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8 Amazing Tips on How to Take Care of your Car

Old but gold - Some cars are just so well maintained, you just wouldn't believe it.
Old but gold – Some cars are just so well maintained, you just wouldn’t believe it.

If you ever see a classic car that managed to stay in pristine condition after 10~20 years, you can bet it’s all thanks to their dedicated owner.

Maintaining a car goes beyond just regular car servicing.

It’s a habit, it’s a lifestyle.

So what is their secret to eternal youth (for car)? Well, keep scrolling to find out!

To get you started, we have prepared a checklist for you to keep your car running in tip-top condition, save money on car repair while keeping your car resale value high!

Here are the 8 cool tips to care for your car and save money doing it. You will wish that they taught this instead in driving school!

1. Always keep your oil tank full

Keeping your car petrol full helps to fight off moisture related wear in your engine.
Keeping your car petrol full helps to fight off moisture related wear in your engine.

Just like what our parents used to tell us – “Drink more water!”

They are absolutely right, even for cars. We should always try to keep our petrol at least half full.

Why?

Doing that protects and extends your engine life.

After all, moisture are found in the air and we all know that moisture is the number one culprit that corrodes some of our favourite things.

Speaking of which, moisture corrodes the inner lining of our oil tank, causing them to peel and fall off into the oil. This clogs the oil filter and fuel injectors which will ruin your very expensive engine.

The lesser oil you have in the tank, the more air you have; The more air you have, the more moisture you have! Consequently, the faster your engine wears!

2. Don’t pump your petrol if you see an oil tanker

Avoid pumping petrol when you see an oil tanker filling up the gas station. Oil tanker filling up the gas station can stir up sediments that clogs your oil filter.
Oil tanker filling up the gas station can stir up sediments that clogs your oil filter. If you’re curious how they fill up the petrol station, check out Road & Rail’s gas truck delivering fuel video.

If you see an oil tanker at your local petrol station, run!

Okay, I didn’t mean run away literally. But just come back another day to get your car’s petrol filled.

Why?

As the petrol station underground tank is being filled up, turbulence will stir up the sediments at the bottom of the tank.

Just like having a cup of milo at a nearby mamak. If you leave your drinks out for a long time, the milo powder will start to sit at the bottom.

Well, these “milo powders” will block your oil filters and injectors. You don’t want that for your engine!

3. Inflate your tyre – being under pressure isn’t always bad

The picture shows a flat car tyre. Tyres shouldn't go on diet. Keep them full at all times.
Tyres shouldn’t go on diet. Keep them full at all times.

Since you’re already at the petrol station, remember to check and fill up your tyre pressure too!

All you need to do is check the required air pressure for your car cc, adjust the air pressure on the air pumping machine and start pumping!

Why?

Because money, money and money. An under-inflated tyre wears out quicker. Not only that, they drains our petrol quicker.

If you under-inflate your tyre, you will start to notice these nasty things:

  • Lower fuel economy
  • Increase difficulty in handling your car
  • Accelerated tyre wear
  • Risk of tyre blowout

Always remember to inflate your tyre at least once a month. They’re literally free and takes less than 5 minutes of your time. So go right ahead and pump away your car problems!

4. Try to park in the shade whenever possible.

This is a picture of a car with a windshield sun deflector looking like a shade. Shades keep you looking cool - and your car cooler.
Shades keep you looking cool – and your car cooler.

Cars are 100% puteri lilin. They don’t like sunlight at all!

Always try to park your car in the shade.

If you can, park under a tree or go underground parking.

If you really have no choice, use window deflector screen on your car. They can look cool while helping you to cool your car!

Why?

UV rays from the sun can melt plastics, crack your dashboards, and cause fading on your paint job.

In addition to that, no one likes to sit in a scorching hot car. Malaysian probably know this all too well.

So for the sake of your car and your butt, stay away from the sunlight and park in the shades whenever possible!

5. Clean up bird poop immediately

The car is completely covered in white bird faeces. Holy Shit! Birds are destroying your car with it - literally.
Holy Shit! Birds are destroying your car with their poop – literally. Image courtesy of carbuyer.

I had a bird pooped on my head when I was walking once. If that can happen, what’s stopping them from pooping all over a big, stationary car? Nothing!

Not only that it stinks (pun intended) to have bird poop on your car, they are harmful to your car too.

Remove the bird poop as soon as you can. I recommend keeping the wet paper towel you get from Chinese restaurant in your car for an emergency like this. It’s surprisingly effective.

Why?

Bird always poop and pee at the same time. The traces of uric acid found in their urine can penetrate through our car paint over time and reach the base coat, ruining it.

Yes, now you know.

If you have bird poop that has been sitting on your car for quite a while, don’t panic just yet. When there is a will, there will be a way. Check out this great article by Tsukasa Azuma to find out how to recover the car paint damage from bird droppings.

6. Clean your car every month

Washing your car monthly keeps your car shining, and your mood smiling
Washing your car monthly keeps your car shining, and your mood smiling

Always try to clean your car at least once every month. It helps to check the weather forecast to see if it will rain, because it will just dirty your car again!

If you’re up for the task, you can clean your car during the weekend.

Experts have pointed out that it can be very meditative.

Or if you’re special (or lazy) like me, you can always pay someone else to do it for you while you go and get something to eat. It will only takes about an hour and RM 10 for a car wash.

Why?

I believe we all can agree that first impression is important.

Well, car is like how you dress.

It can tell a lot about you. If it’s not clean, the person you are trying to impress – probably won’t be.

Apart from that, an unclean car attracts dirt and grime which can also damage your interior and exterior.

So make sure you get your car washed at least once a month.

7. Don’t steer all the way

Over-steering your car will put a lot of stress on your drive shaft cover - ultimately tearing it.
Over-steering your car will put a lot of stress on your drive shaft cover – ultimately tearing it. Image courtesy of “drive” who wrote a great article about proper steering technique.

We turn our steering wheel to change our car direction. Our car’s steering wheel can typically turn up to 4 revolutions (2 to the left, 2 to the right).

Try to picture this.

Your car is parked in a very tight parking space. In order to go out, you turn your steering wheels to the end to gain as much angle as you can. When your steering wheel hits the end, you hear a knocking sound.

That is unfortunately, also the sound of your car screaming “NO!”.

I’m sure we are all guilty of this and we sure owe our car an apology.

Why?

Because drive shafts are connected to your car wheels. As you turn, the drive shaft cover gets stretched to compensate for the movement in our car wheels.

This puts enormous amount of stress on the drive shaft boot.

Over time, this will tear the drive shaft boot and ruin your drive shaft. They can be quite expensive to repair. Not great, not great!

If you’d like to know more, you can read all about the Top 3 Drive Shaft Problems and How to Identify it Yourself.

8. Keep your window wipers standing tall

Keeping your windshield wiper upright helps to extend its lifespan.
Keeping your windshield wiper upright helps to extend its lifespan. Image courtesy of Weissensteinburg who happens to have written an amazing article on how to change your windshield wipers.

Whenever you park, try to make it a habit to stand your window wipers.

Especially if you are parking under the hot sun.

Why?

In a tropical country like Malaysia, the weather can get really REALLY hot sometimes.

With the windows closed and car parked under direct sunlight, the inside of the car can reach up to 70 degrees Celsius hot. Yikes, that’s almost like a boiling water!

A lot of these heat gets transferred to the windshield, which is in contact with the rubber on our car wiper.

This heating of the rubber causes it to lose its elasticity quicker.

Unfortunately, we have no use for a rock solid, flaky rubber wiper. It just doesn’t wipe that well!

So the next time you leave your car parked under the sun, remember to keep those wiper standing tall and proud.

Conclusion

Bravo, you’ve just reached the end of this article.

If cars can talk, they’ll probably be thanking you right now!

Truth is… We Malaysians don’t take care of our car as well as we think we do. Unfortunately, this often turns sour because we just don’t like to spend money repairing it.

For many of us, buying a car is a huge commitment – just like getting married.

You’ll probably spend a lot of years on the road together.

The journey may get tough but as long as you keep one another healthy, you’ll get through the bumpy roads with no issue.

With that being said, let’s start taking good care of our car, so that our car can take care of us on the road.

Until then, drive safe and drive smart!

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