Car Maintenance – Keep Your Car Running for as Long as Possible
Knowing a bit about car maintenance is often in your best interest to keep an older car running for as long as possible. While having a new car is great, it’s also an extremely expensive undertaking.
Between paying your monthly car payments and spending a small fortune on car insurance, you may find yourself pining for your old set of wheels and the relatively low cost of maintenance. It’s often a good idea to keep your old car running a bit longer rather than trading it in the second you’re tempted by a newer model.
Here is a look at several ways you can extend the life of your car by good car maintenance and simply changing up a few of your habits.
Keep up with Regular Service
Check your owner’s manual, and you will find a clearly laid out maintenance schedule based on time and the number of miles your car has been driven. It’s important to keep up with these routine tune-ups.
Regular service includes minor fixes like regular oil changes to more expensive repairs like changing out a worn timing belt. You can save a lot of money by doing preventative car maintenance rather than waiting until something actually goes wrong.
Change the Way You Drive
It may sound like common sense, but one of the best ways to extend the life of your car is to simply be a gentler driver. Accelerating too quickly or slam on the brakes from time to time have a negative impact on your car over time.
While you don’t actually need to baby your car, it’s still in your best interest to drive gently.
You should also make sure you drive safely. Getting into an accident, even a minor one, may hike your auto insurance premiums. You may also find that an old car is too costly to fix.
Don’t Ignore the Little Things
What if your car starts making a weird noise (such as clicking, squealing, grinding, or scraping)? You shouldn’t ignore it and hope it gets better on its own. Often, new noises or bizarre behavior can be the first signs that something major is going on. Address the problem before it has a chance to escalate. This can often save yourself a lot of trouble – and a lot of money.
Check Fluids and Tire Pressure
Even if you know nothing about cars, it’s still easy enough to learn how to check your fluids and maintain your tire pressure.
Find out how to check your oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid. There are instructions in your owner’s manual. It is also easy to learn these car maintenance checks by watching a YouTube video.
Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Add air when necessary. Your tires will last longer and you will also save on fuel.
Keep It Clean (Especially during the winter)
You may think getting a car wash is simply a cosmetic choice. Think again. Keeping your car clean can actually help extend its life. You car’s paint job helps protect the vital components underneath. Wash your car regularly and wax it to keep water from pooling.
If you live in a cold climate where it snows throughout the winter, your car is also likely covered in salt and other chemicals used for deicing. Wash these off as often as possible during winter. Otherwise, they may eat away at your car and promote rust.
Find a Mechanic You Trust
It is usually not a good idea to hop around between mechanics trying to find the best deal. Instead, find someone you trust to tell you the truth and treat you right.
Sticking with a regular mechanic for your car maintenance can actually save you money. Their records show what services have been done in recent tune-ups. That way you don’t end up spending money replacing something that was brand new a few months ago.
As your car builds up mileage, you can be proud of the job you’re doing to keep it running. Good car maintenance means your car will be good to you for many years to come. You will, hopefully, also be able to save a buck or two during these years.