By Lauren Ferrone
Last updated on: January 29, 2018 at 4:15 pm
Love is in the air – and not because Cupid’s around the corner with his bow and arrow as Valentine's Day approaches.
Today (29 January) is Love Your Car Day – a day to show your appreciation for your trusty car – whether new or old, big or small.
RAA came up with the concept a couple of years ago to encourage people to give their cars the ‘day off’ by not driving and, in turn, help the environment.
Here are some other ways our motoring experts say you can show your car you care.
1. Splurge a little
Have your hubcaps become too friendly with the kerb? Spoil your car with a shiny new set. They’re not just a decorative tyre accessory – these metal or plastic covers help stop dirt and moisture rusting those important nuts and bolts that keep the wheels attached to your car.
2. It’s what’s on the inside that counts
Cleaning your car is time-consuming, but give it the makeover it deserves – that includes wiping the windscreen glass from the inside. It can build up dust particles over time, making it more difficult for you to see while driving.
Spray a microfiber cloth with a cleaning product (any one you can find at a local auto store or supermarket) and gently wipe the glass. For an even shinier and streak-free finish, use a little white vinegar on the cloth.
Give the glove box and boot a clean while you’re at it. Your car will appreciate the lighter load, as braking and general handling of the vehicle can improve – plus, you never know what you might find!
3. Buy it a new outfit
Just as you’d protect your skin from the sun, treat your car the same – particularly if you’re parked out in the sun.
Invest in a car cover that blocks harmful UV rays, as it can help stop your paint from fading as quickly, and protect your dashboard from cracking.
4. Be nice and listen to it
The kindest thing you can do on Love Your Car Day – and every day – is handle your car with care.
Careless driving, like braking too hard, and other bad habits behind the wheel won’t just damage your car, but you’ll burn more fuel and could put yours and other motorists’ lives at risk.
Listen to what your car’s trying to tell you, too. Whether it’s that rattling under the hood or screeching when your foot touches the brakes, don’t ignore any unusual noises or you and your car could be in for a date with the repairers.
5. Take it out on regular dates
Going on a road trip can be a good way to get to know your car, but booking in regular dates at the repairers (although probably not as fun) is just as important.
Keep track of important dates by looking at the manufacturer’s service schedule, which you can find in your car’s handbook (generally found in the glove box).
As well as the big scheduled service (usually every 12 months), consider taking your car to the repairers every six months. During these frequent but minor services, you’ll generally get the condition of your lights and tyres looked at and fluid levels checked, which will help the engine run smoothly.