Keep Your Car Running Longer with These 8 Quick Tips
One of the most basic and concrete facts of life is that it will eventually come to an end. Just as our time on earth is finite, so is the lifespan of everything else around us. From your trusted laptop, to your beloved dog, Fido, nothing is immune to the cyclical nature of living and dying. There may not be much you can do to extend the life of your smartphone past it’s two-year expiration date, but there are plenty of other items that can last longer if you put in a small amount of effort. Your vehicle, for example, requires you to take certain preventative actions in order to keep it running more reliably, for a longer amount of time. Taking steps such as changing the car filters on your vehicle won’t make it run forever, but it can certainly come close.
Why Prolonged Vehicle Life Matters
It would certainly be nice to have the ability to buy a new car as often as you replace your cell phone, but that luxury is not available to the vast majority of individuals in the United States. For most, the reality is quite the opposite. More than likely, your car is the most expensive item you own and you would do anything to prolong it’s life in order to save money and put off the inevitability of having to buy another one. Your grandma might tell you that they don’t make cars like they used to, and while her cliched perspective may annoy you, she is absolutely correct. Cars are made quite differently than they were fifty years ago, let alone ten. Your car requires a different level of attention than your grandma’s Chevelle did, which is why it is so important to keep up with routine maintenance and learn the ins-and-outs of your particular make and model.
Routine Maintenance for Extended Vehicle Life
Your vehicle is very capable of lasting well beyond the life of the manufacturer’s extended warranty, but it is up to you to secure it’s longevity. Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to keep your vehicle running for as long as you need it to.
- Memorize the Manual – The owner’s manual is one of the most important documents associated with a car purchase, yet most drivers never even open it up. Most likely located inside the glove box, the owner’s manual outlines specifics regarding the exact make and model of your car and its required maintenance schedule. Some manufacturers even include a section where you can record the date and time of each service you had completed on your vehicle, which not only helps you stick to a schedule, but can be a helpful tool if you ever plan to sell your car in the future.
- Check Fluid Levels – Take ten minutes out of your day at least once a month to check critical fluid levels in your vehicle. The oil level is the easiest to check, and also happens to be the most important for proper engine function. The power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and brake cylinder reservoir are also good to keep in check. If any of these fluids fall below the level suggested in the owner’s manual, take your vehicle to a certified technician and have them serviced.
- Take it Easy on Your Engine – Rather than immediately hit the road the second you turn the key to ignite your engine, give it at least 30 seconds to warm up. Taking this brief moment to pause will allow your engine to become properly lubricated and prevent it from overheating. If you do this every time you get into your vehicle, your car’s engine will work more effectively for a longer period of time.
- Adjust Your Driving Habits – Rather than accelerate like you are trying to win the Indy 500, slowly work your vehicle up to the posted speed limit. Flooring it as quickly as possible only to slam on your brakes at the next red light will certainly send your car into early retirement. Your tires will wear out sooner, your brakes will need replacing more often, and your fuel economy will suffer greatly. Taking it easy on your everyday commute and errands will ensure your vehicle is not strained when it doesn’t need to be.
- Keep Cool and Replace Your Coolant – The coolant is located in the cooling system of your vehicle, and needs to be changed at least once a year, or even more often, depending on how much you drive your car. Properly leveled coolant will ensure that your cooling system is in good working order, preventing deposit build-up and corrosion on your engine.
- Rotate Your Tires – At every other oil change, your service center should perform a tire rotation on your car. This will ensure proper and even wear on all four tires, allowing them to last longer and keep you safer on the road.
- Change Your Oil – The every three months or 3,000 miles oil change is not always necessary, nowadays. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct intervals in which your engine’s oil should be changed. Be sure not to neglect this imperative routine maintenance item because your car will certainly suffer if you do.
- Replace Your Filter – Your car’s air filter is one of the most overlooked routine maintenance items. This easy and inexpensive upkeep is crucial for the health, longevity, and proper function of your vehicle. Follow the suggested schedule for filter replacement outlined in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
DePaula Can Help Your Car Last Longer
By keeping these eight important tips in mind, your vehicle will last you for years to come. Bringing your vehicle to a professionally certified service center like DePaula will help you keep up with everything your car needs to survive long-term. We may not possess the fountain of youth, or have the secret to living forever, but we can help your vehicle last for as long as you are willing to drive it. Come down to DePaula and see how we can work together for the greater good of your car, your budget, and your peace of mind.