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Vehicle care and maintenance tips

Once you have invested in your car, consider that your expenses are bound to increase. In economics, a personal car is classified as a depreciating asset, if not - a liability. However, knowing the basic care and maintenance skills can substantially reduce your expenses on repair and maintenance.

Treat your car like you treat your pal. In essence, consider the fact that your car behaves very much like a human being with all its complex engine and operating system.

While starting your car, do not start abruptly, once the engine starts, wait for a moment before you actually start driving. The same rule applies while stopping your car. This will ensure no unnecessary stress on your car engine.

Clean your air filter occasionally with an air hose to improve air circulation within your car’s operating system. Your tires should be optimally inflated, over inflation or less air in your tires can affect your car’s performance. Your front wheels should be inflated slightly more than your real wheels.

It is advisable to opt for a tubeless tire since it can be driven for a few distances even after being punctured.

Make sure you change your engine oil on a timely basis. This is perhaps the most important aspect of maintaining your car. Not changing your engine oil in time would lead to a comprehensive replacement of several gears and components that would be affected.

Keep a note of dates when changing your engine oil so you know exactly when to change next. Today you can opt for engine oil that can be changed between every 5,000 to 20,000 kilometers.

Remember that you also need to keep a watch on your brake pad, which require constant replacement.

Before embarking on a long distance ride, your vehicle should undergo a pre-driving test - Check your engine oil and your brake pad, check whether the pressure on your tire is optimal, check your brake oil, coolant, power steering oil and clutch oil.

To save your brake pad, make less use of your brakes by lowering your gear while driving. However, changing gears too often would also put stress on your clutch, so the idea is to balance the use of both your gear and your brake, to save both.

While driving uphill, lower your gear rather than pressing your clutch to gain momentum. While on a downhill ride, do not shift to neutral since it levies a heavier burden on your brakes and thus lead to costlier maintenance. However shift to neutral while stuck in traffic to offer occasional rest to your engine. To beat frost during winter, turn on your ac and adjust the temperature. Your ac is more effective than your heater since AC air is dry and drives out moisture.

Keep your fuel tank more than half full especially during winter since the void accumulates moist air which turns to water and can affect your engine.

You will learn the basic skills of maintaining your car once you actually start owning one and loving ‘her’. But the important thing is to follow these simple rules to limit your expenses and increase your car’s lifespan.

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