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Maintaining Your Family Vehicle Inside and Out: Making Your Car a Better Place to Be

When you have a family with kids, there’s always someplace that you need to be. That makes it essential that you keep your family car in good repair. The last thing you need is to breakdown in an unfamiliar neighborhood many miles away from your home in the middle of the night. Following the tips below will help you prevent that and other vehicle problems.

Make Safety a Priority

Excessive speeds, hard acceleration and braking, and recklessly winding your way through traffic are great ways to damage your car. But drivers who exercise patience and care while out on the road will keep their family vehicle humming along smoothly for years to come.

You can spend a lot of time and money keeping your car’s engine and other systems in good shape. But speeding or taking needless risks when changing lanes and turning ahead of oncoming cars can cause a devastating accident. It only takes a second to make a bad decision and ruin your car in a crash – not to mention risking the health of your family and of those around you. Actively deciding to drive with safety in mind will help you make better decisions behind the wheel.

Keep Your Family Car Kid-Friendly

You’ll also want to make your car as kid-friendly as possible. If your kids enjoy being in the car, the distractions for the driver will be greatly lessened. Having car activities and toys always at the ready will help your kids pass the time while you get to where you’re going. Having a bag or bucket of toys dedicated to car rides will help your kids look forward to car trips.

You’ll also want to make sure that the back area of your vehicle is secure and free of unwanted items. If you have a baby or toddler, you’ll need to clean out the floors and seats regularly to keep debris, rubbish and small items out of reach. Most modern cars also have child locks on the rear doors that prevent them from being opened from the inside. Open your door and check along the inside edge for a lever or switch to activate the child-proof doors.

Protect Your Vehicle from the Elements

Protect your car from extreme temperatures, excessive sunlight, rain and snow. Apply a coat of wax or sealant over the entire exterior to keep rust at bay. Paint over any scratches with touch-up paint to further reduce rust buildup.

Use a windshield sun visor when the vehicle is parked to prevent the dashboard from getting cracks due to harsh sunlight. You might also try tinting the windows to block out some of that sunlight and keeping your interior a few degrees cooler during the warmer months.

Maintenance and Repairs

All manufacturers give specifications detailing the scheduled maintenance that is recommended for your particular make and model of vehicle. Maintaining your vehicle according to this schedule is the best thing you can do to extend the life of your vehicle and protect your investment.

Standard maintenance jobs include oil change, radiator flush, changing of brake pads and tire rotation. You also don’t want to procrastinate on doing repairs whenever your warning lights go off or when your vehicle makes unusual sounds or vibrations.

When looking for a good mechanic for car repairs, consider one that has extensive experience working on your particular class of vehicles. For example, if you drive a BMW or Mercedes, then you might look for a local mechanic shop that specializes in European cars.

Keeping your family vehicle on the road when you need it doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to stay on top of the maintenance and repairs and use some common sense methods to protect your vehicle and your family when you go for a drive. Follow these four car maintenance tips consistently. Take good care of your family car, and it will take good care of you and your family.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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