We should all know by now that cars, well, they’re not always the best investment. In fact, the minute you drive a car off the lot of a dealership it depreciates in value by 10% or more. The value of your vehicle may only further depreciate depending on the age, mileage, and abuse it takes.
This is why vehicle protection is key. Vehicle protection not only encompasses the safety of the vehicle in crashes and break-ins but also the maintenance of internal engine parts, the exterior of the car, and the interior details.
General wear-and-tear can really bring the value of a vehicle down, which is why you should guard against the abuse your vehicle will see on a daily basis. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the 8 best vehicle protection tips that will do just that.
8 Great Vehicle Protection Tips
These tips will not just cover the things you could do to prevent break-ins and crashes, but tips to protect every component of your vehicle against daily mishaps and gradual distress.
1. Use The Right Engine Oil
First things first, you actually have to make sure to change your oil regularly. This is a non-negotiable vehicle protection tip.
The general wisdom has been that you should change out your oil every 3,000 miles. If your car was manufactured this century, you can get away with changing the oil every 7,500-10,000 miles.
On top of changing your oil, you also need to make sure you’re using the right oil. Many people who change their oil at home gloss over the importance of this step.
No two engines are built the same and different engines require different oils with different viscosities. The owner’s manual of your vehicle should specify which oil your engine prefers.
2. Hide Your Belongings
This is a great vehicle theft protection tip. Whenever you go out and park your car in a lot or on a side street, make sure you keep the expensive belongings in your car hidden.
A visible purse, wallet or laptop is the only cue a thief needs to break into your car. If that happens you’ve got a broken window and a missing MacBook Pro to deal with.
3. Wash Your Vehicle Regularly
If by not cleaning your car you thought you were only damaging your own aesthetic appeal, you’d be wrong.
By allowing gunk and grime to accumulate on your vehicle over time, you could permanently damage it permanently. If you try to scrape off all the bird poop and splatted bugs on the exterior of your car, it can take a lot of your car’s paint enamel with it.
And if you drive up north, where roads are frequently salted, you may have a build up of salt on the underside of your vehicle. This can corrode vital metal parts of your vehicle like your axle and exhaust pipes.
The moral of the story here is to get your car cleaned at least once a month.
4. Get A New Bed-liner
If you drive a truck, your truckbed probably sees a ton of abuse. If it’s been a few years since you first bought the truck, your bed-liner probably isn’t very effective in the vehicle protection department anymore.
It’s probably time to replace and upgrade. You may want to consider a spray-in bed-liner like the ones provided by this company.
Having a good bed-liner is crucial, as it protects the body of your truck from rust, water, physical damage, and sun damage.
5. Keep Your Car In The Garage
The best way to keep your car in good shape is to protect it from the elements entirely, so if you have a garage, you should use it.
A garage protects your car from potential break-ins, it keeps your car clean and prevents your interiors from sun and heat damage (which we’ll discuss more in-depth briefly).
6. Clean Stains ASAP
Like with your exteriors, you should clean your interiors frequently as well. Even more so, in fact. Fabrics are obviously a lot more susceptible to permanent damage from liquids so it’s important to clean messes as they happen.
As soon as your kid spills a packet of ketchup or a bottle of soda, you need to jump on cleaning duty immediately. You could end up with a permanently discolored seat otherwise.
7. Don’t Ignore Engine Noises
Having to deal with vehicle repairs are a pain in the butt, we know. But putting off much-needed maintenance won’t make the problem go away.
So if you’re driving along and your car’s engine starts making an atypical sound, address the issue head-on. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse, and compound the financial burden you’ll face when you’re told that the engine is totaled.
Monitor your engine closely, and get it serviced regularly. Your vehicle and your pocketbook will thank you for it.
8. Lubricate Your Interiors
If you have vinyl or leather interiors in your car, you need to pay attention to this vehicle protection tip.
Vinyl and leather, while they look much nicer than their fabric interior counterparts, are much more susceptible to sun and heat damage. This is especially true if you live in a southern city. Over time, when exposed to the sun and its heat, vinyl and leather are known to dry out and crack.
To counteract this, you should apply vinyl or leather protectant to your interiors regularly. Companies like Armor-All make fantastic products to protect keep your leather or vinyl moisturized and UV-protected.
Need More Auto Tips?
These 8 tips should give more than enough to catch up on when it comes to maintaining your car.
But if you’re already a car maintenance pro, and you do all of these things already, check out some of our other articles like how to avoid winter car damage.
Our blog has a giant archive of helpful information for car owners, as well as a library of car manuals you can dig through in case you lose your own.