Show Your Car Some Love This Valentine’s Day

Your car is a vital tool to help you in your daily life. Show it some love this Valentine’s Day by learning how to maintain it properly.
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Published: Friday, February 10th 2017
General
Your car is one of the most important parts of your life and a lot of life happens inside of it. Whether it be a first date, a road trip, or a panicked drive to the hospital to meet your unborn child, your car will be alongside you through all of these life events. Yet, how much love do we really give to our 'trusty steeds'. Do we always give it the 'love' and proper maintenance it deserves?
‘Take care of your car and it will take care of you." That's advice from Vishal Premlall, director of the Motor Industry Workship Association (MIWA).
And, what better time to take care of your car then in the 'Month of Love'?  valentines day, car, love, roses With the rising cost of living and car resale values dropping the minute it leaves the showroom, making car maintenance at the top of your priority list only makes sense.
Premlall says, “You don’t have to be a mechanical expert to take care of your car. You just need to be aware of what you should be keeping an eye on, and keep a regular maintenance schedule."

10 Basic Care Tips To Spoil Your Car This Valentine's Day

These 10 tips will ensure your car stays on the road longer, and that you pick up smaller repairs before they become a big problem.

1. Check Up On Her

Just how checkups with your loved one are essential to maintain a relationship, so annual maintenance checkups at the mechanics are essential to maintain your car. Keeping up with your car's recommended maintenance schedule can help avoid costly problems with your cooling system, drivetrain, suspension, and other components. Follow the recommended schedule religiously and only use quality oil, fluids, and parts.

2. Take Care Of Her heart

A car battery, like other car parts, has been made to last and is relatively maintenance-free. Most batteries last more than three years but, at the first sign of trouble starting the engine, it is suggested you get 'her heart' checked out.

3. Make Her Bat Her Eyes

The windshield wipers have to be one of the most neglected car parts. In truth, your wipers should be changed every 12 months, or if the rubber becomes worn. Do not forget to also check the wiper fluid reservoir and ensure it is full.

4. Learn About Her Nature

When getting a certain brand and model of car, you will want to be clued up on its potential pros and cons. Use forums to learn about potential problems before they happen. This will help you prevent them or fix them immediately.

5. Maintain Her Emotions

You could say that the equivalent of a human's emotions, are a car's fluids. Do you check the level of your car's antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid, regularly? If you're not so clued up on this area of your car, ask a fellow petrol-head, or your mechanic, to check it. Even if your car doesn't leak fluids, it can develop a leak, which leads to a dangerously low level of fluids. It’s also important to change the oil regularly as this will improve your mileage and protect your engine. The recommended mileage, between oil changes, is between 5000 - 8000 km, or every three to six months. It's also important to change the oil filter to ensure you are not putting clean oil into a dirty filter. Filters are cheap and available at any parts store.  Check your service manual, or contact your dealer, for your car's specific needs.

6. Give Her a 'Brake'

Monitoring your brake pad thickness can be the difference between an accident and being able to brake safely in time. Don't let the pads wear down to metal, as this will cause damage to your brake rotors (discs) and, possibly, your callipers as well. A word of caution; rotors and callipers are much more expensive to replace than brake pads.

7. Keep Her Interested

To reduce uneven wear and tear on your tyre, make sure you change the tyre position regularly. Your tyres should be rotated diagonally, i.e. front right to rear left, and front left to rear right. Do you check your tyre pressure regularly? Proper tyre inflation will help the tyres handle better and last longer. It will also ensure you get the most out of a tank of petrol. Regularly check your car tyres for wear and tear.

8. Take Note Of All She Has To Offer

Many drivers who drive an automatic vehicle think they are excused from using a handbrake. Using your hand brake regularly, especially if you're parked on an incline, helps the rear brakes stay adjusted and makes them last longer.

9. Pay Close Attention To Her Needs

Just like your love, paying close attention to everything they "say" can prove invaluable in the long run. Pay close attention to all your vehicle’s noises. This includes all warning lights and, even, certain cosmetic issues, like a piece of rubber trim that’s loose. Ignoring a problem only allows it to get worse. Also, parts for aging vehicles only get harder to find.

10. Above All, Give Her Love

Wash it, wax it, and vacuum it, and treat all leather surfaces. You will protect both the paint and the interior from ageing prematurely.

11. Keep Her Protected

Possibly one of the biggest ways we express our love is through the need to protect our loved ones. The same is true for you car. Make sure you and your car are sufficiently covered, should the worst happen. If you don't yet have car insurance, or you'd like to find a better deal, CLICK BELOW to compare car insurance quotes across a variety of trusted providers.
"These tips are all valid irrespective of whether you own a new or used vehicle and stress, again, the importance of regular maintenance, which is the key to extending the life of your car," says Premhall.
If you are unsure on how to fully maintain and protect your car, visit your local service centre for additional advice.