Top maintenance tips for new cars

July 2, 2013 12:00 AM

Buying a new car is an exciting time for any driver. While you may be caught up in the wonder of that new car smell or be preoccupied with its new technological features, you should still be caring for aspects of a vehicle that can extend its life and lower its maintenance costs. In fact, there are a few aspects of new vehicle maintenance that you should be focusing on from the minute you drive a car off the lot. 

Get an oil change 
One of the most basic but impactful things you can do to care for a new car is stick to its recommended scheduled maintenance, which includes getting regular oil changes. According to Consumer Reports, you should be checking the engine oil of a new car monthly, staying on top of any potential problems or leaks. 

Tire pressure
While your new car may provide a smooth driving experience and easy handling in the beginning, things can quickly go south if you don't take care of the tires. Responsible drivers should be checking tire pressure once a month and before any extended road trips. Look to the owner's manual for the target pressure and consider investing in a digital gauge, which can give you the easiest and most accurate reading. If you're not sure how to do this yourself, schedule an appointment at an auto repair franchise to have a professional look over the car and make sure no damage has occurred during your short ownership period. 

Cooling system
Another area that should not be overlooked is the cooling system. This should be flushed and cleaned properly about once a year, with an even mix of coolant and distilled water poured into the system to prevent corrosion and buildup. 

Some motorists put it off due to the hassle of disposing of antifreeze. However, the procedure can be easily done by a professional during a tune up.

Wash the exterior 
It may be what's under the hood that counts, but the exterior of a car still needs some attention. You should try to wash the car every week. The main focus should be on the body of the vehicle, but you should pay attention to areas like the undercarriage, where dirt and road salt could accumulate.

Keep an eye on how large the water beads become when you wash it. Once the beads become larger than a quarter, you should wax the surface, according to Consumer Reports. This can protect the automobile from rust or weathering. 

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