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Our car is one of our most valuable assets and we need to know we can trust it to keep us safe whenever we hit the road, so itís important that we do everything necessary to keep it in top running order and keep it looking good.
Here are a few general maintenance tips:
- Keep your car tyres inflated to the correct pressure. Under-inflated tyres can cause drag, which can affect petrol consumption by up to 15% and cause premature wear. Unevenly inflated tyres can affect your control of the car, especially when cornering. Keep a good, well-inflated spare tyre in the boot. When you stop to check your tyre pressure, donít forget to check the spare as well. Another tip - You will get a more accurate PSI reading when your tyres are cold.
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- Itís important to have your car serviced regularly. While this may be seen as an unwanted expense that we can put off temporarily (or indefinitely,) in the long run it can cost big dollars. If, like me, you rely heavily on your car and life would be difficult without it, then make caring for it a priority.
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- Donít skimp on quality when it comes to oil, coolant and other additives for your car, and make sure you also choose the right viscosity oil. If in doubt Ė ask.
- If you see a petrol tanker filling the tanks at your service station, come back the following day or go to a different station. Sediment can build up in the underground tanks and as they are being filled this can be stirred up. If this gets into your petrol it can clog your fuel filter and fuel injector.
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- Make sure your petrol cap fits well to avoid evaporation.
- Wash and wax your car regularly to protect its duco. Automatic car washes are quick and easy but not recommended as a regular method as some can be harsh on your paintwork (and your wallet.) Use a soft cloth to dry and polish.
- Change your windscreen wiper blades before winter as the summer sun can cause them to shrink and become brittle over time.
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- Rub some rubber protector on the weather stripping to keep it supple. Donít forget to do the inside strip where your door shuts as this part can stick and deteriorate quickly.
- Clean leather cars seats with a good leather cleaner and finish with a protector. Fabric seats can be cleaned with regular household upholstery shampoo.
Cleaning and maintenance is as important for our car as for our home. With a little forethought and maybe a reminder on the calendar, we can keep it humming along for years to come.