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Buying a car is a pretty significant investment. Whether you buy new or used, you typically need to put down a decent chunk of cash upfront to reduce your monthly payments. Even then, most car owners will require financing to afford their vehicles, agreeing to pay back a loan over four, five, or six years.

Then you add in registration fees, the cost of insurance, and title expenses, and your bank account may look a lot different once the purchase is completed. With so much money wrapped up in this purchase, the last thing you want to do is not take care of it.

Car care is a necessary process to understand. If you want your car to last for a long time and have as few repair costs as possible, you need to be proactive in caring for it. Here are some tips for Haltom City, TX car owners to follow to take care of their vehicles.

Regular Cleaning

If you use your car regularly, dirt, grime, stains, and debris will inevitably build up on both the inside and outside of the vehicle. The more these substances collect, the worse your car will look and the more at risk certain systems could be. A lot of dust or pet hair, for example, could put a strain on the filtration system and air circulation, causing accelerated wear and tear. Scratches that are untreated on the body can collect more debris and cause more rust to form. Consistent cleaning will ensure the car looks good and continues to function well. Leather seat maintenance, regular car washes, buffing out scratches, and vacuuming out debris can keep your car safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing for years.

Oil Changes/Tire Rotations

One of the most common maintenance practices that car manufacturers recommend is an oil change. Typically, depending on the vehicle and the type of oil it uses, there will be a recommended mileage count for when a good time to get new oil and a filter is. It could be every six months or between 5,000-7,500 miles. Another good practice is to have your tires rotated whenever you get your oil changed. Tires undergo different levels of stress depending on whether they are in the back or the front. So rotating them ensures that they last longer and wear down at a similar rate, so you aren’t constantly replacing one or two tires at a time. Keeping up with these simple tasks will help your engine and tires last much longer, saving you money.

Tint Your Windows

Texas is no stranger to long, hot days with a lot of sunlight. That amount of sun can enter your car and damage the seats with long-term exposure. Leather seats, in particular, can become really hot, and the material may be compromised, and colors can fade. Car window tinting in Haltom City can reduce the amount of sunlight and UV rays getting into your vehicle. Not only does it increase privacy and reduce sun glare while driving, but it can also limit the amount of internal damage to your car. Texas residents should all consider tinted windows to help deal with that unforgiving sun.

Make Repairs Immediately

No feeling is worse as a car owner than seeing a light on the dashboard accompanied by a beeping sound. It could be something as small as an emptying gas tank, but it could also be as dire as an engine problem. Having invested so much money in acquiring the car, it may be tempting to delay repairs if the issue does not prevent you from using the car right now. Problems with cars tend to escalate over time. Even if the issue is minor and doesn’t affect your ability to drive right now, doing nothing could make it far worse. Better to take it in for repairs right away so that you avoid even bigger costs down the road.

Familiarize Yourself with the Manual

Going through the car manual is an underrated aspect of being a good car owner. The more you understand your car, the easier it is to identify when something is wrong with it. Though the manual can be incredibly long and arduous, it isn’t a bad idea to read the sections about dashboard warning lights, fluid product recommendations, tire pressure monitoring systems, and service intervals. With this information in mind, you will better understand how to take care of your vehicle so that it will maintain optimal performance and maximize your investment.

Car Care is Proactive, Not Reactive

Many car owners will follow these care tips, but not until a problem comes up. The best car owners are proactive with their care strategies. They take the vehicle in for oil changes and tire rotations when they are recommended. They clean their cars each year to prevent dirt buildup and rust. They tin their windows to defend against the Texas sun and respond immediately to maintenance issues. If you want your investment to last, then you need to be proactive with your car care.