Having a car is a liberating experience. It’s akin to having your own pair of wings that can help bring you wherever you want. However, this freedom isn’t exactly “free,” nor does it mean you’re free of responsibilities. Being a car owner entails several responsibilities to make sure that both you and your car are safe. Here are a few that you might not be aware of.
Be Aware of Where You Park
This one might be obvious, but it still pays to be vigilant when choosing your parking spot. Be sure not to park where your car could be damaged, like under a tree. Even though parking under the shade of a tree will help prevent your car from heating up in the middle of the day, falling branches might scratch your car, and bird droppings can damage your paint due to being acidic.
Another point you have to be aware of is if you are parking at the right spot. Even if you see a vacant space does not mean it’s free real estate, so to speak. You’d get yourself in a bigger mess if your car gets towed.
You also wouldn’t want to get embarrassed if someone walks up to you and tells you you’re in their parking spot. So check if someone is ahead of you waiting for a space to be freed. Being rude and unaware is no longer tolerated in this day and age, so make sure you are responsible.
When on Vacation, Store Your Car Properly
If you are not going to be at home for a while, it’s best to make sure your car is parked indoors. This is to protect it from the elements and unwanted creatures living under your hood. You can be sure that you are coming back to your car is still in one piece and working well. This also applies to parking for shorter periods.
For inclement weather, make sure you park in a protected area to avoid your car getting caught in the storm. If you get caught in the middle of a hail storm or torrential rain, be sure to drive carefully to a safe spot, protect your face and your head. Look at the damage only when the storm has passed. When you encounter some nicks and scratches, or worse, cracked glass, make sure to have the windshield repaired or replaced immediately to prevent the damage from spreading.
One of the main reasons cars suddenly have engine problems is not always because of a lack of “taking care” of it but because of incorrectly using it. All the constant speeding up then suddenly hitting the brakes strains the brakes and the engine. It can even cause a serious degree of damage to other parts, like the discs, rotors, and drums. Engine lugging, or driving slower than the gear you’re on, can also cause damage as it stresses out the engine to keep a slow pace.
Another thing to stop doing is unnecessarily resting your foot on the clutch, especially during heavy traffic. It leads to earlier wear and tears on the clutch plate and other damages. If you can’t help it, place a dummy pedal or a “dead pedal” beside it so that you can rest your foot. Driving correctly is integral to taking care of your car, so that’s among the things you need to learn and remember.
Adjust to the Seasons
The difference in temperature can be quite jarring to your car. When seasons change, and you haven’t used your car for a while, it’s not smart to hop on it and assume everything will turn out fine. Make sure to check thoroughly before riding your car during a season change. But even before that, it’s best to prepare your car. Store it in a secure space that’s protected from the elements.
However, if you have to leave your car in the open, use a car cover. It should be thick, or it can inflate automatically. This is to protect your vehicle from rain or hail, but preferably it should be stored in a garage. During summer, you might find some parts of your vehicle drying out. So learn how to lubricate them when needed.
It’s every car owner’s responsibility to take good care of their vehicle. Taking good care of it begins with how you use it. Of course, you can’t expect your car to never break down, but with proper care and use, the chances of it breaking are lesser. Even if it does, it can be a simple fix.