We all want to take the best care of our cars.
But did you know that there are hidden risks that could be damaging your car without you even knowing?
We’re not talking about big palm fronds taking out your windscreen (although, now that we’ve mentioned it…)
No, regular sized leaves, flowers and greenery are pretty harmless when there’s one or two, but if you regularly park under a tree that sheds – especially if it’s particularly rainy – the acids in foliage can seep onto the car’s paint, and cause spots of damage.
And if you get a bunch of leaves caught in the space between the bonnet and windscreen, don’t just leave them there hoping they’ll fall out as you drive along. If they stay there long enough to rot, they could cause rust – and if they break into small bits, those could clog up drains and airflows causing damage inside the car.
The best way to combat this is to clear off any leaves you find when you’re about to get into the car, and give your car a proper clean every now and again.
Your tyres are the point of contact with the road, so it’s important that they’re well maintained.
Even if you keep them clean and drive on smooth roads all the time, your tyres could still be damaging your car! It might be a surprise to learn that if your tyres are not properly inflated that they could be wearing out prematurely.
Under inflated tyres heat up faster, and use more of the tread – wearing it out faster. Over inflated tyres aren’t much better, with the tread wearing out unevenly in the middle of the tyre – plus you’ll have a noticeably harsher ride, because the tyres are so firm and you’ll risk a dangerous blowout (which isn’t likely, but more likely than if your tyres were at the correct pressure.)
To find your tyres correct pressure, look for a sticker on the doorframe, or advice in the owner’s manual. The pressure that’s written on the tyre is often what it’s rated to, not what’s safe or comfortable for your car.
Speaking of parking under trees, there’s something else that can drop down from the branches to damage your car.
Bird droppings contain nasty acids that can damage your paintwork, especially if they’re left to dry in the sun. Because the clear coat contracts around droppings in warmer temperatures, the paint starts to dull and fade, and the longer you leave it uncleaned, the harder it will be to remove.
If you come back to droppings on your car, grab some tissues or a rag and wipe or rinse it off as soon as possible. Again, getting your car cleaned, cut and polished will get rid of any nasty stains that might pop up on the paint.
Getting in to service your car takes time out of your day, and money out of your wallet. But what if you can’t find the cash, and your car seems to be running fine?
It’s easy to put your service off in order to save some money, but do you know that you’re damaging your car if you keep driving it around without getting it serviced?
Not that you have to bring it in exactly at the six-, nine- or twelve-month interval to the day, but the longer that you leave your car without being properly serviced, the more items on your car will be going past their ‘use by’ date – and are more likely to stop working.
For peace of mind, it’s often best to keep your car regularly serviced, not just for you, but to show potential buyers when you go to sell it that it has been regularly maintained – and even if you don’t sell your car when it’s a bit older, if you ever need to make a service request outside of the warranty; the car manufacturer will be more willing to talk to you if you’ve been diligent with service.
The expert technicians at Motorama see over 30,000 vehicles per year pass through our service departments, and our friendly service advisors can go for a drive with you to see if there’s anything that doesn’t show up when your car is parked on the service driveway.
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