It is no secret that to keep your car in excellent condition is a very important skill.
In fact, it’s not really straight forward but with few things and simple DIY tricks you can save huge money.
Fortunately, I have done the hard work for you with complete car care guide.
If you want to keep your car in excellent condition, odour free and want more mileage, here is the complete car care guide.
In this guide, I’m going to show you everything that you need to keep your car in excellent condition
without spending a penny ...
like a PRO...
and at home ...
Lets dive in ....
Your car Interior is very important.
In the first chapter of Complete Car Care guide, I will explain how you can keep your car interior like fresh and feeling like brand new. Simply, like a professional.
Let's first see what you need to clean your car from inside to clean it like a professional.
Professional car cleaning is not cheap. It will cost anywhere from $100 to $600.
But doing it yourself is not that hard.
In this section, you will find the step by step procedure to do it.
First, take the garbage out from your vehicle to bin bag and throw it away.
Now it's time to take other stuff out from your car like baby seat, coins, car mats and other belongings.
Also, slide your seat forward and backwards to make sure you have not missed anything in the car.
We will deal with the baby car seat and car mats later.
But for now, it's time to clean the car from the inside.
Before starting any cleaning in your car interior, you should deal with the smell.
Over time it's quite common that car upholstery absorbs stains and smell.
And the good news is it's quite straight forward to deal with this. And here are steps.
Take two cups of white vinegar.
Just put them inside the car, Preferably one on the car dashboard and other on the back seat.
Make sure all the windows and doors are closed and leave those white vinegar bowl overnight in the car.
White vinegar should effectively absorb all the smells from the car.
And in the morning remove white vinegar cups from your car and open the car windows for a few hours, so the smell of vinegar completely disappears.
As we have all car mats and other stuff out from the car, it's time to vacuum the car carpet.
Car carpet is an excellent place to start. Vacuum the carpet completely. You might have to use different attachments with your hoover. I found the brush with medium stiff works well.
Now you are done with the carpets. It's time to clean the car seats.
You need to hoover the car seats with a medium stiff brush. But for the car seat corners, you might need different attachment.
I have tried with a soft brush, but the results are a little different. I noticed a few times after using a soft brush; you can find that some dirt that has stuck in the fibres.
With soft brush, vacuuming removes dirt that is on the seat surface. So I prefer to use medium stiff brush especially for carp
There are few places where vacuum cleaner cannot reach like vents. Here you can use a soft brush to remove the dirt and dust.
Remember, you did the hoover, to clean the dirt. There might be old car carpet stains.
If yes, then here is the way to deal with carpet stains.
And I have used this couple of time, and it works!
Take a 2 to 3 litre of hot water, add a generous amount of dish detergent and add a cup of white vinegar.
Why white vinegar? Because it is the most aggressive vinegar and It's a popular type of vinegar you can find in your kitchen.
Now the only thing you need a thick brush to work the mixture thoroughly into the carpet stain. Just wait for 25 to 35 minutes.
Blot until dry with towels or thick absorbent rags.
It will work for any general stain includes pet stains.
As a mum, I can tell you - most of the times you can avoid eating in the car, especially with kids.
And here you can use some easy tricks to clean your car stains ( they can be from any reason like coffee, soda spills or alcohol.
But before that, let's see what kind of material is used in your car seats.
Most of the time three kinds of material used for the car seats
(iii) Cloth upholstery
It's a little bit different to deal with different material. Let's dive in.
On your car windows, dust collects after a few days. And if you have kids, you can see their handprints on your windows and mirrors.
So how you clean them effectively at home.
First of all, make sure all the front panel is properly with a vacuum cleaner with a thin nozzle attachment.
Then you can use a soft cloth to get right to the edge where the dash meets the glass to remove anything left after vacuuming.
If you are really in hurry use baby wipes.
As I mentioned earlier, keep a pack of baby wipes in your glove compartment. You can quickly swipe the dash, and it saves your time.
But if you would like to see more shine on your dashboard just reading on.
Now take a soft microfiber cloth, fill a bowl with warm water and mild soap to wipe down your dash. And you are ready to clean interior plastic of your vehicle, steering wheel and dashboard.
Let's add more shine to your car interior with Olive oil. Just apply a small amount of olive oil to the dashboard and gently rub with a clean cloth.
And it's all new and shiny.
Vaseline shine - If your car has vinyl or leather interior, then Vaseline will work great. Just put some Vaseline on a cotton cloth and then rub a fabric on seats.
Also, you can rub it on your car, rubber door seals. It will help to keep them from freezing over in winter.
Use a cheap foam brush or paintbrush to dust between the AC vents. It works well for vents.
You can take hot water to clean the var vents. Also, I found baby wipes work not too bad on the car vents
Also to make your air fresheners, all you need to do is put a few drops of your favourite essential oil onto a clothespin and place it over the air vent.
You can use silicon gel to clean the vents yes silicon gel as it works. It will pick up dust and dirt very quickly.
If you are working on a laptop or desktop, you must have used Keyboard Cleaner. And it worked well in car vents
Compressed air sends air out at a very high speed, and it makes your clean up so much easier.
Door panels are an often-neglected area when it comes to cleaning the interior of your car.
Because most of the times they look okay and you can not notice any dirt on them.
Here is an easy way to clean the door panels
Washing your car at at home ( like a pro) and get crystal shine for your car. (with all money saving hacks)
Before cleaning the vehicle, it is important to rinse thoroughly to remove dust and debris.
To clean the car from outside, What all you need is one bucket use two bucket method
- One bucket for the washing the main parts of the vehicle from outside
- One for Rinse
Also, some people prefer three buckets method, third bucket for cleaning the dirtiest thing on the car like cleaning the wheels.
I prefer two buckets, why? Save water 🙂
It's always good to start with the wheels - Take the stronger detergent and mix with water. Apply the solution on the wheels with a hard brush. Now clean it with water.
Once you apply the solution on any part of your car, make sure rinse the cloth from another bucket, so the dirt goes back in the rinse bucket.
Now you can wash your bucket and add some car shampoo and mix with water. Apply from top to bottom in your car. And once done wash your vehicle with your garden hose
When you have to apply soap, consider one section of your car at a time.
After each pass, flush your wash glove in the pail of clean water to take out contaminants.
Once done, it's time to dry your car. Use microfibre cloths as it's a great way to dry your car's bodywork.
This simple system will help you clean your car.
Once you washed your car, make sure your car wheels are dry Mix 1 part of water with three parts baking soda and splash of white Vinegar
Now it's time to apply the paste to your car wheels with a brush or sponge, scrub it with a hard brush and then leave to sit for 5 minutes.
Then wash thoroughly to reveal spotless wheels.
And If your car has chrome wheels, then try water and Vinegar.
You need to take them in equal parts of each into a squirt bottle, spray the mixture onto your wheels and then wipe them down with a rag.
Use plain white toothpaste on a rag.
It will work like a charm, making your car lights crystal clear.
It's not hard to clean windshield wipers them, but it's easy to forget them.
You need rubbing alcohol to clean them.
Also, I've used nail polish remover, and it works well as well.
If you have any sticker on your car windows glass and not coming out quickly try steel wool.
Believe or not, Steel wool is a fantastic tool to use to clean up your car windshield.
Also, you can use newspaper to clean windows from outside.
In case of any sticker on the bumper or a tar. Then you can use this trick to take them out completely.
Use a hair dryer and start working from the centre outward toward the edges. I will say, use the low setting on the blow dryer for about 30 seconds covering the entire surface of the sticker
Why hair dryer?
Because hair dryer will soften the adhesive.
Now take a plastic card (or a cotton cloth) at an angle on edge, gently scrape the sticker loose using a sawing motion.
Once you've removed the sticker, rewash the surface, and use the heat from the hair dryer to get off any residue
Another way to use Vinegar
As I have mentioned earlier, white Vinegar is perfect for performing cleaning jobs around the house
Dip a clean paper towel in a small bowl of white Vinegar. Not place the paper towel over the bumper for five to ten minutes.
As the Vinegar drenches into the guard sticker, it will start to loosen. At that point, draw up one corner with your fingers or with a flexible spatula.
Rubber seals around windows, doors and trunk are designed to protect the car from water, wind, and dirt.
Needless to say, they enhance the car's appearance as well.
As car rubber get more UV radiation directly from the sun. So it should be handled more frequently.
And here is a simple way to do that at home.
Once you washed your car, use some talcum powder. Use it on the door to provide lubrication, and it will extend the life of the door seal.
To use this, spray a small amount of talc powder on a piece of cloth. Then wipe it onto the seal after applying rubber and vinyl dressing. And you are done.
Rubber seals around windows, lights, door handles and mirrors should also be clean at least once a year. Just use a brush and soapy water.
Some users suggest they use Vaseline on your rubber, but the petroleum-based jelly eats away the rubber sooner than average.
Get more mileage from your car is easy with few simple things.
And in this chapter I have explained ZERO weight technique which I have used to get 17% more mileage from my 7 years old car.
Its not hard to get more fuel economy from your car.
As a busy mum, if I can do this, why, not you?
I have categorised this section in two levels one is Easy, and the other is Hard (need professional help).
The fundamental level is one which you can do yourself easily at home and on other hands, the second level is hard, which is a bit hard and you need professional help.
With just using the natural techniques you will get at least between 30 to 60% Mpg Efficiency gain.
Also in the cold weather and especially in winter, your fuel economy significantly reduce.
Approximately it can drop as much as 22% for very short trips like for 3 to 5 miles.
Even with winter tires fuel economy will fall a little bit more.
My top 3 favourite tips which will have an immediate effect (and easy to do):
keeps your car speed moderates
Keep less weight in car ( zero weight technique)
Always keep the air pressure in tires at the recommended levels
Save hundreds of dollars with simple DIY hacks.
This chapter is all about car maintenance, especially in emergency case.
So Let's dive in.
While driving on the motorway, if a tiny pebble jumps up at you, then you might get a crack on the windshield that can grow and shatter the windshield.
Just put nail polish on it, and the break won't grow. You will be able to get to a garage safely.
Soft drinks have a lot of acid in it. It helps in removing rust.
You need to spray it then wait and wipe it off. That's it.
It's also important to check your car tyres legal limit at home.
What you need to check your tyres just a penny to check your tires and safety.
Place a penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire. And if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head then your tires need to be replaced.
Otherwise, if part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, it means you are probably good with tires and safety
It's also very simple, just take a 20p coin and insert it into the tread grooves on the tyre.
And if you can see the band and that section of the coin is still visible your tires need to be replaced
Otherwise, If you can't see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit.
It's time to heat the car dent using the hairdryer. Just keep the dryer 5 to 6 inch away from your car's surface.
Now cover the dent by a piece of aluminium foil and rub the dry ice over the aluminium foil covering the car dent.
The rapid change in the temperature will make the dent pop out, and it will be fixed in the first attempt (within a few minutes)
During this put on the suitable gloves. So you can protect your hands from any injuries.
If your car has a plastic bumper that this technique will work well for you.
Boil a pot of water and pour it over the dented area on your car's bumper.
Voila, it works!
Sometimes you have to reach behind the bumper and pop the dent out. Now pour a jug of cold water onto the bumper to cool and fix the area.
After the rain, you can notice some irregular patch or unsightly mark on a windshield.
And if your windshield is foggy, you can pour a little Cola on it.
Wow, it's clean!
But make sure to wash the area of your car to make sure sticky drive is completely off thoroughly to make sure it's all done.
If you do not have any car polish handy then here is a simple solution to it.
Clean your car with any hair conditioner that contains lanolin. And then rub it with a cotton cloth.
Again it's time to use the vinegar here.
Saturate the top and sides of the sticker with undiluted distilled vinegar.
And wait for 30 minutes for the vinegar to soak through. Now it's time to scrape it off.
If you are struggling to find a proper mitt to wash your car, then this is something you can try.
Have you just worn a hole in one of your favourite soft socks?
Here's a great way to put the survivor to good use: it makes the perfect hand mitt for buffing the wax on your car.
By Law, Seat belts must be used to protect against injury in a car accident.
Your car seat belts can be easily changeable with a screwdriver. Just remove the old cover and place the new one. That's it.
And once done, you can test the new seat belt for optimal working conditions.
Here is a quick car checklist which you can use regularly.
Also, it's good to check your car before and after car service to make sure it's in working conditions
And here is the complete checklist
Treadwear and tread depth
Carjack and tools
Power Steering fluid
Windscreen washer fluid
What is car Service? Why it's important?
How many types of car service are available in the market?
Does it matter to your car?
Let's first try to find out the basics about car servicing.
When you take your car for tuneup to the garage on a set time interval. Or sometimes after the vehicle has travelled a certain distance.
In simple words, this is a car service.
There is a famous saying about 7P's - proper prior planning prevents poor performance.
Car service is suitable for many good reasons like, here are few
- To get better performance ( better fuel-efficiency)
- To keep your car in running condition on all weather
- To maintain reliability ( smooth engine)
And one of the critical reason for car service to your vehicle should maintain its market value.
Let' take an example - Which car will be more efficient?
A well-maintained service car or can without service for a long time?
Of course, well-maintained car.
A well-maintained car will be more efficient. And save both money and fuel. Complete service log is one of the vital document at the time of when you need to claim warranty or sell your car.
Also, with regular service problems are likely to grab on the beginning, at the time when they are comfortable and cheap to fix.
It may be different from one to another vehicle.
And in general, keep your vehicle in the best possible condition is should typically service every 12 months.
But also you should keep in mind there are two main variables her one is mileage and second is vehicle age.
Let's take an example - When you have to change your vehicle oil?
It must be mention on car manual.
Here is the list of the different checklist which helps you to keep track of your vehicle regular maintenance.
And most of these checks and services are minor, and they are quick and easy to do.
Engine Oil Level
Front and back lights
Windshield Washer Fluid
Car engine belts
Engine Air Filter
Battery and Cables
Power Steering Fluid
Automatic Transmission Fluid
Cabin Air Filter
Engine Air Filter
Steering and Suspension
It depends on what you are looking after.
To understand better, let's see how many different types of services are available in the market.
Broadly there are two - Interim Service (basic service) and Full Service.
In simple words - interim services are mainly carried out on vehicles that are only in use for shorter journeys.
The basic service will cost approximately £90 - £130. But basic service does not include the cost of any major repair or any replacements on parts.
And the cost of full car service is approximately around £140 - £200.
Again this is just an approximate price indicator of full service. Full car service price additionally depends upon the make and model of your car.
Of course, it also differs from country to country.
Before checking the difference, let's see the everyday things. For example, changing the engine oil and car filter's is typical on basic and Full service.
If you are not using your car, then the Basic service is excellent.
Let me highlight my example - I own a Toyota Auris, and I used every day to commute between my house and station.
And it's just less than 5 miles per day ( approximately 3000 miles per year)
In this case, I do not need a full yearly service. Maybe one full service after two years is excellent.
In this way, I can save time, money, and at the same time, I can maintain my car entirely in less money.
I have compiled a list which explains what should you expect during car service.
On the service day of your car, you can expect that the garage will replace and check the following things.
This chapter is all about your driving habits.
Do you know - Who is controlling your vehicle?
You? Or your habits?
This is last but important chapter of complete care care guide.
Its our daily habits which put a significant influence on you and your vehicle.
In this chapter, I will highlight all those driving habits which are commonly used but not suitable for your vehicle
And later in this chapter, I will highlight what kind of documents you must add in your record file and why?
What are the advantages to keep your vehicle records?
So let's dive in and discuss top 13 habits which make a driver 'Bad Driver.' Also these habits bad for your car.
It's common for a few new drivers. But bad practice.
What is riding the clutch? - When a driver did not take their foot off from the pedal after changing the gear.
Poor clutch control will cause excessive damage. It is also shortening the life of your clutch system.
It can cause damage front and rear of your car. Also, it can damage your car's alignment.
Faulty wheel alignment = Poor mileage + Bad for tyres. Also speeding over speed bumps not safe for your vehicles exhaust system.
Speed bumps are meant to keep both pedestrians and drivers safe.
If you slow down when you near a speed bump is a good habit. In this way, you can help keep pedestrians and your car happy.
Smooth transmission between gears is essential.
If you are shifting gear from "Reverse" to "Drive" or vice versa, you should make sure your car has a complete stop.
Your vehicle's transmission system is not designed to stop the car. Breaks are for the stop.
Shifting great in motion can damage the transmission system.
You should not ignore dashboard warning lights. Your car computer is telling you what's wrong, and it might be worse if you keep ignoring.
If you really can not understand what the warning light is about googling it. The web is full of information.
Ignoring dashboard warning lights can cost you few quids to few thousands.
So, It's better to be proactive.
"Riding the brakes" implies you are driving your car by keeping your foot on the brake pedal.
It is awful for your car and engine.
If you do for prolong period, then your vehicle's brake overheating, and then they lose some of their power to stopping.
I have seen this habit is common in drivers. They add stuff in car boot which is not required.
Also, It will affect your car's fuel economy and emissions output. Do you remember ZERO weight technique which I share with you in Chapter 3 about getting more mileage from your car?
So it's always advisable to travel as light as possible.
There are many penalties if you will use your phone while driving.
And to be honest, it's life-threatening. You must not use your phone while driving.
As if you take your eyes off from the road to use your phone, even for a second you are missing what's in front of you for 150 ft, and It might have life-changing consequences.
If you have any bad habit, do not worry. The very first step before we correct any bad habit is to recognize the bad habit.
By changing your driving habit, you will not only save your car but also save a life.
Here are next 6 habits which are not related to driving but it's about treating your car.
You should be careful not to have too many keys on your keychain.
You may get some more scratches and the weight of the keys and bounce on the road can wear out your ignition switch.
And in some worse case, it can lead to ignition switch failure.
An accident may happen with anyone.
And you must make sure in that case you get the best repair for your car at the best price.
And for that, you need a reputable car insurer.
You should always make sure that floor mats are in place, both in the front and back seats.
They will prevent wear and tear of your carpets and keep your car looking like new.
You should not use water for the windshield fluid to save a few dollars.
The main reason you should not use water as could freeze in cold temperature and break the system
The caps keep out any dirt and moisture which could end up causing leaks.
And why is tyre pressure critical?
Correct tyre pressure is essential for your safety. With correct tyre pressure, the grip between road and tyres work well. Also, correct tyre pressure maximises the life of your tyres.
You can find the correct tyre pressure in the driver's handbook.
Keeping the car clean is suitable for a few reasons. One of the main reason it keeps you healthy.
Think for a minute about how much time you spend in your car.
Sometimes, you eat and drink in your car, causing the inevitable spills. So keep your car's interior a good cleaning on a regular basis will keep it healthier