Tips for protecting your vehicle

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By David

There’s nothing worse than sitting in your car and not having it turn over – or just not work as well as it used to. So many people ruin their car by not protecting with preventative maintenance; or are left out of pocket by not covering it with the right insurance. So here are some easy examples of car maintenance so you can protect your ride.

Tyre maintenance

Do you know what your car’s optimal tyre pressure is? If you don’t, you could be wasting money in fuel and wearing out your tyres faster. You should check your user manual or manufacturer website to ensure you know your correct tyre pressure and check it every two to three weeks. Most service stations will have air compressors – many of them digital – which makes it easy to preset and maintain your tyre pressure.

Wipers and wiper fluid

If your wipers are making streaks across a dirty windscreen, you need to change your wiper blades and top up your wiper fluid. Wiper fluid can just be water, but a bit of dishwasher detergent in water can do the trick too. If you have chips or cracks in your windscreen, get them repaired before you have the replace the entire thing.

Car insurance

Getting covered with the right car insurance is vital to protecting yourself about the worst kind of damage to a car – the one to your wallet. If you cause an accident or incur damage to your car, you’ll want to be safe in the knowledge you aren’t incurring tens of thousands of dollars of payments and legal fees. Make sure you get the right kind of cover: comprehensive insurance covers accidents regardless of fault, while third-party property damage only covers damage you make to another vehicle or property. Consider the excess (the lump sum paid when claiming), agreed or market value, and inclusions such as roadside assistance when making a decision.

Oil changes and scheduled servicing

Every week, you should check your oil levels on level ground before you leave for your first drive to see if it’s at an adequate level. If not, you could be harming your engine. You should change your oil every 5,000-10,000km, or every six to twelve months. Ideally, you should give your car a scheduled or general service (which includes oil changes) within the same period, to keep your engine in peak condition.

General cleaning and detailing

Australia is a sunburnt country and loves its muscle, dust, and sea spray. But all this can harm the paint and chassis of your car. Cleaning your car regularly – both its exterior and interior – can prevent moisture, dirt buildup, and acids from corroding your car’s paint job and prevent corrosion and rust. If you do live in a coastal area, you should clean your car more frequently, as higher salt concentrations can cause corrosion faster. Clean your car’s headlights too – and if you have bulbs shorted out, change them in pairs!

All this can make your car go the distance with minimum fuss; and possibly help boost its resale value, too.