How to protect your vehicle investment

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6 tips to properly take care of your car

by Hilary Hackney

According to the US-based Car Care Council, vehicle owners often ignore the warnings that their vehicles give them when things start to wrong. Here are 6 tips, recommended by the Car Care Council, to keep your vehicle trouble-free:

1. Take cognisance of warning lights

Ignoring an illuminated 'check engine' light, for instance, can result in serious engine trouble and costly repairs. At the very least, the warning light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy, such as an improperly secured fuel cap.

Other warning lights have similar important functions. Do not ignore them in the hope that the problem will go away.

2. Change fluids and filters

Many fluids are required for the operation and protection of vehicle systems and components. Checking fluid levels regularly – and having filters and fluids replaced at recommended intervals – helps to ensure that your vehicle runs dependably and extends vehicle life.

3. Inspect your vehicle’s tyres

Your vehicle’s tyres should be checked frequently for damage, inflation pressure and tread depth. Under inflated tyres can wear out more quickly, needing to be replaced sooner, and can negatively impact safety, fuel economy and performance. Damaged tyres are a high safety risk, as are worn tyres.

Read 'How to check your tyre tread' here.

4. Follow a service schedule

Because many car parts and components wear out or become damaged over time, vehicles need to be routinely serviced in order to perform optimally. Routine inspections and timely repairs will help keep your car running efficiently and will help you to avoid more expensive repairs down the road.

5. Keep your car clean

Allowing your vehicle to go too long without a wash leads to a build-up of damaging chemicals and dirt and increases the potential for rust. Also, dirty windows interfere with proper visibility needed for safe driving. 

6. Drive smart

Whether it is stop-and-go traffic, extreme weather, rough roads or heavy loads, it can sometimes be difficult to limit severe driving conditions. However, you can drive smart and improve fuel economy by observing the speed limit, avoiding fast pull offs and sharp, aggressive braking, and driving as safely as possible in accordance with prevailing traffic and weather conditions.

Remember, routine maintenance can go a long way towards saving you money, avoiding motoring headaches and protecting your vehicle investment!

Remember, routine maintenance can go a long way towards saving you money, avoiding motoring headaches and protecting your vehicle investment!

Read "How to extend your car's life: 7 tips to ensure that your car is properly maintained."

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