Celebrate National Car Care Month by Caring for Your Car
In honor of National Car Care Month this April, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) is encouraging drivers to take action and properly care for their vehicles.
According to David Kinney, ASA senior appraiser, proper vehicle maintenance helps improve your car’s value, safety and efficiency.
“Cars are usually the second largest purchase for most people, right after their house,” Kinney said. “It makes sense to take care of your automobile, not only for sustaining its worth, but for safety purposes as well.”
Follow these tips from the ASA to help keep your vehicle running its smoothest all year long.
Top 10 Car Care Tips
1. Keep it clean. Aside from car wash operators, no one likes dirty cars. By keeping your car clean, not only will you feel better about the car, but you will likely reap the rewards at trade in time or when you sell it. Have your car professionally detailed before you attempt to sell it.
2. Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Find the specifications in the owner’s guide. The quickie oil change shop might try to beat the “change your oil every three thousand miles” mantra into your head, but most manufacturers don’t require oil changes until 7,500 miles or more. Don’t spend money where it’s not needed.
3. Go synthetic. When you do get that oil change, consider one of the well-known synthetic oils on the market. They are more expensive, but they also have a longer service life. Synthetic oil is made from regular oil, but it is made so that all the molecules are the same size, increasing flow and decreasing wear. Your engine could last longer and operate at cooler temperatures.
4. Fix what breaks. Today’s cars are much more complicated than cars from 10 years ago. A little problem can become a big problem if ignored. Turning up the radio to avoid hearing a noise is not a good plan — get it fixed.
5. Fix those paint chips. Little paint chips have a way of growing into big paint chips. Fix them before they grow. Your local auto parts store will likely have paint touch-up products in various colors to match your paint. If they don’t, your dealer will.
6. Wax on, wax off. Find a high quality paste wax and spend the afternoon getting to know the nooks and crannies of you car. Wax your car once a year at a minimum and repeat often.
7. Get an annual physical. It’s good advice for both you and your car. Most states require an annual inspection for all vehicles. Any dealer would be happy to do a 25,000 mile or more point check-up. This is the time to look at tires, belts, hoses, brakes and every other system subject to wear.
8. Park and walk. Don’t grab the first space closest to the door of the mall. Instead, park in a less used area and walk the short distance. What’s the benefit? You get a little more exercise, and your car avoids the chance for a few dings and being a target for the “park-by-touch” crowd.
9. Don’t be cheap. Use parts that are approved by the manufacturer or come from a source you trust. Aftermarket parts can be as good, or better, than original equipment, but unless you get them from a trusted source, be wary. Develop a relationship with the shop that repairs your car. Don’t cut corners on safety.
10. Keep your records. You can toss the old candy wrappers in the backseat, but don’t toss the paperwork that a potential buyer wants to see. Instead, keep a simple file of all of your bills, receipts, recall notices, e-mails and letters about your vehicle. Future buyers will thank you.
To learn more about caring for your valuables or to find an appraiser near you, visit American Society of Appraisers.
For even more car care tips visit RTM's Women’s Workshop.
Source: American Society of Appraisers