You have to admit that the thought of owning a shiny, brand-new car is pretty exciting. As we would imagine, you probably can't wait to step inside and start driving the car around. You're also probably excited to show off your new ride to family and friends.
Indeed, if you are currently in the market for a new car, a new car is a highly recommended purchase. For starters, you get to own something that no one has driven before. More importantly, you end up with a car that is guaranteed to have new parts. That means you don't have to worry about anything breaking down or requiring replacement right away. At the same time, new cars also tend to come with a remarkable set of convenience, driver assistance, safety, security, and entertainment features. These will all be quite helpful in making your drive smoother and more enjoyable.
Meanwhile, new cars also tend to come with better warranties than used units. As the website CarGurus explained, "Although Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle warranties can make a used car appealing, new-car warranties are universally better. A standard CPO warranty might offer you 12 months or 12,000 miles of coverage, but it’s rare to find a manufacturer selling new vehicles with less than a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty."
As you can see, going for a new car is a great choice. However, it's also important to know how to take care of it properly after the purchase. Specifically, you must be aware of things that you should not do to a car during its first six months in your garage. Not quite sure what to avoid? Here's a list that can help.
25 Traveling a lot of short distances
This has a lot to do with the car's engine not having enough time to properly warm up before you drive around. If you fail to do so, you may end up driving with a cold engine, which is never a good idea. As Price's Collision Centers has explained, "If you take the car out for a quick errand run to the nearby grocery store, the engine does not get the opportunity to warm up and reach an optimum operating temperature to ensure consistent functions like smooth oil flow."
24 Letting your fuel go below quarter tank
Ideally, you should never go around driving with a car that is almost out of gas. After all, the last thing you want is to get stranded in the middle of the road. When it comes to a brand new car, however, letting your fuel run below quarter tank comes with terrible consequences. In fact, doing so will end up damaging your car since the fuel also tends to function as a coolant for the electric fuel-pump motor, according to the website Clark.
23 Foregoing paint protection
Especially if you got a new car, you want to make sure that every single part of it is as protected from the elements as it can possibly be. These include dust, harmful UV rays, and acid rain. That is exactly why it's a bad idea to forego paint protection for your car. According to the website Carwow, paint protection comes in several forms. These include a transparent film, rub-on, or spray-on layers. Go over these options carefully to determine the right paint protection for your car.
22 Skipping car wax
According to Patterson Car Care, applying car wax can help protect your new car from sun damage, which can cause paint fading, oxidation, and discoloring. Meanwhile, it can also prevent water spots. As the company further explained, "When it rains, water collects on your car’s paint and as it begins to evaporate, dirt and contaminates that were in the water are left behind. With a coat of wax on your car, water will “bead up” and roll off your car. "
21 Skipping regular cleaning
Just like your room and the rest of your house, your new car also requires regular cleaning. And if you fail to do so, you may end up with some unwanted car issues since harmful elements can end up going inside the motors, filters, and more. As Consumer Reports has already recommended, "Try to wash the car every week, if you can. Wash the body and, if necessary, hose out the fender wells and undercarriage to remove dirt and road salt. "
20 Skipping constant-velocity-joint boots check
The constant velocity joint (or CV joint) transfers power from the driveshaft and differential to axle and the wheel hub. According to Motor Works, "The CV boot is a ribbed, rubber flexible boot that keeps water and dirt out of the joint and the special grease inside the joint." Meanwhile, according to Consumer Reports, this CV boot can eventually become worn out. It further explained, "Immediately replace any that are cut, cracked, or leaking. If dirt contaminates the CV joint it can quickly lead to an expensive fix."
19 Skipping tire break-in
Just like the new car itself, the tires on it are also subject to their own break-in period. Hence, you need to take it easy on your tires during the first few times that you are driving around with your car. As Tire Rack has further explained, “Some of the lubricant stays on the surface of your tires, reducing traction until it is worn away. Five hundred miles of easy acceleration, cornering, and braking will allow the mold release lubricant to wear off, allowing the other tire components to begin working together.”
18 Applying too many protectants in the interior
Sure, the interior needs to be cleaned just as much as the exterior of your new car. This is to ensure that your car will smell nice for the weeks and years to come. However, resist the urge to apply too many protectants to the interior. As the website Popular Mechanics has explained, “Avoid the impulse to slather the interior trim with shiny protectants, which can leach the plasticizers out of new vinyl and increase the likelihood of age-related cracks. On the other hand, a generous dousing of Scotchgard on the cloth upholstery and carpets will keep dirt, pollen, and mildew from clinging.”
17 Parking incorrectly
Believe it or not, parking your brand new car incorrectly can also cause some serious problems. In fact, if you park your car wrong, you can end up with damages on the wheels that are very visible to the naked eye. As Chevrolet dealership certified master technician Heath Knox has explained to AARP, “The last thing you want to do is buy a new car and park it next to a curb and chew up the wheels. At the dealership, cars would come in for their first oil change and the wheels would look like they had 20,000 miles on them.”
16 Forgetting to install mats
It’s also important to protect the car’s interior. One of the best ways to do this is through correctly installed mats on the floor. As Consumer Reports chief mechanic John Ibbotson explained to the nonprofit organization AARP, “If your car came with a set of floor mats, use them to keep the carpeting clean and free of stains. If the vehicle didn't come with carpeted mats, buy a set now. And consider buying a set of all-weather mats to protect the vehicle when the weather gets bad. There's nothing worse than snow, slush and mud on the floor.”
15 Failing to renew the wipers
Especially when you get your car in the middle of a rainy season, there’s a chance that your wipers will be utilized too often. Because of this, they can become worn out quite quickly. As Consumer Reports explained, “Windshield wipers don’t last forever. Figure six months, at best, before they start leaving streaks. If the wiper rubber disintegrates and flies off, the motion of the bare wiper arm on the windshield can indelibly scar the windshield in minutes. We have found that midlife, after a few months of use, wipers can often be renewed with a glass cleaner and paper towel.”
14 Changing oil too frequently
Sure, every car is going to require an oil change at some point. However, that doesn’t mean that your car should have it done frequently, especially if the vehicle is brand new. Instead, only go for an oil change if your car has already reached the mileage required. As Clark had further explained, “Most owner’s manuals for newer vehicles will tell you it’s acceptable to go 5,000 miles or even 7,500 miles between oil changes under normal conditions. But you should drop to 3,000 miles if you drive under severe conditions.”
13 Failing to examine the brakes
Your car’s brakes are important for ensuring that you stay safe while driving, no matter what kind of road condition you face. Hence, it only makes sense to ensure that they are always in good condition, no matter how new your car is. According to Consumer Reports, “If you handle your own brake work, remove all wheels and examine the brake system. Replace excessively worn pads or linings and have badly scored rotors or drums machined or replaced. The brakes should be checked at least twice per year; more often if you drive a lot of miles.”
12 Ignoring fluid levels
You may not realize it, but there are several fluid levels that you need to keep track of when it comes to your new car. And if any of these levels dip below optimum, your car might run into some serious problems. While the automatic transmission is typically sealed on newer cars, you may want to check the car’s transmission dipstick if it is not. Do this while the engine is running and warmed up. Meanwhile, you should also pay attention to the power steering pump dipstick, as well as the brake fluid level.
11 Keeping tire pressure unchecked
Maintaining optimum tire pressure for your car will ensure that your tires don’t get worn out prematurely, saving you from an unexpected and costly replacement. More importantly, observing proper tire pressure can also help keep your car as fuel efficient as possible. Typically, the right tire pressure for your car can be found in the manual. Be sure to refer it to it soon as you get your vehicle. At the same time, keep in mind that the proper tire pressure for your car may vary depending on whether you have a light or heavy load.
10 Foregoing top tier gas
When it comes to filling up your car, skipping on top tier gas can be a major mistake. Top tier gas refers to a type of gasoline which contains detergents that are designed to keep your engine as clean as possible. In fact, it helps get rid of carbon deposits that tend to build up over time. In fact, a study conducted by the American Automobile Association revealed that top tier gas can readily reduce intake valve deposits by around 45 to 72 percent when used over intervals of 5,000 miles.
9 Filling up with high-octane gas
Sure, high octane gas is typically viewed as premium fuel. After all, this is the type of gas that is often used by fancy sports cars, so it only makes sense that you might think it’s also what your car brand-new car needs. Well, that is not always the case. As the website Clark has explained, “Premium gas is, for most people, an unnecessary waste of money. Most cars will run just fine on regular unleaded—even a Porsche! And unless your vehicle specifically requires premium, using higher-octane gas may actually harm it.”
8 Utilizing cruise control
Sure, cruise control can definitely make life easier if you’re doing some long-distance driving. However, if you had just gotten a brand-new car, the last thing it needs is a road trip and constant cruise control. With this particular driver assistance feature, the speed tends to remain at a certain range, which is not good for a brand-new engine. In fact, it would be better if you vary your RPMs while driving to ensure that there’s a constant change in speed and load for your car. This way, you can break the engine in properly.
7 Straining the engine
When the car is brand-new, you have to treat it a bit like a baby. That means you can’t go too fast initially. Nonetheless, varying your car’s pace is also recommended. As Price’s Collision Centers has explained, “Avoid driving too fast during the break-in period. A good rule of thumb is to stay under 65 mph if possible. Vary the speed frequently, so the rpm changes every few minutes and the engine gets used to varying conditions that helps to wear it in. Do not labor the engine.”
6 Maxing out the car's RPMs
Especially when you are more than aware of how much horsepower and torque your new car can achieve at certain revolutions per minute (RPM) levels, you might be tempted to max out the RPMs. At least during the first six months, try to avoid doing so. In fact, when you have a new car, it’s best to keep the numbers down first. For more information, it’s best to check the car’s manual since the guidelines to tend to vary with each automaker.
5 Going at full speed
Especially when you get yourself a pretty fast car, you may become tempted to hit the gas and feel the car’s power right away. To make sure that the car stays in good condition, though, it’s best to wait for a while before doing that. As Clark explained, “Flooring it at full throttle will only wear down your piston rings. Any imperfections that may be there from the manufacturer will be compromised by hot spots, which can lead to additional problems.”
4 Forgetting to do your homework
Especially for a new car, there are several things you have to go over. For starters, you need to be more knowledgeable about the type of insurance that you decided to get so that you have a better idea of the type of coverage that your car has. Ideally, it would be nice to have a comprehensive type of insurance for your car. This is the insurance that can help you pay for damages in case of any road incidents that you may suddenly encounter.
3 Ignoring the owner's manual
It's understandable that all you want to do with your new car is go out and drive it. Before you do that, however, we strongly recommend going over your car's manual first. This is important to help make sure that you don't do anything wrong to your ride. As Consumer Reports has explained, "Owner’s manuals explain in simple language all of a car’s features, including some you probably didn’t know you had, what specific oil or fluid to use, and what maintenance schedule to follow."
2 Ignoring the car's toolkit
As you may have realized by now, there are a number of important things that you should do before getting behind the wheel of your new car. Aside from going over the car's manual and other auto paperwork, you should also take the time to check your car's toolkit. This way, you can be confident about performing easy repairs on your car such as changing a flat tire. Meanwhile, make sure you also transfer the necessary emergency tools from your old car to the new one.
1 Taking your car to an unqualified mechanic
Today, there are a lot of available shops and other facilities where you can take your car for a much-needed repair. However, the last thing you want to do is have your car worked on by an unqualified mechanic. As Consumer Reports has explained, "Shops with well-qualified mechanics often display a sign or certificate from ASE, a national certification organization. But, that doesn’t ensure all workers have the same certifications or that the person wrenching on your car is certified. Garages affiliated with AAA are good bets."
Sources: Consumer Reports, American Automobile Association, Price's Collision Centers, Clark, Motor Works, and CarGurus.