Over the years, the auto industry has made tremendous strides when it comes to the quality of vehicles sold to consumers. This is why the average lifespan of new automobiles is now 11.5 years.
However, if you want to extend a car’s life well beyond this point, it’s entirely possible. It just takes a little work and attention.
An automobile is comprised of many moving parts. When one component has an issue, it can affect the whole vehicle. This is why maintaining a car is vital to its longevity.
Let’s go over eight simple tips that will help keep your car or truck running well.
1. Keep up With Your Tires
The condition of your car’s tires is extremely important for your safety and the performance of your vehicle. Fortunately, routine upkeep isn’t too complicated.
Having your tires rotated and balanced on a regular basis ensures the tread wears evenly. This helps keep the suspension in line and also allows your vehicle to grip the road better in bad weather.
If you notice your car pulling to either side while driving straight, this means your alignment is off. Ignoring this for too long will cause your tires to wear unevenly, so have an alignment performed right away.
You also need to check your tire pressure once a month. Maintaining the right pressure in each tire improves handling and also makes for better fuel economy.
2. Regular Oil Changes
One of the most important vehicle maintenance tips is to change your car’s oil on a regular basis. If you don’t, a number of issues can pop up.
Your car’s oil helps lubricate vital components. It reduces friction so engine parts don’t wear out. It also helps keep your engine clean.
Most cars need an oil change every 3,000 miles, but be sure to check your owner’s manual first. If you’re thinking about learning how to work on your vehicle yourself, learning to change the oil is a good place to start. It’s relatively easy and there are plenty of tutorials online.
Changing the oil on a regular basis is important for both cars and trucks. If you use a truck for business purposes, make sure you never skip an oil change. If you’re looking for more efficiency out of your truck, check out this website for information.
3. Watch Your Fluid Levels
In addition to motor oil, your car has several other fluids that all serve an important purpose. Checking each one on a regular basis will help ensure your vehicle stays in good working order.
Refer to your owner’s manual to find out where the reservoirs are for each fluid and how much you need of each. These are typically easy to find.
Brake, transmission, and power steering fluid are especially important. If you notice the levels dropping quickly, you’ll need to have a mechanic check it out.
It’s also important to maintain plenty of anti-freeze during the winter and coolant in the summer.
4. Don’t Ignore Minor Problems
When it comes to increasing the longevity of your car, a good rule of thumb is to investigate even the most minor issues. As your car ages, these little problems can easily become serious. They can also start affecting other components of your car.
One issue that people often put off is having the brake pads changed. If you notice the reaction time of your brakes has decreased or you hear a squealing noise, it’s time for replacements. Ignoring the issue could be dangerous and cause further damage to the wheel.
You should also have a mechanic check out any strange sounds. If caught early, the repair may be easy and affordable.
5. Keep the Engine Clean
If you park your car outside, you’re probably aware of how fast dead leaves and debris can find its way under the hood. This may seem harmless, but there’s a chance it can do damage.
If you let too much debris build up, it can block the flow of air to your engine and cause your vehicle to overheat. It can also get inside your air conditioning system.
In addition to cleaning debris from under the hood, you should also have the engine flushed each year. This gets rid of internal grime that’s built up over time.
6. A Fresh Air Filter
Speaking of debris, your vehicle has an air filter that protects the engine from dust and dirt. However, this filter eventually accumulates too much debris and can’t filter air properly.
All the air that enters your engine goes through the air filter. If it’s dirty, your car won’t operate at maximum capacity. You may even start to notice it idling roughly and having trouble starting.
You should shoot for replacing your air filter every 10 to 15 thousand miles. However, this could vary depending on the type of car, so check your owner’s manual first.
7. Start Slowly In Colder Temperatures
When it’s cold outside, the charge on your vehicle’s battery is lower and the oil thickens. This is why it’s important to take things slowly until your car heats up.
Try to keep your speed down after your vehicle has been parked in cold temperatures for an extended period. This will reduce the amount of stress put on your engine.
Many people think letting a car idle for a few minutes is a good idea. In fact, if you have a newer car, it’s actually better to just take it slowly at first.
8. Exhibit Good Driving Habits
Simply driving your car responsibly has a huge impact on its lifespan.
If you accelerate fast, make sudden stops, and take corners sharply, you’re putting stress on your vehicle. You can expect to have issues sooner rather than later.
You should also take the highway when possible. It’s more fuel efficient and you avoid the potholes and stop-and-go traffic of city driving.
Extending a Car’s Life is Easier Than You Thought
Your car is an investment, so why not try to get the most out of it? By taking good care of your automobile, you’ll be able to enjoy reliable transportation for years and gain invaluable knowledge about DIY car repair.
Use these tips to add some longevity to a car’s life.
Check out more articles for expert tips on maintaining your vehicle.