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Motoring Today

Only a few things can be more exciting than buying a new vehicle. There may be no words for the feeling you get when you first drive your very own car.

After you take out the vehicle, you might experience two different trains of thought: one where you want to drive it like there’s no tomorrow, and another where you’re inclined to treat the car with utmost care.

The first camp favors savoring every bit of performance that the new car can offer: reaching the peak of engine speeds and braking exercises that would rival that of motorsports. The second one focuses on treating the brand-new car as gently as a parent would a newborn baby.

But whichever party you belong to, nothing can change the fact that it would always be painful to dig into your savings for costly vehicle repairs that could have been avoided. This means that even if you want to maximize your car’s performance, you’ll have to keep it working like new for as long as possible.

Want to know what you can do to achieve this? Here are six maintenance tips you should keep in mind:

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions on Maintenance

The main rule that defines all the rest is to follow the service maintenance schedule. The user’s manual serves as a guide for you to know what maintenance services are needed and how often they should be performed.

You have two options: do it by yourself or have a mechanic do it for you. Of course, the first one requires a wide range of tools, not to mention some mechanical skills. If you’re not confident that you can do it without causing damage to your vehicle, it is best to leave the task to the professionals.

Either way, all the maintenance tasks must be performed correctly and in a timely manner. Failure to do so may result in a breakdown, an engine misfire, or worse – a road accident.

It is also important to note that some vehicles may need specialized treatment, particularly European brands. Audis, for instance, may require manufacturer-approved Audi maintenance to stay in tip-top shape.

Clean It Regularly

Regular cleaning does more than keep your car looking new. It can also help prevent the degradation of the different parts of the vehicle.

Everything – from winter salt to road grime – can cause the car exterior to deteriorate if left for extended periods. These can also affect the original luster of the bodywork, especially paint and metallic surfaces, so make sure that you wash your vehicle every week.

Focus on the body, and hose out the undercarriage and fender wells to remove road salt and dirt. Don’t forget the windshield as well.

After washing, apply a coat of wax for added protection. Even better, have certified car wash staff do it for you.

Also, you must remember to dry your vehicle properly. Allowing it to drip-dry may be easy, but it certainly doesn’t give you the ideal result.

When water droplets evaporate, they leave mineral deposits and dirt on your vehicle. This isn’t good as dirt and grit can scratch and, ultimately, damage your paint job. It would also seem like you hardly washed your vehicle at all.

It would also be best to remove any splotches as soon as possible. Aside from being unsightly, bird droppings, tree sap, and other substances become harder to remove when they dry up. They may also contain acids that break down the car’s polish, causing your car to lose its sheen.

Inspect the Tires and Maintain Ideal Air Pressure

Checking your tires regularly is also crucial in preventing several vehicular problems. You see, under-inflated tires can result in premature wear-and-tear and poor gas mileage. It can even increase the risk of road accidents.

Make a habit of inspecting the tires whenever you approach your vehicle. A visual inspection should be enough to determine any sign of under-inflation.

It is also a good practice to perform accurate tire-pressure checks using a gauge at least once a month or before extended road trips. This should be performed in all the tires, including the spare.

Tire pressure gauging should be performed when the tires are cold. This can be either before the car has been driven or after going a few miles on the road.

Remember to stick to the recommended inflation pressure as recommended by the manufacturer. You can find this information embossed on the tire’s sidewall or in the car owner’s manual.

Change Oil and Check Fluids Regularly

Becoming a car owner means you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the oil and other fluids that need to be replaced or topped off. Engine oil and coolants should be checked and replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ideally, topping off these fluids should be done monthly for vehicles in good condition, or more frequently should any sign of a leak appear. Never overfill. When checking fluid levels, make sure that the vehicle is parked on level ground to ensure accurate dipstick reading.

If there are leaks, make sure to have it repaired immediately. Otherwise, you’ll risk more significant and costly repairs.

Check the Brakes

Checking the brakes is one of the most basic and most important tasks in car care. For the most part, this can be performed during routine maintenance checks at the mechanic.

At this time, you should be able to determine whether it’s time to replace brake pads or linings. The mechanic can also help you determine whether there have been badly scored rotors or drums that need to be repaired or changed.

To avoid accidents, have the brakes inspected at least two times every year. If you go on long drives, do this more often to keep your car in excellent shape.

Look at the Battery

Inspect the battery’s cables and terminals and make sure that they are attached securely. If it has removable caps, check the level of the battery fluid regularly (ideally, every couple of months), particularly in warmer climates. Signs of corrosion buildup and drainage from leaving lights on may merit a battery replacement.

Keep Your Car New with Proper Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance are vital for keeping a brand-new vehicle looking and working like it’s fresh out of the dealer. Make sure to follow the tips listed in this article, and always heed manufacturer instructions.

If needed, head to your trusted car performance workshop to have your vehicle tuned and prepped for your next trip.


Ahmad Ramadan is a Managing Partner at Deutsche Technik Service Center, Dubai’s first and largest VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, & Lamborghini vehicle specialist and performance tuner. DT has also built an illustrious portfolio in classic car repair, maintenance, and restoration, as well as body work (accident repair, painting, and denting). DT Service Centre offers a full range of services: mechanical repairs, maintenance, servicing, etc.

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