How To Organise And Maintain Your Car To Save You Time, Money And Effort

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How To Organise And Maintain Your Car To Save You Time, Money And Effort

Whether your car is in pristine condition or it’s a disaster area, you can do a number of simple things to keep it organised, well-maintained, and working its best. Here’s an easy approach to getting things in order and make your car do more for you.

I used to treat my car like a dumpster because I saw it as a means of getting from point A to point B when walking wasn’t an option, but I changed. I changed for two reasons: 1) it got to a point where the mess was causing problems (as in, my friends didn’t want to sit on a pile of garbage), and 2) I realised that you don’t actually have to like cars or driving them to render a little organisation beneficial. A more organised car saves you time and effort, and a well-maintained car is good for resale value.

First we’re going to take a look at ways to take the pain and cost out of servicing your car, then how you can keep it organised to make your driving experience better and easier.

Service

I take no pleasure in keeping my belongings in pristine condition, but the same goes for making a mess. There’s a reasonable middle-ground where you don’t have to spend tons of time neurotically caring for your car and can still keep it in great condition. Here are some tricks to help you keep it running great and looking good while saving you time and money.

Get a Synthetic Oil Change

better for your carand

So how do you know you’re getting the right stuff? Before you get your oil changed, call the place up and ask if their offer a pure synthetic option, a blend, or just the standard petroleum. There aren’t many pure synthetics and they’re generally pretty costly (because you can get up to 40,000km before a change in some cases), so there’s nothing wrong with choosing a blend if it’ll save you money. Not all blends are created equal, however, so make sure you ask how long it’ll last you and what it will cost. You may also want to ask for the type of blend so you can look it up and verify any claims. If you call a few places and compare, you should be able to figure out the most cost-effective method in your area so you can get your oil changed less often and save yourself some cash.
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Plan Your Car Washes Around Trips to the Petrol Station and Service Visits

Organisation

I enjoy organising my stuff because I enjoy problem-solving and I know it saves time in the long run, but I wouldn’t call it fun. If you’re reading this section it’s probably because your car is a mess (or you’re just curious). The good news is that this isn’t very hard to do and will only take you a couple of hours or less. Once you’re done, your car will not only be cleaned and organised but you’ll have a system in place to make sure it stays that way.

Take Out the Trash

If your passengers leave stuff in the back seat, add a mobile trash bag. If you have the aforementioned tissue problem, keep a kit with tissues and a case for the used ones so they don’t end up all over your car. While you shouldn’t eat in the car, for – at the very least – safety reasons, keep a lunch box or bag around so you can isolate any food. Never take the box/bag out of the car – just remove the excess food/waste when you leave. This way, if you forget the bag it will keep the food inside and prevent the smell from soaking into your car’s fabric.

Whatever your problem may be, there’s generally a pretty simple solution. Figure out what you do that causes problems and why. Once you can identify the lazy tendency that’s causing you to make a mess of your vehicle, you can think about solutions that cater to that laziness. A good solution is one that will still allow you to continue your slothfulness without causing its associated disorganisation.

Add New Storage and Compartmentalise

There are a lot of handy storage tools you can use to keep your car nice and organised so you’re not letting your stuff freely flow in the trunk, on the floor, or all over your extra seats (which may or may not contain other humans from time to time).

any purposeholding groceries

document organiser that hangs on the headrest of a seat

Keep Your Coins Handy

Alternatively, you can always pick up one of these motorised coin sorters and dispensers that fit in your cup holder. That still means using your cup holder for coins, but since it kind of looks like a cup it’s unlikely going to draw anyone’s eye.

Manage Your Gadgets Better

Cars are slowly learning to accommodate your gadgets but many aren’t all that good at it yet. That said, there are a few things you can do to keep everything in its place and coexist harmoniously with your vehicle.

smartphone car dock made out of office supplies

non-slip grip padsan entire roll for the same price

This USB car converter

Got any other great tricks for maintaining and organising your car? Share ‘em in the comments.

Comments

  • Those non-slip grip pads don’t like the Australian sun. I’ve had them pretty much melt after a day.

    Plastic gum containers with resealable lids make good coin holders. They can usually fit in door slots without catching the eye.

    Cheap gym bags with end-pockets are good for storing random crap in the boot or in a rear foot-space.

  • The non-slip grip pads would not be appropriate on dashboards that have airbags built in to them.

    The coin pouch sounds like a good idea but in the ashtray is always my favourite place for coins but the first place any thief will look at. I know a few people who have had to buy replacement ashtrays after theirs got flogged.

  • I might point out that Synthetic oils are damn well terrible for Rotary engines.

    As well as that, servo car washes use recycled water which is also ever so slightly bad for your paintwork. Use fresh water and the “2-bucket” method, and spend a good few hours doing it for a better result.

  • “…Get a Synthetic Oil Change…”

    As someone who does most of their own basic car maintenance, I disagree with Adam’s points in this section.

    Firstly, I’m yet to see any hard anecdotal evidence that semi or fully synthetic oils are significantly better than mineral oils. Call me a pessimist, but I’m sceptical to take what’s written on the bottle as being strictly true – as oil manufacturers have a vested interest in selling you a higher priced product.

    Further, I’m also a firm believer that using a cheaper oil and changing it more frequently (5 000km vs 10 000km) is far better for the longevity of your motor. Regardless of whether you’re using mineral or synthetic oil – it’s still going to be contaminated with engine grime at the same rate. Mineral oil is often less than half the price of its synthetic counterparts, so even with the increased change frequency; it’s still often a cheaper over all method. As a loose analogy, what’s cleaner – re-using your bath water for every second bath, or running a fresh bath every time?

    • Agreed with Sam.
      “up to 40k kms” between oil changes is a terrible idea. The oil filter can’t clean the oil of dilutants regardless of how good the oil is.

      And if you care about your car’s paint at all, you’ll never ever take it to a commercial car wash.

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