10 simple ways to preserve the life of your car.
Let’s face it, buying a car is a huge investment. It’s estimated that the average cost of a new car in America today is $28,400. In some parts of the world, that’s enough to buy a house. So how do you make the most of the car you currently have and keep it running for as long as possible? Here are some simple steps to keep your car running and you where you belong: in the driver’s seat.
Follow the maintenance plan in your owner’s manual.
Your maintenance manual isn’t just there to keep your registration company in your glove compartment. It has valuable information on how to ensure your car’s optimal performance. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and record your repairs and service.
Change your oil.
Oil is the lifeblood of your car and keeps everything running. Yet, many of us fail to think about it. One of the most important things you can do for your car is check your oil regularly. It’s also vital that you change the oil. Experts suggest that you change it every 3,000 miles or three months. Be sure to change your oil filter as well. Your mechanic can let you know when the filter needs changing.
Watch your tires.
Rotate and balance your tires according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most tires should be balanced and rotated every few thousand miles. Also be sure that they are properly inflated and aligned. Low tire pressure can be dangerous and result in poor gas mileage.
Purchase quality parts.
Car parts and repairs are not cheap. So it’s natural to be tempted to spend less on replacement parts. When it comes to something as important as your car, you need to ensure you’re using quality replacement parts.
Bathe your car regularly.
By doing so, you’ll eliminate rust build up, which can damage your engine. If you live in a cold climate, salt can ruin the body of your car and make it look older than it is. Washing your car regularly, particularly in the winter, is a great way to protect your car. And there’s nothing like a nice shine to make an old car look new.
Pay attention to your car.
You know your car better than anyone. So if you hear an unusual noise, smell something strange, or experience a bumpy ride, get your car checked immediately. Though it may not be equipped with a state-of-the-art communication system, your car may be trying to tell you that something is wrong.
Give your car a rest.
A great way to ensure your car stays running is to give it a rest. Consider carpooling on occasion or consolidating your errands at one time.
Check fluid levels.
This includes steering, battery, antifreeze, brake, and washer solvent and transmission fluids.
Do your homework. Many cars experience problems when they reach certain mileage levels. The best way to guard against that is to research your make and model on blogs and car websites. They can help you determine what you need to do to avoid problems down the road.
Fix problems as soon as they happen.
It’s easy to ignore a problem or to wait until you have extra money to make the repairs. The fact is, the longer you wait, the more expensive the repairs could be.
By taking these simple steps, you can avoid the hassle and expense of buying a new car and keep your trusted old car where it belongs: on the road.