TLC For Your Car: 10 Car Protection Tips For All Seasons

Jan 8, 2021
Car Insurance
By Staff writer

Changing weather conditions require different ways to keep your car well and protected. Although fewer people are using their cars because of the pandemic, your vehicle still needs an upkeep especially during the winter and monsoon seasons. Sudden shifts in the weather can also affect the performance of your car, so it’s best to know the do’s and don’ts to avoid further damage and save yourself from all the unnecessary stress and expense.

What’s the cheapest way to maintain a car?

Most car owners should be aware that exposing your car to extreme temperatures can affect parts like the tires, battery, oil, gas and coolant where heat can kill your engine when ignored. 

1. Park your car in the shade

Park your car in the garage or park it in the shade to give your car protection from direct sunlight. Tall trees in the front yard can also serve as a visor for your car even in the long hours of heat, especially during the summer. Beware however of saps and bird droppings when parking your car. These can easily damage the paint of your car so it would be smart to check where you want to park your car. 

2. Check car’s cooling system in case of overheating or overcooling

There’s no easy way to determine the condition of your cooling system more so when you haven’t used your car in a long time. One way to do this is to utilise an infrared thermometer or a digital multimeter to check the temperature of your system. You can also check for leaks, loose drive belts, and faulty water pumps just to ensure that your coolant is up and running. 

3. Cover windows with sunshade 

Invest in a good sunshade car cover to protect your car from direct heat. Getting a sunshade cover can likewise prevent your car seats from overheating, which avoids hurting the skin upon entering the car. Online shops offer different types of sunshades that you can get solely for windshields and side windows as well as a car umbrella sunshade to cover up all windows of your car. 

4. Wax the exterior of your car

Normally, cars have protective coating for water and contaminants like dust, dirt and mud that prevents drastic rusting of your car. But like other protective gears, this initial coating erodes over time particularly when you’re always out in the rain. A monsoon car pro tip would be to use an insulator wax that serves as an additional layer of protection from rusting as well as from animal scratches. 

How many times should you wash your car? 

Experts recommend at least every two weeks to prevent washing away the protective or factory paint of your car. This is a car paint protection tip for those new car owners. Overwashing can kill your car paint so as underwashing them, meaning there’s a lack of proper washing that can likewise erase the protective wax and put your car at risk. However, those residing near the coast should wash their cars more often than usual.  because of the area's high salt content which can cause easy corrosion of the metal that can develop rust. 

5. Install winter tires

Winter tires are designed to weather blizzards and snowstorms that are usually experienced in regions in the South Island. Getting snow tires for your car when you reside in this area can give you peace of mind when travelling because of the better grip and control it promises during extreme winter conditions. 

6. Check your tire pressure

When temperature drops, tire pressure also decreases. During this time, you should always check your tires in case of low pressure. An underinflated tire can put you in danger especially on wet pavement. It also lowers the lifespan of your tires which can lead to expensive replacements in the future. 

What is the right tire pressure for your car?

Gas stations have a tire pressure gauge where one can check likewise air pump tires on their own or with the help of a personnel. Take note, a 30 to 35 pounds per square inch (PSI) is the desired level of pressure for car tires. 

7. Check your car battery

If you drive a pre-owned car, you might want to check your car battery by looking for cracks or bulging sides. You can use a voltmeter to determine voltage level which should give you at least 12.5 volts. If less than the minimum, it needs to be recharged or replaced, depending on the overall condition of your battery. A well-running battery is crucial during the winter season as batteries work harder and might slow down due to the cold weather. 

8. Lookout for windshield cracks

Windshields are not titanium glass that can withstand all weather conditions. Similar to other parts of your car, it can be vulnerable to minimal damage like chips and cracks which shouldn’t be left unattended. During the rainy or cold season, these minor cracks can expand and worsen the condition of your windshield, leading to more damage. 

9. Change to wintertime wiper fluid

Winters in New Zealand can drop to -10 degrees celsius which can freeze up a regular wiper fluid while on the road. Having a windshield-wiper is as important as having a special wiper-fluid to properly clear out mud and snow as you traverse the road.  

10. Get routine car tune-ups

Regardless of the lack of car mobility in the country, it’s still worth getting car tune-ups to help determine small issues of your car. Usually, a standard tune-up includes checking your spark plug, filters, wires and the rest of your car’s system and having them replaced if needed. 

Does my car insurance cover car repairs?

Yes, however, those only damages or loss that you and the car insurer have agreed in your policy are covered for any repair. Choosing comprehensive car coverage is your best bet when it comes to giving more security to your vehicle. Other car insurance plans also offer third-party coverage and covers car defects and faults that are beyond the control of the owner or driver of the car. 

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