Owning a car comes with a lot of responsibility and can generally eat away at your wallet. You have to register it (costs money), purchase car insurance for it (costs more money), and make sure it gets the general care and maintenance it needs (even more money).
But one thing that we can share with you that we feel all cars need to preserve their value longer, and might be the simplest thing you can do for your car, is to always keep your car clean and well maintained.
Quite the revelation I know, but it is seriously one of the best ways to keep your car looking nicer and driving longer over time. A clean car can mean lower repair and maintenance costs. The general upkeep and cleaning will over time reduce the chance that corrosion and rusting occurs, which can lead to higher repair costs and a lower resale value. It is generally pretty easy to spot a car that wasn’t cared for properly versus a car that was. Putting your car through the car wash a few times will not mask the fact that it wasn’t taken care of. All someone needs to do is take a look inside to see the quality of the leather or cloth to notice if there are any dirt spots, scuffs, or tears. You can’t easily fix tears and holes, but the least one can do is give their car a good vacuum and shampoo on the inside and an extensive hand wash on the outside.
Clean vehicles are also safer for you and the cars around you. A dirty vehicle has lower visibility leading to more blind spots surrounding your vehicle. Remember, you’re not just putting your own safety at risk, but the safety of all the cars around you as well. Winter is an especially dangerous time to have a dirty car due to the snow that builds up. You may not even think of white powdery snow as something that can be considered dirty, but it absolutely has an effect on your car in more ways than one. For starters, you should always clean the snow off of your car before you drive. I’m not talking just your windshield and your mirrors, but from all visible windows and even your roof if you can reach it. The reason is quite simple, the less you clear off, the less you can see. If you don’t clear off your car’s rear window, you have no clue if other cars are sneaking up on you and changing lanes the same time you are.
The other reason for cleaning the snow off your car is that it won't stay snow for long and will actually become something far worse! After a day of commuting to and from work, your car also picks up the salt that was poured onto the road. When salt attaches itself to your car and specifically the metal, over time without a car wash, it will eat away at your frame causing rust. At the very least, your car will be less attractive to buyers and at the worst it may not pass inspection.
Your car also says a lot about you. How you treat your car can reflect your general attitude toward your property and can leave either a good or bad impression on those who ride with you who are kicking their feet around the messy floor that doubles as a garbage disposal. Definitely not speaking from experience or anything :).
So what can be done to better service your car on a regular basis? Here are some tips:
- Always regularly change your oil to make your engine last longer.
- Clean both the inside and outside of your car regularly, especially during the winter. Not only should you get a regular car wash, but you should also occasionally get a wax for the exterior to give your paint a nice protective and glossy coating.
- Keep your interior plastic protected by keeping it away from direct sunlight and applying UV protectant to prevent drying and cracking.
- Flush the cooling system and change the coolant once a year to prevent corrosion and build-ups in the cooling system.
- Never leave your gas below a half to a quarter of a tank full during winter as it can otherwise cause condensation to build leading to rust inside your tank.
- Buy a tire pressure gauge and check your pressure every month. Under inflated tires can reduce the life of your tires and increase your gas consumption.
- Last and most importantly, read your owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and requirements and be sure to bring it in for routine service!
All this can be done at your regularly scheduled maintenance appointments at your local Boston area Toyota dealer! At Wellesley Toyota, our service department has a combined 125 years experience servicing and detailing vehicles, so give us a call at 888-556-7538 or stop by today!