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Maintaining Your New Car

With 0% financing for up to 60 months and "Employee Pricing" being offered by car makers, new cars are rolling off the lots in record numbers. If you took advantage of this offer then you'll want to read this.
» Your New Car
» Under The Hood
» Under The Car
» Around The Car » Service Schedule
Around The Car:

The first thing that people notice about a car is what it looks like. If a car has a dull look or is covered with road grime or dotted with rust holes, it just doesn't look attractive. The best way to keep your car looking good for many years is to do some maintenance on the exterior. A good coat of wax will prevent road salt and acid rain from marking the paint and eating into the sheet metal. A good waxing every six months will protect the paint and keep your car looking new for many years. Running your car through the car wash once a week will get road grime and oil off the finish and keep your car young looking. A good car wash will have an under car wash section that will wash away road salt and keep the car from rusting from the inside out. This is especially important if you live in an area where they use a lot of salt in the winter.

If you have a convertible top you should keep the top clean. You should treat it with a convertible top conditioner every six months to keep it in good condition.

I recommend replacing the wiper blades once a year as well. Wiper refills are cheap and we usually only think about them when they start streaking and skipping. If you live in an area that suffers cold and snowy winters, you may want to change to winter blades in the fall and go back to regular blades in the spring.

Keep the interior clean. If you have leather seats applying a leather dressing every year will keep them supple and prevent them from cracking. Vacuum the carpeting frequently to keep dirt from destroying the pile. Floor mats do a nice job of keeping the carpet nice and clean. If you have sloppy winters, cut a piece of carpeting to place over the car's carpeting to take the brunt of the abuse. Then just throw it, and the winter abuse, out in the spring.

At The Pump:

When you are at the gas station filling up is a good time to look over your car. Open the hood and check the fluid levels. Make sure they are up to the full marks and top off your windshield washer fluid. A fluid that is always low is a sign of leakage. This is a good way to catch a small problem before it becomes a bigger, and more expensive, problem. Look around the engine and see if there are any problems brewing. You may not know what to look for, but you will learn what looks normal for your car and what looks like a problem coming on. Walk around your car and look at it. Look at the tires and see if they are wearing okay. Look for loose parts; maybe the exhaust pipe is hanging lower than normal or a piece of body molding is starting to come off. Bounce the corners of the car and see if it bounces too much. If it bounces more than one or two times, you may have shocks or struts starting to go bad. If these parts are bad they will start to chew up your tires.

Cars can't talk, they can't tell you when they need something. They'll go happily along on what they have until they breakdown. And they won't tell you when they are going to break down; they'll just do it. It's up to you to take care of your car to keep it running well and looking good. Maintaining your car will greatly reduce the possibility of breaking down somewhere. And, according to Murphy's Law, it will always break down at the worst possible time.

There are a lot of good reasons to maintain your car in a good and safe condition. But to me the most important reason to maintain my car is who rides inside it. If you don't take good care of your car, and something happens where your family is injured or killed, it will be more costly than all the new cars in the world. So not only to extend the life of your new car, maintain it for your families safety as well.

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
» Part 5

Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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