A guide to maintaining your first car

2017 Holden Astra THE F car test drive

For many of us, our first car represents our first really big investment in life. Not just a financial investment but also an emotional one. Whether it is the colour, the model or even the stereo, there is sure to be something that you are proud of and have always wanted. Although when you get your first car, maintaining it isn’t always high on your list of priorities. But it should be. Protecting that investment so that it lasts as long as possible is the name of the game. No one wants to buy their first car and have it break down in the first six months, believe us – you cannot afford it. To make sure your first car lasts as long as possible, use this simple guide to maintenance.

Trust is the key

As mentioned, your first car really is quite an emotional investment. So entrusting the maintenance of that investment to a mechanic is a big step. It is all about finding the right one, someone you can trust. I searched high and low before finding the perfect mechanic in Airport West. Finding the right mechanic is all about their experience and expertise with your particular make and model. Asking questions about what parts they use, labour rate they charge and their experience on a broader scale is key. Look for a mechanic who has the expertise and experience to do a thorough job and comes highly recommended. Finding a mechanic with the right skills will help keep your car running in top shape for a lot longer.

Enjoy the good book

With every car comes a special little book which helps set out exactly when and how often you need to get your car serviced or checked out. Maintaining your first car is about reading this book and following it to the letter, it is no prop. Regular servicing and inspections will help you identify any sinister problems a lot earlier, which will save you a lot of money in the long run. Check the log book to make sure the car has been serviced on time in the past. This book will also hold information about any previous issues or if any of the work was skipped over. Follow this book and make sure your mechanic fills it out each time you get a service.

Protect your interior

A lot of what most people consider maintenance of a first car is under the bonnet. But what is inside the car is as important as what’s underneath it. To make sure you maintain both the engine and the car itself, make a schedule of cleaning and protecting the interior of your car. A monthly clean of the interior should include using heat and UV protectant polish on the dashboard and any other vinyl surfaces. Consider installing seat covers to protect the fabric or leather, depending on your style. Sun damage to your car can have irreversible consequences. If you really want to ensure the interior lasts and doesn’t fade, consider using a windshield and/or windshield when your car is left out in the sun for long periods. This will help ensure longevity of your vehicles interior as well.

Wax and polish

The exterior can seem like a sturdy and weather resistant shell, but overtime the elements can cause damage. To maintain your first car to its maximum life, ensure you regularly wax and polish the exterior of your car. Wax and polish help to prevent scratches and any other damage from harsh weather events. It will also make sure you car is shiny and clean for each and every trip. Not sure you can find the time for this? Well it is easier than it sounds, but there are services that can do this for you if you want your car to look 100%.

Maintaining your car isn’t just about making sure the oil is changed or that the tyres have enough pressure. It is about finding the right mechanic, and looking after the inside, outside and underneath. You should follow a clear schedule of maintenance and use the tools at your disposal to keep that first car looking and running smooth.