Commercial and personal cars can live rough lives. Vehicles spend most of their time in the external environment, exposed to various elements in parking lots and other places. When an accident occurs, a vehicle suffers damages. There are different ways to protect your vehicle from damages. Before we discuss tips on how to do this, it’s important for you to know the different kinds of damages. Let’s discuss...
Classifying Vehicle Damages
There are many types of damages that your vehicle can encounter, whether minor or severe.
1. Minor Damages
These are the most common, yet they’re also the easiest to repair. Minor damages are scratches, dings, and scrapes to your car.
2. Moderate Damages
Although moderate damages are common, they’re not as frequent as minor ones. Moderate damages include dents to the car. Dents can sometimes cause other problems, such as the inability to open your car door.
3. Severe Damages
Severe damage is rare and hard to repair, if repairable at all. It includes broken axles and bent frames, and in most cases the airbag becomes deployed.
What Causes Damage
There are many different causes of vehicle damage, including harsh weather conditions and other vehicles.
- Weather-related Damage
Cars often sit outside and are exposed to snow, sun, rain, and shine. Moisture causes cars to rust over time and excessive sunlight tends to fade car paint. Preventing this type of weather-related damage can be done by repainting your car every so often. If the damage has already occurred, sanding and repainting may be necessary. Sometimes weather damage can be severe, like hail, which can cause dings on cars.
- Dings and Dents
Dings and dents are body damages that occur when a vehicle runs into another vehicle or stationary object. The good thing about these damages is that most of them can be repaired. A technique like paintless dent removal can be helpful. For the larger dents, you’ll require a qualified mechanic to help you fix the dent.
- Paint Scratches
Parking lots are actually some of the most dangerous places for cars. Careless shoppers can bump your car with their shopping carts, leaving marks on your vehicle. They can also make scratches, when mindlessly opening their car door. You can repair most marks by rubbing them out. Scratches can be repaired with body filler, as well as computer-matched auto painting.
- Collision Damage
Vehicles can cause severe damage to each other, sometimes, at relatively low speeds. A collision can result in a bent frame, which reduces the structural integrity of a car. This kind of damage can be repaired with a computer-aided machine that pulls the frame straight.
How to Protect Your Vehicle from Daily Damages
Here are a few tips to prevent your car from getting damaged in parking lots and other places:
1. Don’t use handbrake.
Unless you are on a very steep slope that requires the handbrake, it isn’t recommended to engage your handbrake for extended periods of time. The brake pads may end up getting stuck to the drums or discs. This could give you problems the next time you try to drive.
2. Use a car cover.
If you really want your vehicle to look new, years into owning it, you should be using a car cover on a regular basis. Choose a car cover that is most suitable for your vehicle model and type. Always use outdoor covers, even indoors, since these provide superior protection.
3. Clean the interior.
Every time you exit your car, take the trash with you. You will avoid funky smells and dirt from collecting. Once a month, thoroughly clean the interior of your car. Spray the plastics and wash the seats with special car cleaner.
4. Spark plug care.
If you intend to leave your vehicle for a relatively long period of time, consider spraying some oil into the plug sockets. This will not only keep moisture away, it will also prevent the cylinder-head from rusting. You can also use a fuel additive that can protect the inner part of your engine. However, only do this if you understand the mechanics of your vehicle well.
5. Fill up the fuel tank to the brim.
Rusting is one of the problems that might arise from a vehicle sitting for long periods of time. Always ensure that the fuel tank of your vehicle is full to the brim. Fuel additives ensure that moisture doesn’t enter the tank, in addition to using high quality fuel.
6. Use paint job protection.
If your vehicle spends a lot of time outdoors, it’s important to use paint protection, in addition to a car cover. You should also clean the exterior part of your car before covering it, so that dust doesn’t collect.
7. Give your battery regular maintenance.
Consider removing your battery, if your car will be stationary for a long period of time. Make sure that the battery is fully charged and then store it in a cool, dry place, without any direct sunlight. Also, smear grease on the wire ends and on the terminals to prevent rust.
8. Change oil filters.
Oil filters collect metal filings, sludge, and other corrosive elements over time. Consider putting in new oil filters and fresh engine oil before leaving your car for extended periods of time. Once you’ve put in new oil, drive for a relatively short distance to allow it to circulate.
9. Jack up the vehicle.
Vehicles that have been stationary for a relatively long period of time develop spots on the tires. You may consider using blocks of woods or four jacks to make sure that the vehicle is supported rather than sitting on the wheels.
10. Ensure that the tires remain properly inflated.
Check the tire pressure. Proper inflammation is the only way to prevent conditions, such as flat spots and sidewalls. Make sure that the valves fit properly to prevent leakage.
How to Protect Your Vehicle from Damage When Driving
Anyone that’s spent a lot of time driving has probably noticed that some older cars look like new and some newer cars look old. Driving habits and vehicle maintenance, determine a car’s condition over time. These daily driving tips will help you keep your car in better condition…
1. Avoid potholes.
This is a no-brainer. Deep potholes can damage both the wheels and the tires of your vehicle. The impact can also have negative effects on the steering and suspension of your vehicle. Repetitive impacts, over time, can loosen various vehicle components, creating squeaks and rattles. When you see a pothole, slow down and check your surroundings, before swerving out of the way.
2. Look down the road.
Look at the road. This will not only help you see what is in front of you, it will also reduce your chances of having an accident. You can be more proactive to objects on the road that can damage your tires, as well as other cars that can cause collisions.
3. Smooth is key.
Smoothness is essential. It’s better to start braking early and gradually, rather than making panic stops that can wear out your vehicle. A smooth driver’s vehicle will stay in good condition for longer.
4. Steer while rolling.
Only steer when your vehicle is in motion. If you are parallel parking, make sure that your vehicle is rolling slightly before you start turning the wheel. This reduces stress on the steering rack and avoids steering rack failure.
5. Stop before reversing.
You must always stop driving before switching into reverse. If you aren’t careful, you risk transmission failure.
6. Let your engine warm up.
Always drive the first few kilometers at a slightly lower speed, so that the engine has a chance to warm up. This puts less stress on your car, keeping it in good condition for longer.
7. Have a sunshade for driving on a sunny day.
Protect your parked car from intense heat, on sunny days, with sunshades. It’s one of the best ways to keep your car from overheating.
Other Ways of Protecting Your Vehicle from Daily Damage
1. Wash your vehicle regularly.
Washing the exterior of your car regularly can help you avoid build up of debris, which can cause scratches over time. Use a smooth cloth to scrub the body of your vehicle to prevent scratching off the paint and then hose down.
2. Wash off the bird droppings.
Immediately wash away bird droppings. Their acidic droppings can cause serious damage to the paint, that over time could cause staining and even scratches. Most gas stations have cleaning supplies for a quick wipe.
3. Treat the stone chips immediately
Pebbles and stone chips are common on the road. Sometimes, they hit the side of your car and cause little chips on the top coat of paint. Treating these chips early on prevents the spots from growing and rusting.
You will want to protect your car from elements that can damage it. Surprisingly, some of the elements that car owners ignore are the ones that cause the most damage to vehicles. If you have read this article, you now know the ins and outs of how to protect your vehicle from daily damage.