The combination of sunshine and salty air can be hard on your car, but fortunately road conditions in Cayman are much better than virtually every other Island in the Caribbean. Driving in Cayman however, is similar to city driving where you are stopping and starting constantly and that causes the most wear on your engine, suspension, brakes, battery and tyres. We recommend checking your tyre pressure and fluid levels monthly.
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Probably the worst thing that your car will face is the silent invisible rust maker, the salty air! We have lots of it and if you plan on living on or near the water, your car will rust faster than you can imagine if not taken care of. Getting your car undercarriage coated with a rust-proofing agent is a very good idea. It costs roughly CI$250 (or CI$450 if you want the entire car done) and one coating properly maintained will indefinitely protect your car. Washing your car on a regular basis will also extend the life of your car, but make sure you always spray the undercarriage and the wheel rims.
The sun can also damage your car. You can help prevent damage by waxing it at least once every six months and a simple sunshade for your windshield will keep your car interior cooler and protect the dashboard from cracking. You may also want to invest in window tinting, but make sure you follow current regulations regarding the percentage of tinting you are allowed to use.
Car Maintenance Costs in Cayman
The following is a guideline on car maintenance and average costs, though the maintenance schedules vary by manufacturer and costs may increase if new parts are required:
- Every six months or 5,000 miles/7,500km a mid-service is recommended. This should cover almost all points on the car, as well as check your air conditioning filters, rotate the tyres and top up all of you car’s vital fluids (roughly CI$150)
- A full service for your vehicle is recommended every two years, it includes all the above plus spark plugs, providing a complete check of your car. This service costs roughly about CI$400.
These services, if done routinely, should keep your vehicle in good condition and help avoid costly repairs due to neglect.
As a separate side note, remember that in a hot climate like Cayman’s, the plastic interior in your car, such as dashboard and ducts, will heat up during the day and may release benzene, which is a known carcinogen, into your car. Remember to open the windows and allow your air conditioning to run for a moment, clearing the air before you close up the car and start driving.
Cayman has a wealth of very good automotive repair shops with international technicians and computer equipment needed to diagnose problems. The dealership service centres are listed with the brand they carry, though most will service any make and model.
Government Regulations in the Cayman Islands stipulate car owners must observe a few set provisions when maintaining the car’s tyres and battery. Read on for more information specific to your car’s tyres and battery in the Cayman Islands and which reliable shops offer new tyre sales, installations and repairs.
Cayman has one automated car wash or you can easily find a mobile car cleaner by word of mouth.
Cayman does not have any dedicated roadside assistance providers such as the AA in the UK or the AAA in the US. Some insurance providers will however provide assistance as part of their coverage.