Extending the lifespan of your car has a number of advantages. After four or five years, your work will pay off, and if you have been faithful with upkeep, the cost of regular maintenance will be much less than the cost of payments on a new car. You can set aside the difference for a larger down payment or cash purchase of your next car when you really do need it. In addition, insurance premiums go down regularly as a car ages, and when its market value decreases sufficiently, you can drop the collision and comprehensive coverage. Here are some tips to help your car last longer:
Follow the Maintenance Schedule
Evidently, some of the least-read books of all time are motor vehicle maintenance manuals. However, the manufacturer’s manual is vital for your car’s health. Read it, and follow the maintenance schedule it outlines. The oil and oil filter need to be changed on a regular basis, and so do the air filter, the belts, the transmission fluid, the battery, the brake fluid, the spark plugs, the hoses, and the wiper blades, though less frequently. Even if nothing seems to be wrong, go in regularly for the scheduled maintenance checkup. If possible, use the same mechanics for all of your car maintenance and repairs. They will get to know your vehicle and keep electronic records of its service so they can remind you of scheduled maintenance if you forget.
Heed Warning Indicators
Watch the gauges for oil pressure, cooling system, and tire pressure. These instruments warn you if something is amiss. If a light is flashing that you do not understand, rather than ignore it, check the manual or visit your mechanic to find out what it means.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Between scheduled maintenance visits you should monitor your vehicle to be sure all is well. Before you start the car every morning, check underneath for leaks. Every other fill-up, lift the hood and check the oil and hoses. Have a passenger help you check the lights. Watch the tread in the tires, and rotate them occasionally so they wear more evenly. Use a digital gauge to check tire pressure. Remember that temperature extremes can affect tire pressure, so adjust it accordingly.
Keep It Clean
Keeping your car clean and waxed protects the exterior from damage. The wax protects the paint from corrosion by such things as bird droppings, sap, and acid rain. In the winter, regular washing to remove slush, ice, sand, and road salt will protect your car from rust. Vacuum and sponge-wipe the interior to protect it from abrasion and corrosion. Use a soft, damp cloth on the dash gauges. Wipe the weather-stripping with rubber protectorate or silicone, and if it is torn, replace it immediately to prevent leaks from rainwater. The same upholstery cleaner you use at home can be used on the seats. Use rubber floor mats to protect the carpeting, and shake or wash them when necessary.
Park It Safely
If you have a garage, use it. If you do not, at least try to park your car in the shade to keep it out of the sun. If you cannot find a shady spot, attach sun shades to the windows to minimize the sun’s impact.
Keeping your car clean and maintained doesn’t just extend its lifespan; it makes your car more attractive and fun to drive. It will also increase the resale value when you finally do decide to let it go.
This article was written by Sheldon Armstrong and Vito Sanchez, a car enthusiast who hopes to help you become a better car owner. He writes this on behalf of Workhorse Power Inc., your number one choice when looking for Waukesha Engine Parts. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!