4 Tips to Keep Your SUV in Optimum Condition
Published September 2, 2016 by SUVS Editor
Regular vehicle care for your SUV achieves several things: One, it can reduce the amount of larger mechanical problems from arising in the future, which can save you quite a bit of cash. Next, if you ever plan to trade in or sell your SUV, you might be able to receive more for it due to its pristine condition. Lastly, by taking great care of your SUV you can extend its life of ownership, saving you money from having to buy something new quicker.
There are a wealth of ways to keep your SUV in top shape ranging from cleaning to automotive service tips. Here’s a closer look at these tips to help you keep your SUV running and looking great for years to come.
1. Adhere to Maintenance Schedules
If you have your SUV owner’s manual, be sure to consult its maintenance schedule. This will list, typically in mile intervals, the services you should consider doing when you take it into the shop. In many cases, this, along with the dealership you take your SUV in for service, will help you adhere to a schedule of regular oil changes, tire rotations, and any other inspections or services that might be necessary.
These are important because of the small services you make now extend critical parts such as your SUV’s engine moving forward. In addition, by adhering to your service schedule and having annual inspections conducted, your technicians can identify and fix smaller problems right away. This could mitigate larger issues from occurring down the line.
2. Do Visual Inspections Monthly
Another thing you’ll want to do is learn your SUV. This doesn’t mean you have to become an expert, but it’s important you inspect some of its components regularly to ensure they are in proper condition.
Tires are one of the most important and easiest parts to inspect. Once a month bend down and examine each tire for signs of warping or fraying. You can also check tread depth by inserting a penny upside down. If all of Abraham Lincoln’s head shows, it indicates your tires tread depth is 2/32” or less, meaning it is time to change the tire.
Another simple trick is to measure each tire’s PSI levels. Since many newer SUVs come with built-in readers, you can access this on your driver’s information display unit in your vehicle. Next, you need to compare the PSI readings with the manufacturer’s specifications, which you find in your vehicle owner’s manual or on the sticker inside of your driver’s side door. Keeping your tires properly inflated ensures they last longer and provides performance benefits such as increased fuel efficiency.
You’ll also want to inspect your SUV’s wiper blades, changing them every six months. Also conduct a visual inspection of the SUV’s belts, hoses, and check fluid levels. Not only will do these things help you become more acclimated to your vehicle, it might help you identify small problems so you can address them before they magnify.
3. Interior Care
SUVs possess the versatility to do anything your family requires from transporting your child and their friends to games to going on a road trip. Because of the demand placed on SUVs, it’s important to be proactive in protecting its interior.
To illustrate, if you plan to transport larger items like coolers or camping equipment often, you can buy cargo mats to place in your SUV’s trunk. These mats are perfect because they absorb any damage that might occur from regularly transporting items to keep your SUV’s cargo area in excellent shape.
If you plan to take your dog(s) on your road adventures, then seat covers are a great buy. You can find these at many department and pet stores. When shopping for them keep in mind the following: One, you’ll want to find one that’s waterproof just on the off chance your pet has an accident on a trip. Two, find one with multiple attachment points, as this ensures your seats and flooring area are protected from any accidents that might occur.
Next, you’ll want to give your SUV’s interior a thorough cleaning regularly—the interval of how often you do this depends on demand. When you do clean it out, it’s important to tackle every inch, including the nooks in the steering wheel and brushing out the air vents, where dust and dirt hides. The more thorough you are in cleaning detail, the better your SUV will look and smell.
4. Exterior care
Of course washing your SUV regularly is important as well. You’ll want to wash it immediately if you notice bird droppings or tree sap on your vehicle because allowing it to stay on your SUV erodes the paint with time.
When washing your SUV, Consumer Reports recommends using a dedicated car wash product. The reason for this is these cleaners work better with your SUV’s paint. They also suggest you use separate sponges for your SUVs body and tires since tires could have more abrasive items like sand and small rocks wedged in the tread. If you use the same sponge to clean the body after the tires it could result in small scratches.
It’s also ideal to wax your SUV every six months. This ensures it has great protection from the elements; it can help your SUV’s paint last longer as well.
It’s placing attention to detail in small things that help maintain your SUV’s showroom condition for the long haul. These tips are a sampling of the many things you can do to keep your SUV in the best condition possible.
What you’ll discover is that by being proactive in vehicle care and maintenance, not only is it easier, it’s less expensive as well. Best of all, these tips help to keep your SUV in the best pristine condition so you receive excellent performance and fewer expenses during its length of ownership.
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