Cars are a vital part of American culture, commerce, and everyday life. They are also expensive pieces of equipment that require proper care to function safely. Protect your vehicle – and your money – by taking these five preventative maintenance measures. If you give your car a little TLC every now and then, you will save yourself big bucks in the long run.

1. Protect Your Paint Job

The beautiful finish on your vehicle makes it stand out from the crowd. However, it may be vulnerable to environmental damage and sun exposure. Safeguard the exterior surface of your car with a paint protection film Virginia. These transparent urethane coverings prevent loose rock scratches, bug gunk build-up, and UV-induced color fading.

2. Keep It Clean

You live, breathe, work, and sometimes even eat in your car. You need to keep it clean. Experts say that you should perform a thorough cleaning of your car’s interior at least once a month. This includes emptying it of accumulated trash, vacuuming the floors and seats, wiping down the windows and mirrors, washing the floor mats, and dusting the dashboard.

3. Make Regular Repairs

Cars are a type of heavy machinery; thus, they require extensive specialized upkeep. The American Auto Association (AAA) recommends that you get your oil changed at least once a year. Always take your vehicle in if you see a flashing warning light. Additionally, if you notice stuck foot pedals, strange sounds, a jammed steering wheel, deflated tires, or other issues, have your car assessed by a professional immediately.

4. Use a Car Cover

If you have a collectible classic car that you do not use daily, you need to keep it covered while it is not in use. Simply putting the car in the garage will not do. Garages are a haven for dust and mold build-up, animal infiltrators, and bug nests. Even the sturdiest, most airtight garages are bound to have an issue every now and then. So, invest in a car cover.

5. Practice Safe Driving

Finally, the best way to protect your car is to practice safe driving. Drive defensively, especially in big cities. Keep your eyes and ears on the road; don’t text and drive. Take extra precautions when driving during bad weather. Always wear your seatbelt, and never drive while under the influence of alcohol or other substances. By being a safe driver, you not only protect yourself but others as well.

Take the time to take care of your car, and it will take care of you in return.

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