Understand Your Finances
What you need to know about caring for your car
Give your car the love it deserves with these helpful tips.
This story is part of the Chase Guide to Buying a Car.
Today, a car is a lot more than a way to get from point A to point B. In a recent Chase study, 60 percent of participants said they have an emotional connection with their cars.
Like anything worth having—a home, pet, or relationship, for starters—it's important to invest in your ride so it's cruising down the highway for many years to come. Here are five ways to show your car the love it deserves:
1. Throw some shade
Are your car windows tinted? If not, get heat- and UV-reducing window tints as soon as possible. "The last thing you want to do is bake the inside of your car and have light damage from the sun burning away your interior," says Jim Manelis, a Chase Auto executive.
Tinted windows can cost anywhere from $50 to a couple hundred dollars, but it's well worth the investment—especially if you live in warmer climates. Manelis explains tinted windows can protect your skin and your car's interior for a long time.
2. Paint your ride
Your car waxing days are long gone.
If you want to spruce up your ride with a fresh coat of paint, use a protectant called sealant. Though sealants vary in price, they are generally more durable and easier to apply than yesteryear's wax.
Not only does sealant make the car look glossy—it acts as a hard shell, so debris doesn't nick the paint. And when your car is dirty, you can wash it off with mild soap and water, making the time-intensive task of washing the car a thing of the past.
3. Study up
Reading your car's manual is perhaps the most significant (time) investment you can make in your car.
"Some cars are designed to have very little service and some cars require at a minimum an oil change every 5,000 miles, and others after 10,000," Manelis says. "It really varies, which is why you can't use any rule of thumb."
A car's manual shows exactly how a car was designed, and can be instrumental when determining upkeep like air filter cleanings and wiper fluid flushes.
4. A new set of wheels
A critical aspect of maintaining your car's health is maintaining your tires' health, as it can impact fuel miles and the way a vehicle operates."If you don't have your tires at the right pressure, they will wear funny if you over-inflate or under-inflate them," Manelis says.
Keep your car in tip-top shape by checking your tires every month to six weeks. Some models have built-in tire pressure monitors, but you can also get them checked at a gas station or discount tire store for a reasonable rate.
5. When in doubt, name it
Betsy. Lucille. Sherry. No matter what you call your car, naming it is a way to acknowledge that it's an important part of your life. And you're not alone: The Chase study found that one in three Americans—and 49 percent of millennials—name their cars.
"Anything that's pleasurable, fun-filled and exciting gets our attention and usually our affection," Dr. Claudia Luiz, psychoanalyst and author. "Naming your car is a way of valuing the purchase. It means you love it."
Not only does your car have a cool new nickname, Luiz adds people tend to take better care of items that are named.
Elyssa Goodman is a Chase News contributor. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and other media outlets.