After the house, a car is perhaps the single most expensive thing the average person gets to spend money on in their life. While cars usually depreciate quickly, you will find people driving cars manufactured over a decade ago but they still run perfectly well. In fact, they may look better and operate much more efficiently than some newer models.
If you can keep your expensive car running for a few extra years, you may be able to save a great deal of money. So how can you make your car last longer? The keys lie in understanding your car and keeping it properly maintained and serviced.
Understanding Your Automobile
A car is a complex piece of machinery consisting of thousands of parts, all of which work together to keep you moving. If you want your car to last longer, you must have the car serviced properly on a regular basis. You can increase the lifespan of your vehicle by simply taking care of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering and braking systems. The following are some simple, but effective tips for making your car last longer:
Get Professional Car Repair Service
Machines normally break down unexpectedly for one reason or another. When this happens, you should avoid trying to fix the problem on your own or hiring a stranger to fix it. There are many people out there who are masquerading as mechanics, but they’re not. Allowing them to repair your car may cause bigger problems in the long run.
Ideally, you should search for a well-qualified mechanic and stick with them as long as possible. The ideal mechanic should have a great reputation and operate a well-equipped car repair shop. They must also be clean and professional in their work. If possible, you should use ASE-certified car mechanics. By having your car repaired by a trusted mechanic, you can have peace of mind knowing that it will last longer.
Replace Your Shock Absorbers
The suspension system in your car is tasked with absorbing any shock your car may be subjected to. In other words, the suspension system protects the entire vehicle from sudden shocks, which may cause serious damage in addition to making your driving experience uncomfortable. Ideally, you should replace the shock absorbers in your car on a regular basis to improve the system’s ability to absorb shocks.
Check Your Oil
The engine is the most important component of an automobile; if you want your car to last longer, you need to take good care of it. You can do this by checking the level of oil in the engine at least once a week and do a complete replacement of the engine oil as recommended by the oil manufacturer. Proper lubrication helps to minimize friction, wear and tear. Oil also washes away debris from engine parts. Therefore, the oil filter should also be replaced on schedule to ensure only clean oil is circulating in the engine.
Check Your Coolant
Aside from lubrication, the engine must also be properly cooled. Ideally, you should check the level of water in the radiator as well as the amount of coolant in the coolant tank every couple of days. This is because the engine in your car produces a lot of heat, which is carried away by cool water. After circulating through the engine, water is taken back to the radiator, where it is cooled by cool air from the surroundings. If the coolant is depleted, the engine may overheat and freeze to a halt – something that will clearly reduce the lifespan of your vehicle.
Clean the Car Regularly
Cleaning may seem like an insignificant measure for increasing the lifespan of your car, but it plays a key role. While the body of the car may be washed at least once a week, the engine and chassis of the car should also be washed every once in a while. This will ensure that there’s no buildup of debris.
Responsible driving is the best strategy for improving the lifespan of your car. Before driving the car, turn on the engine and let it warm up. When you engage the gears, increase the speed gradually; don’t go from 0 to 60mph in the blink of an eye. similarly, don’t go from 60 to zero suddenly. When driving on an uneven road surface, reduce your speed to ensure the suspension system is able to accommodate all the shocks.
Keep the Car Covered
When you park your car, make sure it’s under a shade. Be sure to park it under a carport or in a secure garage. This is because the UV rays from the sun can cause serious damage to your car.
Even if you’re not as handy with cars as your local mechanic, there’s a lot you can do to keep your car on the road. Some of the work you can do on your own, and some may require taking your car into the local auto service center. Again, the key is to understanding the basic needs of your car and attending to them as needed. Do this, and you just might be able to save a lot of money.