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Published on August 14th, 2018 | by Jones

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How to take good care of your pre-owned car

Buying a pre-owned vehicle makes financial sense for most of us who are in need of a car.

It’s not difficult to find used car deals that are both your dream car and within your budget. And with the pre-owned cars for sale in South Africa, you definitely won’t be disappointed by the variety of options for you to choose from.

When you find and finance your pre-owned vehicle and drive it off the showroom floor, it immediately becomes your responsibility to take good care of it. It might have had a previous owner before you and, therefore, comes with a few scars and bruises, but it’s new to you and should be treated as such.

The older the model is, the more susceptible it may be to mechanical and physical damage so you need to take good care of it. If you treat your pre-owned cars as if they’re brand new, they will continue to be good to you for years to come.

Keep it out of the sun

General wear and tear are inescapable when it comes to vehicles. And with pre-owned vehicles, you will almost always find a few scratches and small dents on the sides of the car. But that’s normal.

The task now is to take care of it so that the wear and tear in the years to come is as little as possible. And one way to make sure the exterior paint job and the interior materials don’t deteriorate and cause problems is to keep your car out of the sun. Obviously, while you’re driving it’s practically impossible, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about parking time.

Whenever you park your car, try your best to park it out of the sun… for more reasons than just because your car is boiling on the inside when you get back into it later. Sun damage is a real thing and can affect the paint of your car, your leather upholstery and your dashboard. Not only will the material and paint fade, but it can also lose some of its properties and cause it to (literally) crumble away.

Park underground if you know you’re going to be a few hours and, if that’s not an option and there are no trees around, make sure you at least have sun visors to put up against your windshield. It would also be a good idea to have your windows slightly tinted to protect the interior from harmful UV rays.  

Don’t forget to wash it

We don’t always feel up to washing our cars, especially after a long road trip or day at work. But there are certain circumstances when it’s really in your pre-owned cars’ best interest to be washed.

One of those circumstances is when you’ve been to the beach or visited a beach town. In the same way that you feel the need to wash your hair after walking along the beach or swimming in the ocean, your car needs a refreshing rinse too. The salty air means your car is prone to corrosive damage and even rust.

Another circumstance is when you’ve parked under a tree for the shade and come back to a bird-droppings masterpiece on your roof and bonnet. If you don’t clean these “decorations” off of your car soon after they appear, you’re allowing the sun the chance to seal it in and the acid in the droppings to eat away at the paint underneath.

So, moral of the story, don’t forget to wash or rinse your car when it’s been exposed to corrosive or damaging elements.

Stay up to date with services

One of the best ways you can take good care of your pre-owned car is by staying up to date with its services. Every 15 000 km you’re supposed to take your car in for a minor (sometimes a major) service.

This is where they replace the filters, tend to anything that’s suspicious and fix whatever needs to be fixed before it causes a bigger, more expensive, problem. And if you hear any strange noises before or even just after a service is due, take it in. You shouldn’t ignore any funny sounds. Pre-owned cars aren’t necessarily new models even if it’s new to you, so you should address any issues as soon as they arise.

When it comes to spending money on the wellbeing of your car, you need to remember that it’s not only so that you’re safe while driving it and can enjoy owning it, but it’s also about the next person to own your car if and when you decide to sell it.

You’re investing in your current ownership and your car’s future ownership. The better shape you leave it in for the next owner, the more value you can get from trading it in to go towards your next new or used car.

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