Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Give Your Car Some TLC; Resolving to Take Better Care of Your Vehicle Will Pay off in Dollars

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Give Your Car Some TLC; Resolving to Take Better Care of Your Vehicle Will Pay off in Dollars

Article excerpt

NOW that the Christmas pudding has added a few kilos to your bottom line and the last of the ham's been shaved and sandwiched, it's time to start getting back to the daily routine Co and some exercise.

If you're like the average Aussie, it's about now you'll start thinking of what you'll do differently in 2011.

New year's resolutions Co designed to increase your health levels to something they haven't seen in years. But what about your car and its health levels?

Sure, it's only a car, but one treated with a little TLC will inevitably pay you back in lower running costs and better resale.

Some attention now could make all the difference in a few years.

The team at Drive has compiled a list of 10 top tips to make your car healthier for 2011.

1. Get a service

It sounds obvious, but in the rush to Christmas Co and with the mortgage repayments reaching stratospheric levels Co many people don't make a fresh glug of oil and some new filters a top priority.

A proper tune-up and overall check-up can not only ensure your log books are up to date (crucial for good resale) but also ensure your car is running at its optimum.

A service can also reduce your fuel costs if the car's really running roughly.

2. Wash (and wax) your car

A basic wash should only take 15 minutes or so, or another five if you can be bothered drying it with a chamois.

Better still, treat it to a proper wax (yes, you'll need to get out the elbow grease to apply and properly polish it), which provides the sort of protection that can keep some of those nasties away from the paint itself.

Regular waxing (at least every six months or so) should also keep your car looking like new.

And at the very least, keep an old sponge or cloth in the boot so you can tackle the tree and bird droppings Co each of which can eat into paint and permanently damage it Co as soon as they hit your car.

3. Check your tyres

Tyres are one of the most important elements on any new car, providing the only contact between it and the road, so it's crucial they're up to the task.

One of the most important elements is the tyre pressure, something that will naturally decrease over time.

Under-inflated tyres are difficult to spot unless they're almost entirely flat, yet they can adversely affect the handling and roadholding of your car and increase fuel use. Check the fuel placard (usually on the inside of a front door jamb or in the glovebox) to see what the ideal pressures are.

It's also worth casting an eye over how your tyres are wearing; uneven wear could mean your wheels are out of alignment, while varying wear front to back could mean it's time to rotate them.

A tyre retailer can advise more.

4. Fix what's broken

A cracked light or blown globe may be a minor inconvenience but it could also render your car unroadworthy, potentially attracting a fine or making it difficult for other motorists to see your car. …

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