How to maintain your car in best shape-Part 3
Keeping her Mechanically Tight:
• Maintain a detailed service history & schedule. As your car logs on the kms, this will serve as a ready reckoner and guide.
• Always opt for extended warranty when you buy a car This will ensure that smaller faults, even in the 4th or 5th year of ownership, are addressed by expert labour and original parts at the authorised service station. Knowing you have warranty coverage will make you sort out problems faster (human psychology). Another benefit is that you have to compulsorily adhere to manufacturer-recommended service intervals while your car is in the warranty period.
• Fix mechanical issues as soon as they crop up. Don't procrastinate. These problems are likely to intensify and could severely affect other mechanical parts or (potentially) your safety too. For instance, if there is excessive noise from the front suspension, get it checked before the ball joints give way and lead to loss of car control. Don't drive around with the check engine light on. Repair that faulty cooling fan immediately. A car is built of several wear & tear components that will need replacement at some point in time. The longer you delay the replacement of these parts, the more permanent damage you do to other parts in the system. Keeping your car mechanically perfect will give you a lot of satisfaction.
• When something needs to be replaced, it just needs to be replaced. Don't cheapen out of replacements that are absolutely critical.
• Choose the right garage or service station. Car owners usually stick to authorised service stations in the warranty period, and maybe a little after. If you find the quality of work & charges at the company workshop to be reasonable, stick to it.
• Befriend the service advisor. Ensure he is aware of the fact that you are an informed car owner and will not accept shoddy quality of work. Maintain a polite & firm demeanor with him. Handover a written checklist at the time of dropping your car off, explaining each point one by one. Go through this checklist before paying up and taking delivery of your car.
• Choose a safe parking spot. Park under the shade as direct sunlight is harmful to paint, plastics and leather. If the area where you park is too messy, get a car cover. It might seem like a headache at first, but soon becomes a way of life. If you have a closed parking spot, consider yourself lucky.
• Tip the valet for a preferred parking spot. 9 out of 10 times that I dine out, I manage to get a great parking place this way.