Should you be worrying that your car is getting on a bit or you’ve simply recently purchased a new car and want to keep it in top condition, there are a number of easy steps that you can take. Each one only takes a few minutes/dollars at a time but could easily save you thousands in the long run.
Only Use Quality Fuel
While discounted gas may save you money in the short term, over the long run cutting corners in fuel quality will reduce the lifespan of your car. Many discount chains such as Costco can afford to offer such big discounts as they are selling dated fuel. Such fuel is significantly more likely to contain sludge which leads to nasty engine blockages.
Wash Your Car During Winter
Many car owners don’t bother to wash their car during the Winter as the generally lousy weather tends to cause that newly washed look to barely last the journey home. The fact is however that washing your car is not only about aesthetics, it is also about getting sand and debris off of your car before it can cause serious damage. The fact that Winter leads to more road debris is actually a reason to wash it more rather than less often.
Don’t Ignore Your Cooling System
While oil and water levels are generally looked after by almost all drivers, your engines cooling system is equally important and at times forgotten. Regular checks are essential together with frequent coolant top ups. And while many drivers happily use water or coolant alone, doing so will damage your cooling system over time. If you want your cooling system to last, the correct ratio of fifty percent coolant and fifty percent water should be used.
Follow Your Maintenance Schedule
Most cars come complete with a maintenance schedule including particular checks that should be performed at various mileage milestones. Many car owners don’t bother following them however. Not only will keeping to your cars maintenance schedule make your car last longer, it is also likely to save you significant time and money in terms of visits to your local mechanic.
Break Your Car in Gently
The first thousand miles of any cars life are highly significant as it is at this point that the engine is at its most fragile. Wherever possible stay below sixty miles per hour and switch the engine off rather than leaving it idle for long periods of time. Putting too much pressure on your cars engine during the first one thousand miles may not show any immediate damage but over the long run, it’ll become all too apparent.
Check Your Car Every Time You Fill Up
Spending two minutes doing important checks every other time you fill up the tank can add years to a cars life. A quick check of the tyres, a quick wipe of the battery with a damp cloth and a brief look over the engine as a whole will have you going again in no time but it can make all the difference, particularly if you spot a problem that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Look After Your Tyres
While regularly keeping your tires in optimum condition and changing them when needed is well known to be important when it comes to fuel efficiency, it is also important to the overall health of your car. Driving with poor tyres lowers the life of your suspension, transmission and even your engine.
Find a Mechanic That You Trust
While you can visit almost any doctor and get the same quality of care, the same can sadly not be said about mechanics. And while most people are aware of the potential increased costs incurred by visiting a dishonest mechanic, a lazy mechanic who fails to spot potential problems before they happen can cost you even more.
Finally, drive with caution. Not only are you less likely to have an accident which would render all of these points pointless but driving aggressively lowers your cars lifespan significantly. In particular, avoid the following:
- Never race your engine during start up.
- Shift to neutral while at red lights.
- Avoid high speeds and/or rapid acceleration during extreme weather conditions, both hot and cold.
- Avoid potholes while driving and curbs while parking.
- Don’t hold your steering wheel in the extreme right or left position for more than a few seconds at a time.
- Remember that the most damage to your engine occurs during the first ten minutes of any journey.
In conclusion, most of the tips in this list are very much common sense. The key to a longer lasting car is all about preventing damage occurring before it happens. And while many of these tips will cost money in the short term, over the long run the savings are significant.