Driving on the road is fraught with perils which makes it extremely important for the owner to have his or her car insured. But, it’s always important to remember that car insurance only indemnifies the insured of heavy financial losses – it does not absolve the car owner of the responsibility of maintaining and upkeep the car. This maintenance is of utmost importance to ensure that the car insurance premium rates are kept lower!
Top 10 Ways First-time Owners Can Maintain their Cars
As the owner of your new car, you surely want to give your car care and protection and maintain it in pristine condition. Some basic tips that will help you achieve that are -
1. Use the car manual as the bible for your car – the first and the most important thing that a new car owner must do is to read the manual. It will provide all the information concerning the basic problems that one might encounter and the solutions for the same. Always keep the manual handy – with the advent of technology this might not pose a challenge as the document will be available online.
2. Never forget to check tyres’ pressure every now and then - ideally, the tire pressure must be checked at least once every 10 days. The tyres must be kept properly inflated (as advised by the manufacturer) as underinflated tyres will result in more fuel consumption and overinflated tyres will result in a burst. A tyre protection add-on with your comprehensive car policy might also be a good option for those who have to drive on bad roads!
3. Make use of the warning lights – the dashboard has a set of carefully arranged warning lights designed to indicate any aspect of the car which is out of order at an early stage. Learn about each of these lights with the help of the car manual. Do not ignore the warnings and fix the issue as soon as it is detected to protect yourself and the car of any mishap.
4. Clean your engine regularly – ensure that the engine is kept intact and the oil is changed at regular intervals to preserve the health of the engine. Keep tabs on the quality of the oil in the long run. Use the dipstick/ digital gauge to do so. An engine protect add-on cover might be a useful addition to have in your comprehensive cover if you stay in a flood-prone area!
5. Keep the battery cleaned – though modern batteries are rather easy to maintain and have a relatively long life, they must be occasionally checked for rusting. Ensure that you work up the batteries at least twice a week to guarantee a longer battery life.
6. Always maintain the quality of the brake fluid – The absence of adequate brake fluid is a recipe for disaster. The colour of the brake fluid is a good indication of the state of the fluid – the darker the colour, the more immediate the need for a change in the fluid.
7. Replace oil filter and lubricants frequently – the oil is a crucial component of your car parts as it absorbs the heat created due to friction. The refills must happen frequently as the oil might get contaminated even though an oil filter might exist. The oil filter too needs change when it gets clogged with dirt.
8. Identify a faulty spark plug – the spark plug literally sparks your car to life, therefore maintaining this is of utmost importance. The way one might identify a faulty spark plug is if the engine starts only after the insertion of the key multiple times. When this happens, you experience uneven acceleration, there’s a drop in the car’s mileage and an increase in vibrations and noise while idling.
9. Drive the car economically – take all the necessary steps to ensure that the mileage of the car is maintained. For instance, avoid rash driving, speed fluctuations or carrying very heavy items in the car as these will adversely impact the mileage of the car.
10. Replace cabin air filter after some time – the air filter must be cleaned at least once every month to prevent it from affecting the efficiency of the engine. This can be done with the help of some basic tools.
Love Your New Car? Protect It With a Complete Protection Plan
Comprehensive insurance is a wide-ranging, inclusive cover that offers the insured protection for the damages caused to the car as well as covers for third-party liabilities. One can opt-in for add-ons to enhance coverage of the policy. The customizations include add-ons such as Zero Depreciation Cover, Engine Protect, Tyre Protection, Road Assistance, NCB Protect, etc.
These customizations offer more wholesome protection to the insured. They offer protection from the smallest consumables in the car such as nuts, bolts, and screws to key replacement, from engine protection to roadside assistance (something which might be especially useful in case you wish to go for a weekend trip with your brand-new car! Remember to carry your documents at all times to avail the benefits guaranteed in the insurance).
For example-Namit's car, met with an accident and he approached his car insurance company for a claim. Without zero dep cover, his insurance company deducted the depreciation value from the actual damaging/repairing cost of his car. Hence, offered him the remaining claim amount. Well, which means, Namit paid the difference from his own pocket.
If Namit had a zero dep cover, he would have got the complete claim amount from the insurance company without depreciation deductions.
Below is a table showcasing the depreciation rates of a car.
Age of the Car
|6 months and below||5%|
|6 months to 1 year||15%|
|1 year to 2 years||20%|
|2 years to 3 years||30%|
|3 years to 4 years||40%|
|4 years to 5 years||50%|
Therefore, it is advisable for first-time insurers to protect their cars with the help of add-ons. In case, one finds them valuable for their car, then ensure to renew them on time.
With car insurance by your side, all unpredictable incidents such as natural calamities, fire, theft, and accidents, seem less difficult to deal with. However, it is equally important to maintain the car in good shape. Any lapse on your part to do so might result in the rejection of claims in the future on account of negligence.