8 Tips to Maintain Your New Car

Cebu has been experiencing a rise in economic growth for several years. Recently, there is also an increasing wave in the number of new vehicles acquired by the rising middle-class Cebuanos whose income can afford them to purchase new cars. But with the ascension of new car owners, it is only pleasing to make them more informed about car upkeep even though they’re not car enthusiasts to begin with.

Car dealers have beefed up their marketing efforts to reach out to these markets that have remarkably given rise to a breed of new money. Car luxury brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Peugeot and Lexus have car models that have

Car luxury brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Peugeot and Lexus have car models that have been plying the Cebu roads along other brands such as Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, Mitsubishiand Nissan. Even the Indian car brand, Mahindra has been increasingly favored by some Cebuanos.

There’s no rocket-scientist-like assessment for someone who has been desiring cars from the age of 13 and who, up to now, is still working to get his own shiny vehicle with new chassis and still efficient automotive engine. The number of cars which wheels are contributing to the wear and tear of Cebu roads is still yet to be obtained from a proper source. But through observation, new vehicles seen on different roads and highways in Metro Cebu are contributing to the traffic during rush hours. But let’s not dwell on the topic of traffic here.

Focus is on how to maintain the new car which new car owners should know to keep their vehicles up and running even beyond their expected appreciation period.

  1. Give it a regular wash

Try to wash the car every week, if you can. If you use your car every day, better to do regular cleaning before you use the car to maintain the shiny exterior especially during times when the car gets dusty or muddy. If you want to get a good impression from a client or you just happen to be obsessive-compulsive about car cleanliness, then you should do something to get the regular car shine.

Wash the body and, if necessary, hose out the fender wells and undercarriage to remove dirt and road salt. It’s time to wax the finish when water beads become larger than a quarter.

2. Check the engine oil

Do it regularly, usually monthly for a vehicle in good condition. Any notice on oil leak or if you find the  need to add oil routinely indicates that you should open the hood of the car to check the engine oil.

Tip: The car should be parked on level ground to get an accurate dipstick reading. Don’t overfill. And if you do have a leak, find and fix it soon.

For normal driving, many automakers recommend changing the engine oil and filter every 7,500 miles or six months, whichever comes first. This is sufficient for the majority of motorists. For “severe” driving—with frequent, very cold starts and short trips, dusty conditions, or trailer towing–the change interval should be shortened to every 3,000 miles or three months. Check your owner’s manual for the specific intervals recommended for your vehicle.) Special engines such as diesels and turbocharged engines may need more-frequent oil changes.

It is better to check the owner’s manual to know specific intervals recommended for your vehicle. Special engines such as diesel and turbocharged engines may need more-frequent oil changes.

3.  Check tire air pressure

Before any extended road trips or at least once a month, use an accurate tire-pressure gauge to check the inflation pressure in each tire, including the spare. Do this when the tires are cold (before the vehicle has been driven or after no more than a couple of miles of driving). Use the inflation pressure recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer, not the maximum pressure embossed on the tire’s sidewall. The recommended pressure is usually found on a placard on a front doorjamb, in the glove compartment, or in the owner’s manual.

Also, be sure to inspect tires for abnormal or uneven wear, cuts, and any sidewall bulges you can see. This should be done prior to using your car. You never know that someone may be put a trickster on you, so at least be on the safe side before hitting the road.

Digital tire-pressure gauges  are probably the best device to give an accurate reading for tire air pressure. Many pencil-type gauges are also a good buy to have. Note that to check the pressure in a temporary spare tire, which is often 60 psi, you will need a gauge that goes higher than that—say from 0 up to 90 pounds.

4. Inspect the exhaust system

If you’re willing to make under-car inspections on do-it-yourself mode, check for rusted-through exhaust parts that need replacing.  Tighten loose clamps. Do this while the car is up on ramps.

If a shop changes your oil, ask to do thorough car parts inspection. Listen for changes in the exhaust sound while driving. It’s usually advisable to replace the entire exhaust system all at once rather than to repair sections at different times.

5.  Check the fluids

On many newer cars, the automatic transmission is sealed. On cars where it is not sealed, check the transmission dipstick with the engine warmed up and running. Better to see the owner’s manual for details on checking your fluid.

Also, check the power-steering-pump dipstick, which is usually attached to the fluid-reservoir cap. The level in the brake-fluid reservoir should also be checked. If the brake-fluid level is low, top it up and have the system checked for leaks.

6. Look at the brakes

For most people, it makes sense to have a shop check and service the brakes. This is a must during regular car maintenance in which you hand over the car safety factor to the expperts.

If you do the DIY brake work, prepare to get down and dirty and use the necessary tools to remove all wheels and examine the brake system. Replace excessively worn pads or linings, and have badly scored rotors or drums machined replaced.

The brakes should be properly checked at least twice per year; more often during planned and extended long trips.

7. Check the battery

Check the battery’s terminals and cables to make sure they are securely attached, with no corrosion. Do this when you open the hood to check the engine of your car. If the battery has removable caps, check its fluid level every few months or have somebody to check them for you. It’s important to handle safely the car battery especially its interior as it contains toxic substances.

8. Have over-all regular maintenance every two to four years

Many car models require replacement of fluid and filter every 36,000 miles or sooner if the normally pink fluid takes on a brownish tint. With some cars, the fluid and the filter can go 100,000 miles or more. With other late models, the transmission fluid never needs to be changed. Always check the car’s manual for this information.

For newer car models, take a hint from the dealer on when to service your car to change the oil or make a thorough check-up. This is to maintain the car warranty especially on mortgaged cars.

It’s better to pay attention to your car for any need of maintenance or replacement. The car’s safety is also your safety as a driver — more so, if you have passengers with you.

But please, don’t do this to your car.



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Written by Bjorn Cebuano

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