Owning a vehicle can be a dream. The freedom to go wherever you want, the thrill of a major purchase and the fun of searching for the perfect car. Exploring dealerships, surfing the web, and checking out a good auto auction is thrilling in itself.
But owning a car can lose its luster quickly if the vehicle isn’t kept in good condition. Stains and smells start to appear, scratches accumulate, and the once smooth-riding roadster pulls to the left or has trouble shifting from second to third gear. You need to protect your car if you want to keep it in good condition for the long run. Here are some effective ways to have you loving your vehicle longer.
1. Regular Cleaning
When it comes to a vehicle, the first thing anyone notices is how clean it is. Whether it’s the exterior or interior, keeping your car clean will go a long way to keeping it in mint condition. It’s a good idea to set up a schedule for cleaning your vehicle, to wash make sure that you wash your car at least once a month. Be sure to open the doors and trunk and clean the exterior in these areas that are hidden during the wash. To keep a consistent coat of wax on your car, you’ll want to apply wax once every 4-6 months. This can be done more frequently, but isn’t necessary if you are vigilant about keeping up your routine.
The interior is slightly a different story. Some people are okay with eating, smoking and drinking in their cars. This means that the dirt and trash build-up will accumulate more quickly. It’s good to vacuum your car as needed, more frequently if you tend to be eating in it a lot. If you have leather in your interior, you’ll want to apply a protectant regularly to keep it from cracking.
2. Proper Storage
Another key to keeping your car well-maintained is storage. Rain, sun and ice can cause havoc to a car’s exterior. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snowing the sinter, keep in mind that the salt and chemicals on the road to melt ice can do serious damage to the exterior of your car. Not to mention the debris that can find its way onto your vehicle. A car cover really doesn’t cut it in thesecases—keeping the elements off requires an area that is weatherproof. Garages and carports are the most common places, but there are plenty of other options. The most common would be a vehicle storage unit. Car storage is truly the best way to keep any type of vehicle safe from the elements. Using a storage facility, even just during the winter months, will do wonders towards keeping your vehicle in good condition—whether it’s a classic car or a recreational vehicle. Just keeping the moisture off is worth investing in a storage facility.
These are great options for people who want to keep their cars in a secure location. Also, vehicle storage rates aren’t as expensive as you might think. Often new customers are offered a deal, especially for long-term storage. With the proper storage of your vehicle, all of the other actions you take will pay off.
3. Required Maintenance
There’s a reason vehicle manufacturers send a maintenance list with new cars—it’s to keep the car running at optimal efficiency for longer. Following these scheduled services will help your car perform better for more years. These include oil changes, fluid changes, tire rotations, and more. Don’t put these off. They can make a huge difference in how your car runs for a long period of time.
4. Timely Repairs
There are always going to be unforeseen issues that arise when owning a vehicle. One of the biggest mistakes most people make is putting off repairs. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to your car. All of its systems need to work together in harmony. When you let an issue fester, it will often cause a domino effect of damage that can add up quickly. Paying for repairs in a timely fashion actually ends up saving you money in the long run.
5. Go For a Drive
The simple truth is cars were made to be driven. If you are keeping it clean, parking it in a good storage unit with climate-control and staying up to date with the maintenance, then you need to take it out on the road from time to time. Your car’s components and fluids need to circulate and move to work well. So, take the time to drive the car you love.