10 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Car

 

Stacked and standing car tires

Follow these tips to extend the life of your car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the new era of austerity, one of the most important ways to get ahead is to make the things you have last as long as possible.  Gone are the days when people averaged a vehicle upgrade every two or three years.  You can make sure your car lasts as long as you need it to by following these ten tips.

Handle with Care

The best way to keep your car running and repair-free over the long term is to handle your car with care.  Avoid extremes whenever possible.  Don’t accelerate quickly, don’t hold the steering wheel at the far right or left position for more than a second or two, and don’t let the car idle.

Be Neutral

Shifting into neutral when you are stopped in traffic or at red lights protects your engine, transmission, and brakes from wear and tear as the car is no longer trying to move forward while you are sitting still.

Take Care of Your Tires

The way you drive impacts the life expectancy of your tires.  Drive the speed limit and try to avoid stopping, starting, or turning at high speeds.  If you steer clear of potholes and keep away from the curb, your tires will take care of you.

Lighten the Load

Pick up your keys and hold them between your thumb and forefinger.  Bounce them a few times to get a sense for just how much weight you are subjecting your ignition switch to on a daily basis.  This excess weight can damage your ignition switch and cause it to fail.  Limit what you hang off your key and you will lessen the chance that an ignition switch failure leaves you lounging on the side of the road.

Time When to Fill Your Tank

Avoid filling your gas tank at a station whose gas tanks are being or have just been filled as the movement in the tanks will stir up gunk from the bottom of the tank. 

Keep it Clean

A clean exterior extends the life of your paint by removing harmful residue and highlighting dents and dings that need to be repaired.  A clean interior makes your car feel like a nicer car and keeps you inspired to take good care of it.

Keep it Clear

If you see a chip or crack in your windshield, get it repaired right away.  This simple step and save you the cost of having to replace the whole windshield.

Fill Up with Fluid

Avoid using regular water in your windshield wiper tank and you will avoid the repairs that can be required if the water freezes and damages the system.  Keep windshield wiper fluid in your tank in order to avoid damaging the fluid pump by running the pump without any fluid.

Get a Gauge

One of the most important ways to keep your car going and out of the repair shop is to keep the tires properly inflated.  Get a tire pressure gauge and get in the habit of checking the tire pressure every month.

Check and Change Your Oil

Nothing can kill a car faster than lack of lubrication.  Protect your car by routinely checking the oil and getting the oil and oil filter changed per the recommended maintenance schedule.  You should change your oil every 3000 miles, despite some OEM recommendations

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