Car Checks

Car Care Checks

Maintaining your vehicle is not just great financial sense in terms of keeping the cost of driving down as well as maintaining the value of your investment but you also maximize the enjoyment of your car as well. There is a great deal of pride of ownership when you are driving a great, pristine looking, smooth sounding vehicle which makes you feel good as well as attracting admiring looks from others.
 Keeping your vehicle in good shape and well cared for does not need you to spend huge sums of money – remember, the whole point of these car care hints is to save you money today and in the long term with your driving, and for the most part, all you need to do is to allocate a few minutes each week to looking out for signs of wear and tear, topping up oil and water levels and general attention to what your vehicle is being put through.

 Check your seatbelts frequently

 Pop the hood and take a look at the fan belts and any other belts you can see – you are checking to see if they are worn or suffering from cracking or missing sections. A belt which slips will cause issues with the sound of yoru vehicle as well as cooling and will not work effectively – in extreme cases, if the belt breaks and causes a loss in cooling effect then eventually your engine may cease working.

 Check Engine Tuning

 Make sure you arrange for your engine to be tuned at regular intervals – having a service is not the same as getting your engine tuned – engine tuning is about making sure all the engine systems are working in harmony to the best effect depending on the driving conditions. For instance, simply having an unclean spark plug which causes inefficient burning of gas can reduce engine power and decrease your fuel economy by 35%.

 Check Battery Terminals

 Keep your battery terminals clean and clear of extraneous matter – use a solution of bicarbonate of soda (one teaspoon to one quart) to clean the terminals and contacts and apply Vaseline to the terminals to prevent corrosion which in turn degrades the effect of the battery when turning over the engine or upon recharging it when you are driving.

Check for Scratches and Marks

 Superficial scratching can easily be handled by you at home using Brasso on a soft, clean cloth and rubbing over the affected area. You can also use some solutions made specifically for the purpose such as T-Cut but whatever you use, be aware that the scratches are being blended by the “melting” action of the solution you are using – rub too long and hard and you will eventually wear down to the bare metal or create thin patches of paintwork which then become susceptible to attack from corrosion leading to rust.

 Check the Tow Bar and Hitch

 Grab an old tennis ball and some silicone spray – apply the spray to the tow hitch and after cutting a slit in the tennis ball, force this onto the ball. This will reduce rust and corrosion of the hitch as well as maintain lubrication.

Check that the Petrol Cap Fits Securely!

Simple and cheap to fix but how many people are driving around with an insecure petrol cap? Petrol is highly gaseous and will escape through any exit if you don’t keep the  petrol cap securely fitted. This is a sure fire way to save you money and improves your car mileage.

Exhaust System

You must make sure the exhaust system is working as it ought to – it removes excess gases from the engine and is vital in maintaining engine compression and integrity. A poor exhaust leads to severe fuel wastage as well as loss of engine power and the neighbors in the next town will hear you long before they see you as the exhaust also acts to drown the sound from your engine.

If you are feeling wealthy, you can also upgrade to a more efficient exhaust system which will set you back some initial investment money but will save you a significant amount in gas.

Use Vinegar on Your Windshield Wipers

When you are cleaning the car, use a soft, clean cloth soaked in ordinary vinegar to clean the wiper blades. This will clean them more thoroughly than soap and water while when they are in use they will not leave streaks and smears across your windshield.

Check that Your Battery Terminals Clean

Maintaining clean battery terminals and contacts is essential if you want your engine to fire up every time. Be careful because your battery contains highly corrosive sulfuric acid which will corrode not only the terminals and affect the charge being transferred but also affects how well the battery is recharged when the car is being driven.

Use a solution of ordinary bicarbonate of soda at the rate of one teaspoon to one quart of ordinary water, but make sure you wear protective gloves when you do this. You can maintain the terminals by applying Vaseline to all the electrical contacts as this will act to prevent corrosion by allowing the metal to come into contact with water.

Looking after your car need not be something to take over your entire weekend but if you are prepared to invest a little time on a regular basis you will be able to spot simple things that you can immediately put right and prevent from becoming a serious issue requiring the garage to fix – and that is where the largest number of repair pounds get spent!
About The Author
Ryan Draving is the Vice President of Empire Covers, a leading provider of car covers, motorcycle covers, truck covers, and other car cover accessories. Empire Covers can be found online at: