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Owning a car isn’t the same as having a beat up old bag that you can throw in the back of the closet. You need to take care of it to make sure that it won’t break on you. Apart from saving you a lot of money in the long run, investing into the care of your car can mean that it lasts longer, that it drives better, it takes the stress out of the equation – plus, there are extras that simply look good. You expect a lot from your car – it does countless miles while coping with all terrains and all weather conditions, it deals with family vacations as well as your daily commute – and you can’t expect that to not have an effect on the vehicle. General wear and tear isn’t something you can get around, but preventive measures can be taken to ensure any damage is contained and fixed before it gets out of hand.
You will obviously have insurance for your car, and choosing a premium or higher level policy is a big start on caring for your car and for you as a driver. No matter how much money and effort you put into your car, there will always be idiots out there and accidents waiting to happen, so you need to be prepared for those instances with a high quality insurance. The same can be said of routinely taking your car for it’s MOT – it’s something that you have to do, but also something that can be made less expensive and less stressful by caring for your car year round.
Your car is waterproof – it wouldn’t make a very good vehicle if it wasn’t. But the undercarriage of your car isn’t, and that does lead your car to be vulnerable to flooding when driving through rainstorms and deep puddles. Paying for a waterproof coating for the underside of your car could save you a lot of money and from breaking down in the rain. It also offers a small level of protection from oil and petrol splatters, as well as mud clinging to the underside of everything.
Tinting your windows with Fletch Window Tint is mostly a cosmetic luxury. It looks smart and is used in a lot of professional driving companies. But it also has a functional use; for driving companies it allows the passenger a level of ambiguity and privacy. In a family car it can keep the sun off your children’s faces, keeping the car cool and get rid of the need for blinds in your car. It’s also great at dimming those headlights that always seem to be on high beam glaring at you from the car behind. Tinted windows aren’t usually allowed on the front windscreen, driver side and passenger windows, as a safety thing. So double check the legislation in your area before going ahead with it.
When you take your car to be washed, you’ll see the option for a hot wax treatment – take it. It improves the look of your car by keeping the paint work looking fresh and super shiny. It also reduces water marks from the rain, makes it easier to wipe off dirt, and just looks so good! (It deserved saying twice.)
It’s recommended that you take your car to be serviced raise a year – ideally spaced equally before and after your MOT, or when you have done 12,000 miles. But that doesn’t mean that you are limited to that amount. If you feel like your car needs it – take it for an extra service. You know how your car drives and how it sounds, so if you think something is off, go and have it checked out. And if anything is wrong, then fix it straight away. Sorting out a problem now means that it doesn’t have the chance to turn into a bigger issue which would cost you a lot more money in the long run.
Cut the year in half and change your tires every six months. It makes sense to change them just before winter, and if you live in a place prone to ice and snow you might want to look into getting snow tires or even snow chains fitted. You can tell when your tires are ready to be changed by how deep the tread is – use this coin trick to help you figure it out. When buying your new tires, stick to a reputable brand, and one that is recommended for your vehicle. Don’t go for second hand – yes they are safe to use, but you end up replacing them twice as fast. Pick a premium brand and invest in some decent tires.
Wipers and lights
Much like your tires, your wipers get worn out throughout the year, and you will need to replace them. Installing new wipers is an easy task you can do for yourself, but most car parts or hardware stores will offer to fit them for you of you’re unsure. The same can be said of light bulbs – although these aren’t as easy to fit by yourself. It’s legal to drive with a busted light, so the moment one dims, or when your check light pops up on your dashboard, replace it. Being preemptive is always better than having to deal with the ticket you will surely get driving around with a broken light.
Pretty much all new cars come with Bluetooth speakers and a USB and aux outlet. And most of them also come with a built in Sat Nav. But of your car doesn’t you can invest to have your existing tech upgraded. A lot of old cars can have the radio replaced with a CD player, but for a Bluetooth hook up you will probably have to have it fitted for you as it takes a bit more rewiring than plugging it in. Plus any major reworking can call for a new dashboard altogether as the original might not have been built to support the new tech.