change the air freshener as needed. Doing this regularly will keep the inside of your car hygienic and pleasant.
5. And then do the exterior.
Once you have the interiors taken care of, then you can move on to your car’s exterior. A rule of thumb we follow is we clean the inside first before the outside parts.
Spruce up the exterior by giving it a good wash with soap and water. Waxing and buffing also help keep its paint job fresh and always looking new. It also protects your car’s paint from the sun’s harmful UV rays that make it lose its luster as time goes by.
6. Inspect your car every day.
As a new car owner, you must build certain habits before you start your car. Perform routine checks every day.
Before you get behind the wheel, go around the car and check your tire pressure. You don’t want to damage your wheels with a running flat.
Take time also to check your radiator for water. While you’re there, check your fluid levels to see if you need to add to them. Check your engine oil, coolant, brake and clutch fluid, and ATF. You can do your car a lot of damage if you fail to check its fluids and it runs out while you’re on the road.
If you’re a bit overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of maintaining a car, it’s perfectly normal. Most car owners started the way you do. You’ll get the hang of it as the years pass. Pretty soon, you’ll be the one who’s giving tips and advice to newbies.