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10 tips for a car's long life

If you know how to maintain your car, it will go a long way in paring down repair costs and increasing its resale value. Here are some simple pointers to enhance your car's upkeep.

Ridhima Ahluwalia | Print Edition: November 2010

As most car lovers will attest, maintaining an automobile is akin to caring for a child. What you put into it, it returns manifold. You can't, of course, expect a hug from your car, but proper maintenance does ensure a smooth, safe drive, while averting major blowouts or engine failure.

More importantly, in these inflationary times, a little, timely care can help reduce frequent, expensive visits to the workshop. This not only increases the life of the vehicle but also its resale value.

The best bit? You don't have to be an expert to make sure you car runs smoothly; maintaining it is easier than you think. Be proactive in servicing it regularly, topping up various lubricants and fluids, pampering it with bodycare products, watching out for unfamiliar sounds and driving it sensibly, with due care.

Here are 10 simple tips to help keep your vehicle in top shape and good running condition. Some of these pointers are rudimentary, others might be a revelation, but all of these will keep your car fit-and you, happy.

COVER, POLISH, CLEAN, CARE
You can keep the car's exterior unblemished by following these simple measures. To prevent the car's grille and bumper from being damaged by pebbles or insects, use a layer of transparent tape. To avoid damage to the paint, wax polish your car at least two to three times a year. Also, make sure to clean the car regularly with a high pressure jet or by taking it to a professional carwash facility occasionally.

Problem: Damage to the paint or body reduces car's value.
Remedy: Apply wax polish and use transparent tape on bumpers and grilles

USE PARKING BRAKE
We bet you didn't know about this. It is a good idea to apply the parking or hand brakes, especially if you are on an incline, say, while travelling in the hills, or even if you have a vehicle with automatic transmission. This not only helps to keep the brakes adjusted in the rear of the vehicle but also enhances their life. A word of caution: Do not use them during winter as they can freeze and get stuck-and so will you.

Problem: Poor adjustment of brakes.
Remedy: Applying parking brakes keeps them adjusted and they last longer.

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