10 Essential Auto Adjustments to Make This Year

Owning a car, truck, minivan, or any other ride comes with maintenance responsibility. Good maintenance ensures vehicle longevity, fewer mechanical breakdowns, and optimal performance. Regular car care will also save you from costly repairs. Here are ten essential auto adjustments to make this year as part of your car care practice.

1. Tint Your Car Windows

Car window tinting is one of the auto adjustments to make this year. What is window tinting? It involves applying a thin film on the car windows, usually made of polyester but may contain other materials like carbon, metal, or ceramic, to achieve various levels of light and heat blockage.

You don’t want to experience excessive heat or light from the scorching sun during summer, right? Tinting the windows will reduce sun heat, making the car interior more comfortable. Regulating heat through window tints will also reduce the need for air conditioning, which improves fuel efficiency.

Window tints block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause skin cancer and fade the car’s interior upholstery. According to the National Institute of Health, excessive exposure to UV radiation can cause skin cancers, skin damage, premature skin aging, and sun-related eye disorders. Installing metallic tints on the windows can reduce radiative heat by up to 87%.

Tinting your car windows will enhance privacy, security, and safety. Tints make it harder to see the car interior when the doors are closed, keeping off unwanted onlookers. It can also deter theft by hiding your belongings from burglars’ view. Moreover, window tint can reduce injury risks in an accident by holding shattered glass together.

Before tinting your car windows, consult auto window tinting service providers to guide you because window tinting laws vary with states. Some states, like Delaware, allow up to 70% tinting, while others, like Oklahoma, allow only 25%.

2. Interior Detailing

Car interior detailing should be among the essential auto adjustments to make this year. The upholstery can take a beating after spending a lot of time in your car on the roads. Forget about your daily drives to work; weekend travels with the family can make the car interior even messier. Children and pets play around, leaving hair, dust, and spilling fluids on the seats and flooring.

Car interior detailing involves deep cleaning to restore the interior surfaces. That said, you can retain the interior’s aesthetic appeal and cleanliness with professional detailing. The process also involves treating surfaces such as the dashboard, seats, carpets, door panels, and other interior components.

But why is detailing even more essential, you ask? Professional detailing will improve your health and hygiene. The process removes bacteria, allergens, and odors, protecting you and your family from allergies and other respiratory issues. According to the American Lung Association, mold exposure can trigger allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in people with mold allergies—10% of the world’s population have mold allergy, with 5% showing clear symptoms during exposure.

The detailing process involves the removal of dust and pooling water from various surfaces to protect them from wear and tear. As such, investing in regular detailing can save you from major auto repairs like restoring a corroded floor, which can be costly.

3. Service the Brake System

The car brake system ensures safe driving and vehicle control. It stops the car, enhances speed and traction control, and helps in hill holding. As such, brake system maintenance should be among your top auto adjustments to make this year.

Should you maintain the brake system regularly? Yes, remember the day you drove out of the showroom. Your car components were very new and functional. However, as the car covers several miles on the road, all these components start to wear due to friction, road grime, salt, and exposure to moisture. So, brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid pipes require regular servicing; otherwise, they can become a safety hazard.

Prompt brake repairs and regular maintenance will also extend the lifespan of brake components, saving you from frequent replacements. Moreover, it ensures you comply with the legal roadworthiness requirements. It’s a legal requirement for a vehicle to undergo inspection after a certain period, which includes brake and other system tests.

4. Performing a Precise Wheel Alignment

You want to feel safe behind the wheel and save fuel costs, right? Wheel alignment should be among your key auto adjustments to make this year.

Wheel alignment exercise adjusts the car wheel angle to the manufacturer’s specification. During the wheel alignment service, three main angles should be adjusted. The first one is the camber, the wheel’s angle when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Experts also view the vehicle from the above to determine if the toe angle is correct. Finally, they check the castor angle, which is the steering axis viewed from the side of the vehicle.

But what causes car wheels to misalign? It’s something you may not completely avoid in your daily drives. Impacts from hitting speed bumps, potholes, and accidents can cause the car wheels to misalign. Sometimes, you may be tempted to add a few excess pounds in the trunk; exceeding the towing capacity can exert more pressure on the wheels, causing misalignment.

Your parking stall or garage may also cause wheel misalignment if you park the car and the wheels bump into or scrape against the side of a parking structure. The pressure exerted by the body weight for an extended time may cause wheel misalignment.

Wheel alignment improves fuel efficiency by reducing the engine workload. It also increases tire life, improves vehicle steering, and saves money from regular repairs or car suspension component replacement.

5. Clean Your Car Engine

You remember how clean your car engine was when you drove out of the showroom. However, as you cover hundreds of miles, the engine gets dirty. The car engine is often overlooked regarding cleanliness, but this can cause significant damage. So, pause and include the car engine cleaning in your list of auto adjustments to make this year.

You know that changing the engine oil, cleaning the coolant system, and replacing internal components like water and oil pumps improve the engine’s performance and efficiency. Cleaning the engine, too, will improve its performance and efficiency.

Dirt, grease, and grime buildup on the exterior parts of the engine block will hinder performance by interfering with airflow and heat dissipation. When the engine is clean, air circulates easily on the outer part to absorb heat, easing the cooling system’s work.

During engine cleaning, you can easily spot oil or coolant leaks from the loose sump, cracked engine block, or worn-out hoses. Early detection of these minor issues can help prevent them from escalating to significant problems requiring major engine repairs or replacement.

6. Inspect the Timing Belt

Timing belt inspection and replacement are among the essential auto adjustments to make this year for better vehicle performance. A timing belt is a vital component of an internal combustion engine that synchronizes the crankshaft and camshaft rotation. Timed rotation ensures the engine’s valves open and close at the right times for cylinder intake and exhaust strokes.

Engine timing belts last between 40,000 and 100,000 miles, depending on the type and the manufacturer. However, some belts wear faster than the estimated mileage or duration due to bad driving habits, weather, poor maintenance, and many other factors.

A qualified mechanic should do a timing belt replacement or inspection because it involves opening the front engine cover. These professionals first perform a visual assessment to check for signs of wear, damage, or misalignment. If the timing belt is misaligned, they can align it with the pulley. However, the belt must be replaced if worn out or damaged.

7. Buff and Wax Your Car

Buffing and waxing your car should be one of the essential auto adjustments to make this year. Car buffing and waxing are processes of maintaining the car paint to enhance its appearance. These processes are simpler and cheaper than repainting because buffing polishes the top coating while waxing applies a protective layer to the surface after buffing.

The car’s paint is prone to weather elements like snow, UV rays, road grime, and salt. These elements leave tiny scratches and cracks on the paint finish, and the sparkling paint appearance disappears gradually.

While some car owners prefer highly UV-resistant options like the auto ceramic coating, you can buff the surface to remove the swirl marks, scratches, water spots, and other imperfections. It returns the paint’s shine and luster, making the vehicle more appealing.

After buffing, you must wax your car’s paint to protect it from further damage. The process usually involves the application of wax or sealant to protect the paint from weather elements. According to Forbes, you should wax your car at least every six months and use detailing spray to touch up areas between waxes. Therefore, wax the car before the beginning of winter and before summer’s sun and heat intensify. The protective layer will make it easier for the car to clean the dry salt and rubber scuff marks that may turn stubborn if left on the surface for an extended period.

8. Service Your Car AC

Your car’s AC keeps you comfortable while driving. It’s a complex system designed to cool and dehumidify the air inside a vehicle. That said, the AC system should be among the auto adjustments to make this year.

The car AC is prone to wear, just like other vehicle components. Moving components like the aircon can wear fast due to friction and exposure to weather elements. Also, refrigerants leak and air filters clog, reducing the system’s efficiency.

The car AC maintains your health by supplying quality air inside the vehicle after removing dust, pollen, and other allergens. Therefore, it can improve your driving experience and reduce accident risks. According to the National Institute of Health, low air quality is caused by high carbon dioxide concentration, which can reduce your focus behind the wheel, causing accidents.

Moreover, it dehumidifies the car interior, reducing the chances of mold and mildew growth, which are risks to your respiratory health. So, ensure you perform prompt AC repair or maintenance to stay safe.

9. Venture Into Vehicle Advertising

Do you want your brand to be known or to earn some cash using your vehicle without doing the taxi business? You can venture into vehicle advertising to increase your income. The method doesn’t affect your vehicle usage; therefore, it’s one of the auto adjustments to make this year.

You must follow several steps for effective truck lettering. Firstly, define the goals that you want to achieve with vehicle advertising. Goals can range from brand awareness and lead generation to promoting specific products or services.

Once you’ve determined your goals, create an appealing design that effectively communicates your message and brand identity. If you’re advertising for companies, you don’t have to worry much because the design costs will fall on their side. However, if you’re pushing your brand, you must hire a professional designer to create good stickers or wraps.

Note that vehicle advertising needs to comply with local regulations and restrictions. So, visit the regional offices to learn about these regulations and the rates charged for public advertising. After confirming the rules, have the advertisement stickers professionally installed on the vehicle.

10. Service the Car Window Electrical System

As a driver, you understand a car window electrical system failure is one of the worst experiences ever. The system consists of a two-way control switch around the door panel, wired via two circuits to a motor in each door. These motors roll up or down the windows when the switches are pressed.

You understand safety is paramount when in your car or leaving your items inside. Malfunctioning windows can expose your vehicle to theft or damage to vital components when rainwater seeps inside. Regular maintenance of the window system by a local window company will extend its lifespan, saving you from regular repairs or costly replacements.

The above are essential auto adjustments to make this year and improve your vehicle’s performance and longevity. You can also use your vehicle for advertising and earn extra money or grow your business. So, stay proactive with the maintenance, and you’ll ultimately experience several benefits.

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