Car maintenance is far more than keeping your car looking good on the road it’s about keeping you, other road users and pedestrians safe. Like any machine, taking care of its parts will help to ensure that it runs properly. Since the maintenance of a car can be confusing, we’ve put together this list to help you keep your car in tip top shape and to increase its life cycle. Here are nine things you can check regularly:
1. The oil
An oil leak can lead to much bigger and more costly problems, so you want to make sure you catch any issues early. We recommend that you check the oil level on a regular basis and check the manufacturer’s recommendations on when to change the oil and filter.
2. The coolant
Coolant, also known as antifreeze, keeps your car from overheating. It also has inherent corrosion inhibitors. An overheated car can lead to costly damages including destroying the engine. As with the oil, it is suggested that you check it on a regular basis and refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations on when to have the system flushed and changed.
3. The brakes
It is not uncommon to hear of accidents occurring due to the vehicle not stopping on time. Apart from maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front, spongy brakes caused by air or contaminants in the system may indicate there is a problem. We suggest that you have your mechanic check into this if in doubt.
4. The power steering fluid
As its name suggests, the power steering fluid helps to keep your vehicle steering smoothly. Again, have this checked on a regular basis.
5. The tyres
The tyres have wear indicators built into the treads. We encourage you to check your tyre treads regularly or to have your mechanic advise you accordingly. In addition, we all know Bermuda’s roads can get very slick at times especially after rainfall so please pay particular attention to their condition.
6. The lights
It is important to check that all the lights are working properly as they notify other cars, cyclists and pedestrians that a car is approaching. Plastic surrounds on the headlights can become smokey over time as UV light deteriorates the plastic. Consider having them replaced if necessary.
7. The sun exposure
As a subtropical island, Bermuda gets a lot of sun. We protect our skin using sunscreen, but we often forget to protect our cars from sun damage. Consider using a window deflector screen or park in the shade when you can. Alternatively, applying an ultraviolet protective coat may prevent the plastic and vinyl inside the car from drying out and pealing.
8. The sounds your car makes
If you notice any strange sounds from your car, listen as they are signs that there could be a problem. Take your car in for an inspection. It is advisable to stick to your car’s maintenance schedule, which has the added bonus of keeping your car running longer and saving you money in the long term.
9. The cleanliness
A good car wash and a coat of UV resistant wax helps keep your ride looking good and protects the paint at the same time. As we are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, there is salt all around us. When you clean your car, you may consider also cleaning the underside to protect it from salt damage.
Hopefully this list will help with ideas on how to keep your car in tip top shape and increase its life cycle so you can spend more time enjoying your car rides!
The above suggestions are not to be interpreted as providing expert advice, guidance or instruction regarding the use of your car including the way in which you maintain or drive your vehicle. Argus Insurance Company Limited encourages all road users to respect one another and to use our roads in a safe and courteous manner.
John Doherty is a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter and holds an Associate in Risk Management, an Associate in Reinsurance and several certificates and diplomas in general insurance.