If you have a garage, you should obviously try to park your car there for the best protection. Your car will look better longer, and that could mean more money for you at sale or trade-in time.
Other than purchasing a cover, you can prolong the life of your car outside in other ways.
Wash Your Car
Wash it often. You’ll keep paint-damaging debris from accumulating.
Try to avoid both the brushless and brush-style drive-through car washes, often found at gas stations. Both can scratch the finish. However, if you wash the car yourself, use car-wash soap, not dish soap. Dish soap removes grease, but it strips the chemicals that give the paint on your car its long-lasting shine.
Keep an Eye on Your Battery
A car battery’s life depends on many factors, but figure a new one will last three to four years. A service shop and some auto parts stores can test your battery’s change. To get a hint, look at the battery terminals.
Drive Once a Week – Minimum
This might not be on your to-do list if you work from home or order groceries. But climb in, fire it up, and run it 15 or 20 miles up and down the highway. That will help keep the battery charged.
This also warms up the oil enough to drive off moisture that can damage the engine. It pumps the oil onto the engine’s internal surfaces to keep them properly slick to reduce wear the next time you start the engine.
Security is a Must
- Lock it. Even in an area without much theft.
- Close it. Leaving the windows or sunroof open, even a bit, can let in weather extremes that damage your interior.
- Park thoughtfully. If your car is parked where you live, try to keep the area lighted to discourage vandalism. To protect your car door from dings in a parking lot, try to find a well-lit spot that won’t invite others to park immediately next to you.
- Remove valuables. Thieves often walk down lines of cars in crowded parking lots in daylight and glance inside for a purse, briefcase or smartphone. Then they smash a window for a quick grab.
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Shamara Charles – Los Angeles, CA – Client Since 2017
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