With 2018 coming on fast, it’s time to start making those resolutions about what you’re going to change. Maybe you want to lose weight, get in shape, quit smoking, or finally take that ballroom dancing class you’re always talking about. However, there’s one resolution you should definitely make: keep your car running on all cylinders. You don’t have to be handy to keep that resolution, either. Just keep the following ten tips in mind.
Tip #1: Wash Your Car
Washing your car might seem like a chore, but it’s one that’s well worth the investment. Dirt, grime, and salts and chemicals from winter road treatment can make your car look older and may actually eat away at your protective coatings, opening up the doors for rust to barge in and act like some macho man. So, if you want to keep your car running like new through 2018 and beyond, wash it once every few weeks and have it detailed seasonally.
Tip #2: Check Your Fluids
Make sure you check your fluids at least once a month. Everything from your coolant and oil to your brake fluid and your windshield wiper fluid needs to be changed on occasion. Take a glance beneath your car when you’re parked to look for any leaks. Maintaining those levels, and ensuring the fluid gets changed regularly, is important to a long-lived vehicle.
Tip #3: Keep A Maintenance Log
The back of your user’s manual has a section for notes, and that’s where most owners put their maintenance details. However, you might want to think about putting a small notebook in your glove box to make sure you can record everything in detail. What was done, who did it, and all the car parts that were replaced whether you swapped out your air filter or got your oil changed should be there in black and white. Also, make a note when you next need to do that maintenance, and page through it every few weeks to make sure you don’t miss dates.
Our Volvo dealership offers a variety of Roanoke auto service specials that can help you save money on those necessary car repairs. Stop by to see what we can do!
Tip #4: Check Your Tires Every Month
Most of us don’t think too much about our tires, but the rubber we ride around on is one of the most important parts of our cars. Which is why, every month or so, you should check the tire pressure and eyeball your tread. If your tread is too low, you need to replace your tires. If the tire pressure is too low, you’ll need to fill it up; even if you don’t have an air compressor, most gas stations do. Riding on tires with improper pressure is a good way to lose gas mileage or get a blow-out.
Tip #5: Change Parts Before They Break
The real secret to long life in a car is to replace things before they break. Everything from your timing belts to your battery should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. While there might be a little life or a few miles left in the old parts, pushing your luck is what leads to breakdowns.
Tip #6: Add A Little Wax
Waxing your car makes it look shiny and bright, but it also protects it from the elements. Rain, snow, dirt, and grease can all be held at bay with a coat of wax. So, make sure you wax your car every six months or so.
Tip #7: Park in The Shade
While there’s nothing like a little sun, all those UV rays can do some real damage to your car. So, try to park in the shad, and make sure your seats, dash, and steering wheel are treated with something like Armor All to prevent them from drying out. Keeping a cardboard window screen on hand will also help you prevent UV damage to your interior, while also reducing built-up heat.
Check our Volvo accessories for other ideas on keeping your car cool and protected. We can order and install any genuine Volvo accessory for you, just in time for the new year.
Tip #8: Replace Your Air Filter
If you take a look at your air filter, and it’s gone dark with gunk, it may be time to replace it. In older vehicles (those manufactured before 1980) this can improve your fuel economy, but in more modern cars it will make your acceleration smoother and put less of a load on your car.
Tip #9: Listen to Your Car
If you’ve had your car for a while, then you know what it sounds like. Anytime you hear something unusual, like a grinding, a pinging, or just a change in your engine’s pitch, don’t ignore it. Listen, and take note of when it started. If it doesn’t go away, you might have to take your car in to see a professional. Those in Roanoke and Salem, VA, can trust our local mechanics to inspect and fix most any problems your car is experiencing.
Tip #10: Drive Safely
Even if you don’t get into a wreck, if you drive in such a way that you put strain on your car it’s going to show. Avoid stop-and-go traffic whenever you can, brake smoothly and gradually, and whenever possible use your cruise control for a steady ride.
Ultimate Car Care Tip
Above all else, remember to get genuine parts and professional maintenance for your vehicle. That’s the key to having a car that lasts well beyond its years.
To help you out, we know a certain car dealer near Blacksburg that performs holiday miracles every day—Berglund Volvo Cars of Roanoke. Visit us at 5000 Franklin Rd in Roanoke, VA, or call us at (540) 344-6284 to schedule an appointment. If your car has seen the last of its days, we can find you a replacement in one of our new Volvos or quality used cars for sale. Have a joyous New Year’s celebration!