So cars are much like us ladies and require regular maintenance and care to stay in showroom condition. I was indeed comparing it to our hair and nails LOL.
Purchasing an extended service or maintenance plan provides additional protection for your vehicle and can help you save money
Ford Motor Company SA and Ford Protect offer car owners a handy list of maintenance basics
THIS INFO CAME IN HANDY TO ME COS I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CARS EXCEPT HOW TO DRIVE THEM. FORD ALWAYS HAS THE 411.
So you bought a new car – complete with the new car smell, gadgets, the shimmering paint-job, the freedom only a new car can provide. However, your new pride and joy requires maintenance and care.
You don’t need to be a petrol-head or have a master’s degree in mechanical engineering to make sure your new ride is running smoothly for years to come, but you need to be familiar with your car’s maintenance requirements as well as some technical basics.
Get It Serviced
The most important thing you can do for your car is to ensure it is regularly serviced by an authorised dealer. A service plan covers these services for a set amount of years or a certain amount of kilometres driven, whichever comes first. For example, new Ford vehicles come with a warranty and a complimentary Ford Protect service plan.* If you opt for a Ford Fiesta or a Ford EcoSport for instance, you get:
- Four-year / 60,000km Service Plan
- Four-year / 120,000km Comprehensive New Vehicle Warranty
- Five-year / unlimited mileage Corrosion Warranty
- Three-Year / unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance
At each service, technicians check that your car is running as it should be. Your service plan will cover the costs of labour and service parts – oil, filters, and spark plugs.
You should also have your vehicle serviced by an authorized dealer as they will be familiar with your vehicle and have all the necessary equipment to work on it, and you won’t need to worry about dodgy parts. Your dealer will have parts designed specifically for your car. For example, Ford drivers receive Genuine Ford Parts, which have their own 20,000km/12-month warranty.
Get an Extended Service Plan
Unexpected repairs can be costly. However, you can protect your wallet by purchasing an extended service or maintenance plan, which will cover you over and above the warranty/service plan that you received with your vehicle.
These plans come in different shapes and sizes. For example, Ford Protect recently launched a range of comprehensive extended service and maintenance plans that can be purchased while your car is still under the New Vehicle Warranty. These options include:
- The Ford Protect Extended Service Plan, which extends your service plan for up to seven years or 160,000 kilometres.
- The Ford Protect WearCARE Maintenance Plan, which covers wear-and-tear items if they fail due to normal wear. This includes the battery, shock absorbers, engine belts, wiper blades, clutch disc, engine coolant hoses, brake pads, brake discs, and brake drums.
- The Ford Protect Premium Maintenance Plan, which covers regular check-ups, preventative care, replacement of wear-and-tear items, labour, all scheduled services, and up to an additional 1,000 components. It is Ford’s most comprehensive maintenance plan and is available for up to five years or 160,000km.
Get your hands dirty
Some things you need to do yourself. These helpful maintenance basics from Ford Motor Company of South Africa will help you keep your car in tip-top condition:
- Engine: Water and oil are the lifeblood of your engine and Ford service agents recommend that you check your water and oil levels every time you fill up at the petrol station. It may sound excessive, but why not? Better safe than sorry and the petrol attendant will do it free while your fuel is topping up.
- Tyres: The tyres are what connects your car to the road and you really want the peace of mind that your tyres are in good shape. Make sure to stick to the correct tyre pressure (check your owner’s manual) and check the tread on each tyre (the AA recommends a minimal tread depth of 2mm).
- Lights: Ask a friend to stand outside your car and help you check your park lights, high and low beams, indicators, and brake lights. Unless you have mechanical knowledge do not risk replacing faulty globes and bulbs on your own – it is a tricky job and you don’t want to damage the light fixture.
- Windscreen and Wiper Blades: Clear visibility of the road is critical, so always fix any chips or cracks on your windscreen. Remember that small cracks will get bigger.
Make sure to clean your wiper blades and if your wiper blades leave lines of water on your windshield in wet weather, they may be cracked and it is time for new ones.
- Brakes: If you feel that you might have a problem with your brakes, attend to them immediately. Several things may indicate a problem with the brakes: Does the brake pedal feel soft or spongy when depressed? Does the car pull to one side under braking? Can you hear a grinding or squealing sound? If the answer is yes to any of these, have your dealer address the issue right away.
- Paint & Bodywork: Ford recommends you wash your car on a regular basis with mild detergent liquid soap and lukewarm water. Rinse the bodywork once a week if you are unable to wash. Then check the paintwork for chips and scratches, and attend to any damage immediately. Failure to do so could cause unwanted corrosion.
If you are ever in doubt, check your owner’s manual and your warranty/service guide. These booklets contain all the information you need to know as a car owner – how your car works, what consumables to use, what falls under the warranty and your service plan, and much more.