Good Car Ownership Habits
Car problems cause wretches in everyone’s lives, both financial and in day to day routine. It’s up to us, the owners, to do our due diligence to help prevent these issues from arising. Our team of professionals have pulled together some of their top habits they recommend adopting today:
Clean Your Windshield
Whether it’s a cloudy day or a sunny one, a clean windshield will always come in handy. Keeping your windshield clear firstly aids in the lifespan of your windshield. A dirty windshield can leave small cracks and chips undetectable until it’s too late and spread into bigger ones. A clean windshield is also important for visibility, essential for a safe driving experience, whether day or night. An attainable habit to consider beginning is using the complimentary windshield washing tools available at most gas stations when filling your car with gas. While this is realistic for the average car owner, we encourage you to be mindful of the potential particles in the solution that could damage your windshield, leaving small scratches. For our Car Enthusiasts and Motorheads, we recommend Sprayway Glass Cleaner. This glass cleaner that our detailing department uses is ammonia-free, leaves no streaks, and is incredibly affordable. Simply carry a can of Sprayway and a few microfiber cloths with you in your vehicle, and you’ll always be ready to clean your windshield at a moment’s notice.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Did you know it’s not the tire that supports your vehicle’s weight but rather the air pressure inside the tire? If you’re not checking your tire pressure roughly once every month, you could be causing extensive damage to your vehicle. Tire pressure influences numerous characteristics of your vehicle, such as driving comfort, directional stability, handling, and fuel economy. Everyone knows that if your tire starts looking flat, it’s time to air it up; your tires can lose air pressure without you even noticing. Often, by the time you can see it, extensive (and expensive) damage could have already occurred. Not only does checking your tire pressure regularly prolong your car’s performance, but it also avoids heat build-up resulting in potential rolling hazards.
When checking your tire pressure, our pros recommend checking them when they’re “cold” or at least 3 hours after driving to ensure the most accurate PSI (pounds per square inch) reading. Gas expands when heated and contracts when temperatures decline. Daily temps rise and fall between day, night, and as we move through seasons. If you’re unsure of your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure, check your vehicle handbook or on the driver’s doorpost.
Be Attentive to Your Car’s Oil
Everyone knows that you need to change your car’s oil at some point. But how often? Our pros suggest the safest rule is 5,000 miles for an out of warranty vehicle. If you’re driving a newer vehicle, a built-in oil-life monitor that uses an algorithm to calculate data based on your driving habits (cold starts, idling hours, engine revs, etc.) and will tell you when you’re due for a change. Make sure to get your oil change soon after you receive such an alert. For most drivers who operate vehicles out of warranty, we recommend checking your owner’s manual. It should be your car maintenance and operation bible. Driving habits also affect the frequency of oil changes, though if your vehicle is without a sensor, it’s better to err on the side of caution and follow your manual. It is crucial to keep tabs on your engine oil. It only takes a few minutes to check your car’s oil level. In between oil changes, at least once a month, you should check your vehicle’s oil. It only takes a few short minutes to check, though there are a couple of things to keep in mind beforehand:
- Be sure to turn your car off for at least five minutes. Doing this gives the oil time to settle back down into the oil pan under the engine after being circulated around the engine.
- Make sure your car is sitting on level ground and that you wipe the dipstick clean before dipping it into the oil pan.
An easy schedule to get into would be checking the oil while you check your tire pressure. Both require the car to be idled for a while beforehand and are quick, straightforward tasks.
Wash Your Car
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again (and keep saying it): wash your car! Especially in the winter, your vehicle is susceptible to salt and grime on the roads. This, built up, can cause corrosion of your paint, leading to even more extensive damage. By washing your car frequently and getting periodic treatments, such as wax and polish, you’re creating an extra barrier between your car and the damaging elements. Learn about our detailing process, along with tips & tricks when washing your car at home!
Added up over time, small investments of time and energy put into your vehicle will prolong its life. Habits like cleaning your windshield, checking your tire pressure and oil, and washing your car regularly will not only extend the life and appearance of your vehicle but will help maintain its resale value.
ProCare Collision Center
Auto Body Repair & Service in Omaha, Nebraska Serving Omaha, Ralston, La Vista, Papillion, Elkhorn, Fremont, Council Bluffs, Chalco, Bellevue, Carter Lake and surrounding areas.