Whether your boss lent you a vehicle or gave you one to keep forever, taking care of the company car is a big responsibility. Now, your car’s longevity rests in your hands.
If you follow a maintenance schedule, pay attention to warning signs and drive conservatively, your car should last for many more years. Below, you’ll find a few more tasks to add to your maintenance checklist.
1. Schedule Regular Oil Changes
Engine filter swaps and oil changes are two of many minor hassles car owners have to worry about. Depending on your driving habits and the age of your company car, you may have to complete these tasks every 1,000 miles or every few months.
Remembering to do so will keep the engine running efficiently and prevent sludge buildup, which can cause premature engine failure.
2. Check Tire Pressure
Maintaining proper tire pressure is also essential to increasing the lifespan of your company car. Driving on tires that are too inflated or deflated can affect how your vehicle responds to steering and braking.
Sometimes, it can even cause a tire to burst or go completely flat. Ensure that your tires maintain the right amount of pressure by checking your PSI every four to six weeks.
3. Rotate and Balance Tires
When it comes to taking care of your wheels, checking tire pressure is relatively straightforward and something you should be able to do on your own. However, rotating and balancing your tires is a task best left to the pros.
Imbalanced wheels will cause misalignment and wear down the tires much quicker than usual. Therefore, it’s wise to take your car to the mechanic when you feel odd vibrations or shaking.
4. Maintain Fluid Levels
Another way to keep your company car in good shape is to maintain fluid levels. Prevent your engine from overheating by checking the radiator fluid and lubricate the transmission with the right amount of transmission fluid.
Pay attention to the power steering, brake and washer fluids and check the washer fluid every now and again. Keeping an eye on these various lubricants and solutions will help your car run more efficiently and prolong its life.
5. Heed Warning Lights
Every good driver knows that you should tend to your car at the first sign of trouble. Otherwise, you might make the problem worse and seriously shorten your vehicle’s lifespan. When a warning light illuminates your dash, schedule an appointment with the mechanic as soon as possible. They’ll fix the problem early on so it doesn’t cost you more money in repairs down the road.
6. Choose the Right Mechanic
Speaking of mechanics, choosing the right one is essential. Ask your friends and family for references and determine which professional will understand you and your vehicle best. More importantly, make sure they have the skills and know-how to perform maintenance and charge you accordingly. The last thing you want is a mechanic that kicks his feet up at the repair shop and overcharges you for basic work.
7. Wash Your Car
Your car’s main components — including the body and suspension — are often made of steel. While this material is strong, it is more prone to rust. Unfortunately, water and road salt can accelerate the rusting process and quickly age your vehicle. Therefore, it’s important to wash your car every few weeks, especially during the winter months.
8. Improve Your Driving
Poor driving habits can take a major toll on the company car, too, so led foots might want to ease up a bit. Lower your vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 5% by accelerating gently, maintaining a steady speed and coasting to decelerate instead of riding the brakes. These simple yet essential driving habits will improve both safety and your car’s lifespan.
9. Park in the Garage
Instead of leaving your company car out in the snow, sleet and rain, park it inside a garage or carport. This tip is especially useful if you have an electric vehicle since extreme temperatures can negatively affect EVs’ range by more than 25%. Inclement weather can also deplete the battery and reduce its overall lifespan. Keep conventional, hybrid and electric cars running by storing them in an insulated place.
10. Read the Owner’s Manual
When in doubt, read your owner’s manual. Most include a maintenance checklist so you know when and how to check your car’s most important components. You might even learn a thing or two and save money by conducting oil changes, repairs and other tasks yourself.
Maintenance vs. Repairs
Keeping up with your car’s maintenance isn’t exactly fun, and you’ll likely spend a fair amount of money doing it. However, preventative maintenance is usually cheaper — and easier to handle — than repair work. So save yourself the headache by putting in the work now. Your wallet and your schedule will thank you.