Cars are a paradox. One of the biggest investments a person can make in their life, they depreciate the minute they’re driven off the lot. It makes sense then to help your car last for as long as possible. With proper care and maintenance, you can drive your car to the point where it pays for itself, so to speak. Here are a few handy ways to make your car last longer.
Take Care of the Engine
The engine is the heart of the vehicle, so keep its heart healthy with regular checkups, clean fuel, and basic upkeep. One of the surest ways to keep your engine running and in great shape is regular oil changes. Most modern cars should have their oil and oil filter changed every 6,000 miles, but check the specs for your vehicle. In between changes, inspect the dipstick to ensure the oil remains clean and clear, and top it off if necessary. While you’re under the hood, check all the other fluids as well and make sure they remain clear and level.
Look Out for Your Tires
Tires keep your car on the move and face the brunt of the road’s worst conditions. Inspect your tires to ensure the treads remain deep and maintain their grip and have them replaced if they appear to be overworn. Look for punctures, abrasions, scrapes, cuts, and other damage that can lead to flats or blowouts. Keep your tires in mind when the weather changes. Temperatures can affect tire pressure as well, with hot weather causing them to expand and cold temperatures causing them to shrink, again risking blowouts and flats. Change to winter tires in particularly icy climates but switch back to all-season tires when things warm up!
Keep It Clean
Nothing helps a car last longer or retain its value more than regular cleanings. Washing and occasionally detailing your car can help fight rust and corrosion, preserving its appearance while protecting the wheels. Perform regular inspections under the hood and beneath the chassis to ensure your car is leak-free. Leaky hoses and failing seals can make an otherwise clean and efficient engine a grubby mess. Also, remember that a clean and fresh-smelling cabin can keep a car’s resale value higher. If you smoke, quit now and don’t let trash accumulate inside.
Take It Easy
One of the most surefire ways to make your car last longer is to take it easy on the poor thing. An overloaded car burns more gas and puts a greater strain on the engine and other parts. Make sure you’re not hauling more than you need to, and remove extra weight like roof and bike racks, extra and unnecessary tools, and boxes and containers filled with stuff that can be stored elsewhere. When you drive, go easy on both pedals, and turn off the engine at every red light so fuel isn’t wasted while idling.