If everything checks out when you’re buying a new car, it can be the start of a great relationship. But like in any relationship, as time goes on and more kilometres are covered, cracks can begin to appear. Without regular check-ups, issues are not identified until it’s too late and you’re left broken down on the side of the road wondering what went wrong.
It doesn’t have to be like that though. The more effort you put into your car, the more you will get out of it and the longer it will last.
So, to help ensure that the relationship runs smoothly and doesn’t hit any speed bumps, here are the top five things you shouldn’t do to your car:
1. Don’t ignore it
One of the fundamentals of any relationship is the ability to communicate. Your car, especially if it’s modern, will have a number of ways to inform you that it needs attention.
If a warning light comes on, don’t drive around for weeks – take it to a workshop as soon as you can. Likewise, if you hear a weird noise when you start the engine or as you drive, then get it seen to. This is your car telling you that something’s not right.
2. Don’t miss the service dates
There is a reason this piece of advice is given to everyone who owns a car. Getting your car serviced by a professional is arguably the most important thing you can do for it. Like a relationship, there can be consequences if you miss a date!
A basic service checks all the essentials – oil and filter replacement, antifreeze, brake fluid level and condition check, and a battery test (among other things). Most mechanics and dealers will offer more comprehensive services if desired. It’s like taking your car to the doctor for a check-up, regular servicing will keep it running smoother for longer and make it easier to resell if you have a full service history.
3. Don’t forget to clean it
A lot of time and hard earned money has gone into finding the right car; it makes sense to keep it clean!
Washing your car every few weeks can maintain the paintwork and prevent expensive touch-ups further down the line.
4. Don’t scrimp
Relationships can be a big financial commitment, and while there might be times when your car seems like a bottomless pit and is draining all your funds, there are occasions when it’s worth splashing out on.
If it needs new oil, then make sure you buy premium oil, not just the cheapest option. Take it to a recognised mechanic if it needs repairs, which may not necessarily be the cheapest in town.
Also, make sure you buy decent tyres – these are your last defence between you and the road, and safety should always be a priority.
5. Don’t leave it to rot in the driveway
Neglect gets you nowhere in a relationship and a car is the same. People who buy luxury cars, for instance, only take them for a drive once in a blue moon despite these cars being designed to be taken out and enjoyed.
Taking your car out on the open road is good for it and it will rekindle the reason you bought it in the first place.