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5 Ways to be a Great Car Owner

Motorists often feel a great sense of pride when it comes to their vehicles. Whether your own or lease your car, it is a good idea to treat it right. A car that is taken care of will reward you with longevity and reliability. If you are a first time car owner or just looking for ways to improve your ownership habits, check out the recommendations below.

Keep a record of all maintenance services and repairs. Stay on top of regular maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations; as well as fluid flushes, tune-ups, and brake repairs when necessary. Hold on to all receipts and written invoices and recommendations from your auto shop. These will come in handy if you ever plan to sell the vehicle and is a great reference for you. If your auto shop provides a warranty, hold onto the warranty information as well.

Keep it clean. Wash your vehicle regularly. Make it a goal to wash the vehicle once per month. This is especially important during the winter months in the Cleveland and Akron areas. Salt and brine used to keep the roads clear can accumulate under your vehicle potentially causing rust and damage. A quick trip through a touchless or laser car wash will wash off any excess snow and salt. In the summer, make sure to remove bird poop, tree sap and bug residue. The acids in these fluids can break down the paint on your vehicle.

Be prepared. Keep some basic items in your vehicle that are necessary for each season. Some items you will want to keep in your vehicle year-round include jumper cables, flashlight, maps, first aid kid, spare medications, water, roadside service information (if you have it), a spare tire and a tire inflation product. Add some items for summer and winter driving.

Pay attention to Dashboard Lights. Never ignore a Check Engine light or any other Malfunction-Indicator Lamp (MIL) when it illuminates on your dashboard. This is your vehicle’s way of communicating with you and it is always better to have your vehicle inspected when a problem first appears. If you notice any other changes like odors, sounds, vibrations and other symptoms, contact a trusted auto repair shop right away. Don’t wait for a light to illuminate.

Use quality products and a trustworthy mechanic like Rad Air. If you haven’t established a good relationship with your auto repair shop, keep looking until you find someone with whom you can easily communicate. You should always feel free to ask questions about your vehicle’s overall health and service. Make sure the oil and lubricants used during your oil change is certified by the American Petroleum Institute. If you’re having repairs done, always ask to see the old parts and ask your repair shop about the quality the replacement parts.