4 Smart Tips For Making Your Vehicle Last
Because the prices of new cars has climbed steeply over the last decade, people are more willing to keep their older models. As long as they can keep running without requiring major repairs (for example, a transmission overhaul), it’s far easier on the budget. And therein lies the challenge.
Your vehicle will eventually die and need to be retired. There’s little you can do to prevent that from happening aside from pouring money into an ongoing string of expensive repairs. However, there are some smart things you can do that will prolong your car’s life. The following four items are simple and intuitive, yet millions of drivers fail to do them:
#1 – Follow Your Owner’s Manual Closely
Strangely, many people have never looked at their owner’s manual, even though it holds the secret to your car’s life. It contains a service schedule (this might be a separate booklet) that details every important maintenance item. It explains exactly when those items should be performed. From oil changes to air filter checks, and spark plug replacements to your ignition system, everything is listed in your service schedule. The key is to use it.
#2 – Be Gentle When You Start It
When your car sits for hours, the oil that circulates throughout the engine falls to the oil pan. Without that oil, your engine would overheat. When you start your vehicle, the engine roars to life, but it takes several seconds for the oil to move from the pan to the moving parts. Have you ever watched someone start their car and immediately floor it? That’s a good way to damage the engine. Be gentle. Crank the engine and let it idle for twenty or thirty seconds before throwing it into gear. You won’t notice the benefits, but over time, it will make a difference.
#3 – Check The Fluid Levels
Your oil, coolant, power steering, and transmission fluid levels can decline over time. It is critical that you keep all of them replenished. Most drivers neglect to check their levels because it’s inconvenient to do so. Get into the biweekly habit of checking all four fluids at once. It only takes 15 minutes and will help you avoid expensive repairs down the road.
#4 – Drive Easily
If you own a performance vehicle, you’re probably going to treat the engine harshly. Chances are, you spent a good sum of money and you want to enjoy the benefits. Fair enough. On the other hand, if you own a Toyota Camry, Dodge Charger, or a Honda Civic, you’re likely budget-conscious. So, drive gently. There’s rarely a need to drop the clutch and peel your wheels at 6,000 rpms. Besides, constantly doing so will land your vehicle in the repair shop far sooner than otherwise.
Your car won’t last forever. But, if you address key maintenance items, regularly check the fluids, and treat it gently (at start-up and while driving), you’ll prolong its life. And avoiding expensive repairs is nearly as good as money in the bank.