5 Tips for a Longer-Lasting Car
When you buy a car, you make a significant investment. Not only do you purchase the actual car, but you have to pay to insure it, repair it, fuel it, and maintain it. You’ll likely spend thousands of dollars keeping that car running, so you want to make sure this investment lasts a long time.
Unfortunately, most cars don’t last as long as we would like because we don’t take steps to boost their longevity. However, with the proper care, your car could last more than 322,000 km (200,000 mi.). Give your car some extra attention and keep it running for years to come by following the tips below.
1. Drive defensively and gently.
Hard driving wears cars out faster than anything else. Jolts, high engine revolutions, and other factors can wear out or even break t he parts inside your car. If these parts break, you’ll have to pay to replace them, if you don’t have to replace the entire car.
Drive gently by keeping the following in mind:
- Accelerate slowly. This means you shouldn’t slam on the gas pedal and accelerate so quickly that your transmission’s shifting gears c an’t keep up. Your acceleration shouldn’t press your head into the back of your seat. Accelerate gradually and smoothly.
- Anticipate your braking needs. Sudden stops do just as much damage as sudden starts. Your suspension has to absorb a lot of force to keep you from toppling over, so you’ll wear it out. Pay attention to other drivers so you can brake just as gradually and smoothly as you accelerated.
- Don’t take sharp turns at high speeds. Slow down so your suspension and wheels don’t overcompensate and break.
- Give your car a minute to warm up before driving. Especially in cold weather, this strategy ensures that your engine has warm oil lubricating it before you take off.
As long as you treat your car gently, its parts will stay in good condition, and it will run for years.
2. Don’t overload your car.
Most people haven’t read the instruction manual, but if they had, they would know that in many cases the manufacturer specifies a maximum cargo weight.The parts in your car can only take so much weight before they’ll fail. For this reason, you can’t put too many people in the car or overload it with luggage.
As you load, watch how far your bumpers dip towards the ground. Your car’s bumpers shouldn’t lose more than a quarter of their h eight.
You should also remove anything that would cause drag in your car.
3. Keep up with regular maintenance.
To preserve your own health, you visit the dentist and the doctor on a regular basis. You do the same for spouses, children, and pet s. So why wouldn’t you do the same for your car?
Your car needs regular tune-ups to stay in good condition. You should get an oil change every three to six months depending on your driving habits, and you should have the anti-freeze and radiator tuned once a year. Replace spark plugs once every two years, and rep lace transmission fluid once every three years. You should also have your mechanic check the ignition wires, cooling system, heating hoses, and drive belts once every three years.
Your car may have different needs based on its make and model. Consult with your mechanic to learn more about your specific car.
4. Fix problems promptly.
When parts wear out or break, they put extra strain on the parts around them, which causes those parts to wear out more quickly a s well. Before you know it, you have a flurry of expensive repairs looming all at the same time. But if you have a mechanic inspect your car the moment warning signs appear, you’ll only have to worry about one repair. Watch the lights on your dashboard, pay attention to y our car’s handling, and listen to how it sounds to catch problems early.
5. Wash your car regularly.
Imagine what would happen to your computer if you let dirt, food, and other debris cake it for days, weeks, or months at a time. It would quickly stop working. The debris would clog its parts and make it heat up too much, and that excess heat could melt different part s inside the device.
Similar things happen to your car. Not only does debris lead to clogs and excess heat, but it can make your car start to rust as well. This means you should give your car a thorough cleaning at least once every two weeks-if not more often in the winter. And you shouldn’t just stop with your car’s shiny framework either.
When you clean your car, take special care to clean the undercarriage and the wheels. Wash and dry each component carefully, and ask your mechanic about cleaning under the hood as well. In some cases you can safely do this by yourself, while other times you should leave it to the professionals.
These simple tips will boost your car’s lifespan considerably. Consult with your mechanic for more tips on your car’s make and model.