It has become quite common for families to have a designated family car. Usually, this would be a minivan or a large seven-seater vehicle used to take children to and from school and for running errands such as trips to the grocery store.
A family car is usually not the most stylish vehicle, but it can take a lot of beating and serve many purposes. It is also quite spacious and boasts nifty organization and storage features.
Family cars are also what young drivers are allowed to practice with before getting their license. This makes perfect sense because these vehicles typically feature highly reactive safety systems that can protect young drivers from their lack of driving finesse.
One great example of such a system is the lane-keep assist technology that prevents drivers from swerving out of their lane. This is a feature that most high-end car brands possess.
With an intelligent system high-tech sensor in the windshield that scans the road ahead and monitors the lane markers, new drivers automatically avoid steering too much. This prevents them from moving out of bounds through a wheel locking system.
However, even with all the fantastic features such vehicles possess to serve a family’s needs, the way they are used demands committed upkeep. Also, family vehicles normally require certain services more than others. Find out what they are below:
1. Car Wash
As mentioned earlier, a family vehicle is heavily used. Parents drive it come rain or shine to school, soccer practices, mall, play dates, and pretty much anywhere the little ones want to go.
Therefore, the car is constantly exposed to natural elements, and the exterior can get quite dirty easily, especially when it rains a bit and turns it into a big dust magnet.
That being said, you need to take a family car more frequently for a wash to restore its presentable appearance. For some families, a weekly wash is necessary, although for most once in two weeks will suffice.
2. Car Detailing
For most cars, a bi-annual deep cleaning of the vehicle is good enough. However, for family cars, three times a year is the best arrangement due to how seriously dirty the interior gets because of the kids. Children drop and drip all kinds of things in the car and it can’t be helped. The only solution is car detailing.
If you don’t get the car detailed, you will have to deal with pests in the vehicle and permanent stains in the upholstery (which are best to replace completely and cost more money). Car detailing, Dubai auto experts say is the perfect thorough clean-up job for family cars. It will get rid of all deep-seated dirt and stains, and it will tidy up all the nooks and crannies. Plus, it cleans under the hood too, which is crucial in ensuring mechanical parts’ optimum function.
All in all, car care and detailing is key to comfortable and healthy rides in the family car.
3. Air Conditioner Check-Up And Repair
A properly working car air conditioning system is also a must for a family vehicle, especially in Dubai when temperatures rise to unbearable levels even before noon.
Thus, have the AC cleaned and checked regularly to maintain the system’s optimum performance, particularly during the summer. A family vehicle needs to have an AC that can blast cold air all the way to the farthest row, especially for long-distance family trips.
If the vehicle AC cannot do that, sign it up for car AC repair right away because it can make the family car quite uncomfortable to use. You and your passengers can even get sick because of it.
4. Brake Check And Replacement
A family car can require a brake replacement more quickly, particularly when you have teens or new drivers using it. Most new drivers have the tendency to apply the brakes more constantly in anticipation of a slow down or full stop. This wears down the brakes much faster.
Also, a lot of young drivers are left-foot “brakers.” This means they usually rest their left foot on the pedal, which pushes the brake pad slightly on the rotors and thin it down more quickly. Thus, if you are letting your teens hone or finesse their driving skills using the family car, expect the brakes to require a replacement much faster.
5. Oil Change
A frequently used vehicle such as a family car acquires more mileage in a much shorter period. This basically means that you will need to replace the engine oil more frequently, especially if the car’s a rather old model.
Stick to the 5,000-kilometer rule, advise auto maintenance experts. However, if you have a new luxury vehicle, you may go without an oil change for much higher mileage because of the engine’s improved oil efficiency. Some cars don’t even require an oil change at 10,000 km mileage.
6. Car Scratch Or Dent Repair
Scratches and dents are common woes in family cars. Children can be quite careless with the vehicle, and new drivers are prone to mishaps on the road.
Some families have no issue with their car looking all banged up. But, if you want your family vehicle to look nice for a long time (especially if it’s a high-end brand), you will need to carry out repairs as soon as the damages occur.
The thing is that minor scratches and dents can get worse over time. Body areas with chipped paint can be the origin point of corrosion. Meanwhile, dents can become actual cuts or holes if not smoothed out right away. Time can make the material brittle, and certain movements of the vehicle can place too much pressure on dented spots and cause the metal to crack.
A family car needs to be reliable, and while most models these days have everything from ABS antilock brakes to vehicle stability control, rearview cameras, side curtain airbags, and so much more, proper upkeep truly remains vital.
Perhaps with the six services discussed above, it will be easier for you to stay on top of your family car’s standard maintenance requirements. With these, you will not only ensure the proper functioning of the vehicle but also keep it looking nice for a long time.
Ahmad Ramadan is a Managing Partner at Deutsche Technik Service Center, Dubai’s first and largest VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, & Lamborghini vehicle specialist and performance tuner. DT has also built an illustrious portfolio in classic car repair, maintenance, and restoration, as well as bodywork (accident repair, painting, and denting). DT Service Centre offers a full range of services: mechanical repairs, maintenance, servicing, etc.