How to Preserve the Life of Your Chevy

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There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to drive a beater car. They could be trying to elongate the lifespan of their nicer vehicle, and commuting with the beater will prevent the preferred car from wearing down. Perhaps the car’s been in the family for a while, or it holds some sort of special, sentimental significance to the owner. Maybe you’re a particular fan of Chevy cars (because why would you own any other type model). Maybe they just can’t afford a replacement, and the beater is the only reasonable mode of transportation.

Regardless of the reason, a driver should still be making it a priority to preserve this old Chevy. Of course, that’s much easier said than done. Whether it’s changing how you drive, being willing to commit the tender loving care the car deserves, or just forcing yourself to embrace that cheap oil change, a handful of small steps could keep your oldie on the road for a much longer time. While any of Chevy’s durable and dependable car parts would do the job, let’s check out some strategies for how you hold off on those inevitable purchases…

Try Your Best to Prevent Rust

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This is important if you live in an area where harsh weather is common, and it’s especially important if you don’t have a garage for your old Chevy to hide in. Rain and snow can cause quite a bit of damage to your body, so it’s essential that you keep care of your exterior, especially during the winter.

In regards to your body, salt can cause quite a bit of paint damage. Make sure to wash your car regularly during the winter, although if the temperature drops below freezing, the salt shouldn’t hurt your vehicle.

Make sure you’re inspecting other parts of the Chevy for corrosion, especially the battery. A wire brush will certainly help get the gunk off, but if you notice considerable wear, it may be time to get that battery replaced.

Find a Trusted Mechanic and Stick With Them

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If you end up needing to have that battery replaced (or if you need any other part of the car repaired), make sure you find a mechanic that you can trust. There’s nothing worse than a sketchy business, especially when they’re responsible for taking car of your Chevy.

Whether it’s a private mechanic or a dealership, make sure you’re interacting with someone you’ve had a previous working relationship with. While interacting with a private business would mean not having to deal with a service advisor, a dealership could provide you with discounted Chevy replacement parts.

Keep on Top of Your Oil Changes

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Remember the days when you would see a light flash on the dashboard of your new car, and you would ultimately decide to postpone the potential repair until you had more time on your hands? Well, those days are long gone, as cars now require immediate action whenever anything seems off.

This is particularly important when it comes to changing your oil. Make sure you are keeping track of all your oil changes, and rely on your vehicle’s owners manual for how often your fuel should be changed. If you stick with that trusted number (give or take a mile or two), it will make a big impact in preserving your ride.

Or, if you’re paranoid (and a bit neurotic) about your car’s oil, consult an expert. A lab can easily check your oil, and they could potentially identify some underlying maintenance issues.

“They’ll check to see if there are any metals floating around in the oil that indicate the car will break down soon,” said Edmunds.com’s senior consumer advice editor Phil Reed, “and they’ll pick up if any coolant mixed with the oil.”

Be Aware of Everything Else

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There’s no such thing as being too careful when it comes to maintaining and caring for your older car. It’s essential that you’ve got everything working in tip-top shape, or you could potentially compromise your vehicle’s livelihood.

When I say everything, I mean stay on top of everything. Cooling system maintenance is key, as without it, you could find yourself with a bum engine and stranded on the side of the road. Coolant hoses and heater hoses are both essentials, and you’d do yourself a favor by replacing them every couple of years. While you’re replacing those parts, you might as well throw in a new water pump. Similar to many things in life, it’s better to replace something before it’s broken.

You’d be surprised how many people forget to take a look at their tires. While bum wheels may not directly lead to your car’s demise, they could certainly make a major contribution. Dishing out a couple extra bucks for a better quality tire could help prevent an accident, and it’s a good idea to keep rotating those tires every 6,000 miles or so. This will assure that they’re being worn evenly.

When your car seems to be bouncing or shaking constantly, that’s an indication that you need new shock absorbers. Worn out shocks could do a number on your car. Besides affecting the comfort and easiness of your drive, it also affects the braking efficiency, the ABS system, the car’s control… some pretty important stuff!

Finally, if your brakes start squeaking, that’s likely an indication that they need to be replaced or repaired. Constantly swapping out your brake pads may sound like a pain in the butt, but this could help prevent you from one day having to replace the entire braking system. If you’re feeling ambitious, occasionally bleeding the brakes is a smart thing to do, as the brake fluid will show you how well the system is operating.

Follow the steps above, and you’ll be well on your way to preserving your old Chevy. Of course, there are plenty of other things to keep in mind, like using high-quality replacement parts. It’s inevitable that your car will need repairs, and relying on Chevy-produced parts will allow you to drive that car for more than 200,000 miles!