Forgetting to tend to your car is almost as bad as neglecting your health. We all know what happens when someone is in bad health. Neglecting your car in the long run will set yourself up for unnecessary expenses in future. In this article, we address the Do's and Don'ts of common things that we sometimes wouldn't think of; that could be harmful to your car. When it comes to selling that vehicle in the future, you'd also be able to negotiate on a higher price.
How Can Heat Damage Your Car?
It is recorded that the air temperature inside of your vehicle can reach 62 celcius and more while the interior surfaces exposed to direct sunlight at over 90 celcius. With the constant sun all year round, extreme heat exposure and UV rays can affect your car’s overall appearance both outside and in. When a car is exposed to hours of scorching heat, the paint can fade and crack. The occasional wax can also protect the car's finish, but is it always best to keep the surface clean. To avoid cracks or tears on the inside, keep the seats clean or install seat covers that protect leather and fabric seats. How can you solve this? Parking under the shade, installing a good window tint or even sun shades will help.
Remember that first impressions always matter. Hence why the paint work, exterior or interior condition of your vehicle plays a part in every car valuation.
Fully Synthetic vs Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil
What type of oil do we choose to use? This depends largely on vehicle type, budget and the oil itself. To start, there are mineral, synthetic and semi-synthetic oils. While the latter two are more commonly used, mineral oils are also blended into semi-synthetic oils and are more economical between the two. Fully synthetic oils however, have been chemically engineered to be more stable at optimum temperatures and are able to gain a higher mileage compared to mineral oils.
Also, if you own an European car, the synthetic oil you choose has to meet the specifications of European vehicles. Do not settle for inexpensive motor oils, as it could damage the car as the right fluids are needed to keep your car running well.
Driving with Under-inflated Tyres
Many will say that driving with under-inflated tyres will only cost them the price of the tyres. But truth be told, it is more than cost, as long term damage and personal safety also comes into play. When your tyres are low on air, it places pressure on the corner of the chassis and suspension which over time can wreck components in your vehicle. This also puts stress on parts such as rotors, calipers, wheels and brake lines.
Also when it comes to personal safety, driving with under-inflated tyres poses a threat to loss of handling. You wouldn't get the same grip as with properly inflated tyres. Remember that a top up of air at the petrol station is always free.
Routine inspection of your tyres for signs of damage is important for safety. If you are unsure of the recommended level of inflation pressure for your tyres, it can be found on the vehicle placard or in your vehicle’s owner manual. Maintaining proper inflation pressure will help ensure your tyres last longer and stay durable. Having proper inflation pressure will give you the best tyre performance, safety and fuel economy too.
On a separate note, it has been confirmed that driving with tyres that are 15 per cent underinflated affects fuel economy by 1.2 per cent.
Driving Over Many Potholes and Damaged Roads
This is one we are all too familiar with. There are potholes in corners, straight roads, and even in a speed bump itself. But how can it damage your vehicle?
While a pothole may seem harmless, it can damage your tyres and rims, causing the latter to bend or crack. In some cases damage to the casing and sidewall can lead to flats. Long term pothole damage can impact the suspension and set the vehicle's wheel alignment out and cause steering pull. In a worse case scenario, the suspension can separate from the vehicle and even further affect the vehicle subframe.
Beware of the next time you drive over speed bumps or potholes, to reduce your speed to protect the suspension and subframe. Unintentional damage to shock absorbers will affect your brakes, handling, steering, handling and ride comfort as well. What you can do is to remember the location of various potholes or report them to the relevant municipalities.
Using Special Additives for Cleaner Engine and Better Performance
Although it is important to take care of your car and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on maintenance, it is wise to research more on cleaning related fuel additives before you use them. Firstly, there are few types of cleaning related fuel additives including fuel injector cleaners, fuel system cleaners and even petrol mileage additives.
Should you believe these additives? Well it depends on popularity and the product. Fuel system and injection cleaners claim to remove carbon buildup in the fuel system as well as injectors. While we believe this works, quite a few fuel companies already have such a formulation mixed into most petrol types today.
But it is always important to remember that you wouldn’t want to void your manufacturer’s warranty due to unwanted damage done to your vehicle through these external products. Remember that it is better to be cautious about the products you use, especially it comes to additional mileage or significant performance.
Your car is an investment. Staying on top of your car maintenance will ensure you get the most out of it, especially when it is time to sell. If you neglect regular maintenance, the chances of things going awry are high. You might even pay more in repair costs in the long term when you do not maintain your vehicle. It takes time and effort to take care of your car, and it is not easy. But we assure you that with regular external and internal upkeep, you will definitely be able to prolong your vehicle's lifespan and attain a better resale value when you sell.
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