So you got a new set of wheels – congratulations! You’re going to want to hang onto it as long as possible, so you’ll want to keep it maintained as well as you can. Here are some suggestions:
First, read the owner’s manual carefully and stick to manufacturer’s recommendations for service intervals. There are certain things that are critical enough that failure to adhere to recommendations can void a new car warranty. Don’t let that happen!
For instance, just about every manufacturer recommends synthetic oil for their engines; it provides better protection in just about every respect, and it’s more stable at high and low temperatures. If your owner’s manual prescribes a 10,000-mile oil change, stick with that and be sure to use the brand and grade of motor oil called for in the manual.
Apply a good coat of wax to your vehicle, and another one on top of that. A properly waxed vehicle does more than just look good, it helps repel grit and grime that can damage the finish as well as preventing oxidization of the paint in sunny locales.
Clean the radiator from time to time. You can just use the spray setting on a hose to get rid of bugs and grime that may have lodged in the radiator and could possibly impair cooling. If there’s a stubborn bug that won’t come off, use a brush but be very careful not to damage the delicate fins of the radiator!
Check the air filter every few months. Take it out and hold it up to a bright light – if no light passes through, the air filter has become dirty enough to need a change. A dirty air filter can kill performance and fuel economy.
The good news is that today’s new cars need less maintenance than ever before, and don’t even have the extensive break-in period of cars from a generation ago. Stick to manufacturer’s recommendations and you can’t go wrong…and you’ll have a car you can count on for many years to come!