Many people love their cars. They care for them meticulously, washing them each weekend, getting regular mechanical checks and servicing them at the correct intervals.

But for all those who love their cars there are just as many who simply see their vehicles as a way of getting from A to B. If you fall into this group, it is important to understand that while your vehicle might just be a form of transport, it must be kept in the best condition possible.

There are a number of reasons for this but perhaps the most crucial are reliability and resale value. There is nothing worse than having your car let you down. An unreliable car is something not a pleasant experience. They have a habit of breaking down when you need them most, for example when you are already late for work or perhaps need to rush somewhere in an emergency.

Don’t underestimate resale value either. When you use your vehicle as a trade-in on a newer model, you can rest assured that the dealer you go to will find any reason to knock-off a few pounds here.

Even when you need to secure something like a logbook loan, the condition of your vehicle is of prime importance. So how then do you go about ensuring that your vehicle remains in the best condition possible? Let’s take a look.

Regular maintenance is key

Keeping to the service schedule for your vehicle is extremely important. Newer cars will have a service history that will add to their resale value if completed correctly and at the desired service intervals (normally ever 15 000km). You should check with your dealer when last the car was serviced and then keep up with the schedule when it is due again.

Older cars might not have a service schedule but that does not mean you cannot start one of your own. Service the car when you buy it and then repeat every 15 000km. A mechanic will be able to check the car and tell you exactly what needs to be done at each and every service.

Your tires are important

Those little thin strips of rubber are the only thing keeping you in contact with the road. Remember to check them regularly for damage. It is also important to keep the correct air pressure in your tires. Not only will this make sure they work at their best, keeping you safe but the tread will last far longer. The correct air pressure also ensures maximum fuel efficiency. Tires should be rotated every 15 000km. What does this mean? Well, it means that you should switch them around. Swap the front left with the rear right and do the same with the front right and the rear left.

Turn that radio down

Now we all love music in our cars and sometimes play it far too loud. Every once in a while take a trip with no music playing. This gives you a chance to listen to the car’s engine. It should run smoothly and make no odd noises. If you do hear something strange, get it checked out immediately.

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Regular fluid checks

Next up, check the fluids in your car. Do this every week. Make a checklist and follow it. Always check the following:

  • Windscreen wiper fluid
  • Radiator level
  • Oil level
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Battery levels

Other checks

Perform monthly checks to ensure all your lights are working and that no bulbs are burnt out.

Interior and exterior

Finally, keep the interior and exterior of the car in the best condition possible. Wash and polish your car often. Keep the inside clean and dust free by regularly vacuuming it. It only takes an hour or two twice a month to keep your car in the best condition possible.

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