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Whether you’ve just driven that brand new car off the showroom floor, or bought a pre-loved vehicle, you’ll want to keep your wheels in tip top condition.

Here’s how you can make sure your wheels always look their best and provide peak performance, and continue to be your pride and joy for many years to come.

First and foremost, read the instruction manual for your car. This will tell you all you need to know about how to drive it efficiently to get the best performance out of it, how best to take care of it – especially when those dashboard warning lights come on.

Secondly, make sure you can afford to service your car as often as necessary. So find out what the annual service costs are, and start saving the money. Then remember, that major services can include items such as cam belt replacements which often cost a lot more than your annual service, so include this in your vehicular budget.

Drive to save money – excessive speeding, sudden stops, unstable pull offs all put added pressure on the mechanics of your car. Smooth gear changes and pull offs ensure your gears, clutch and accelerator last a long time, and gentle braking means you get more wear out of your brake shoes and discs.

Don’t ride the clutch at traffic lights. i.e. don’t use the clutch to keep the car from rolling as this can also cause excessive wear and tear. Rather pull up the handbrake and put your car into neutral. Take this time to relax for a few seconds and look around you.

Remember the dashboard warning light? Well when one does light up, immediately consult the manual and take the appropriate action, especially if it relates to the engine. This will save a lot of money and heartache in the future.

Check your windscreen for chips and cracks and get these fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage, and regularly check that your windows are working properly.

A weekly wash using a car wash and water, and towel drying the body will keep your car looking like you just drove it away from the dealer, just don’t forget to clean the wheels, and rinse the brake dust away. It’s a good idea to keep a packet in your car for rubbish and ensure you throw the rubbish into a bin at least once a week, especially if it contains food or other perishable items. In addition to the weekly wash, you can wax and polish your wheels regularly.

When washing your car, use the opportunity to check the body work for scratches, dents and minor dings. These won’t take much to fix, but rather have them repaired by a professional who can guarantee their work – the last thing you want is for your bumper to fall off following a backyard repair.

On the inside, check the seat covers, and carpets. If there is stitching that needs to be repaired, get it done sooner rather than later, and patch gaps in the carpets to prevent further wear. Also check your dash board for cracks and get these fixed. To prevent dashboard cracks, treat the PVC with a moisturiser, park your car in a garage or shady spot or failing that use a windshield protector to protect from UV light and extreme heat.

And finally, take the best care of your wheels by speaking to Cartrack, the leading vehicle tracking and recovery specialists about your options for securing your vehicle. Only Cartrack puts you in control, providing 24-hour peace of mind through its range of innovative products.

Whether you’ve just driven that brand new car off the showroom floor, or bought a pre-loved vehicle, you’ll want to keep your wheels in tip top condition.