A car is a big investment, which is why you should do everything you can to prolong its life. Here, we go over some tips to help you with that.
Follow your maintenance schedules
One of the easiest ways to prolong the life of your car is to follow the maintenance schedule that is recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Performing preventative maintenance is essential for ensuring your car’s core systems are never experiencing undue strain. By simply following a strict preventative maintenance schedule, you can prolong the life of your car by tens of thousands of miles. On the other hand, failure to do so will dramatically reduce your car’s expected lifespan. Oil changes, radiator flushes, and regular tune-ups are just a few of the most important preventative maintenance items of which to be aware. Your car’s manual should have a complete schedule, and if not, your local dealership will definitely have the info you need.
Avoid short trips
Short trips are especially hard on your car’s engine and muffler. When you start your car, condensation accumulates in your exhaust, and the only way to clear it out is to run your car for a long enough period. Failure to do so will encourage the development of rust in your muffler, which will eventually lead to a hole. If you can, save your car for longer trips, and walk or bike when you have shorter errands to run.
Maintain proper fluid levels
Your car requires certain fluids to run properly, and if they are low, you risk catastrophic failure at worst, and excessive strain on your vehicle at best. Depending on the age of your vehicle, set up a regular time each week (for older cars), or month (for newer cars), to check your fluids. You should make sure to check your antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid on a regular basis. Each of these fluids plays a vital role in ensuring your car is running efficiently and safely. Learn to recognize when your fluid is low, and when your fluid is old. Each fluid has a specific color that it should be, and if it is discolored, it is a sign that the fluid needs to be replaced. Each fluid reservoir has its own unique method for helping you determine if that fluid is low, so take the time to learn how they work. It will save you time and money in the long run.
Allow your car to warm up
One of the worst things you can do for your car is to rev the engine right when you start it up. Allowing your car to idle for just 30 seconds will allow oil to cycle through your engine. When your car sits for longer than a few hours, oil will pool in the oil tank, and revving your engine in this scenario is extremely harmful.
Wash your car
To keep your car’s body looking great, with no rust or sun damage, make sure to wash it regularly. Although it might seem counterintuitive, this is especially important in the winter, when the roads are littered with harmful chemicals that can easily damage your car’s underbody.
Don’t drive “hard”
Finally, take it easy behind the wheel when you are out on the road. Avoid slamming on your brakes, unnecessarily red-lining your engine, and hard shifting. Treating your car with care will not only help to prolong its life, it will also improve your gas mileage.
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