Given the expenses of buying a new car, it behooves all of us to make our current vehicle last longer. There are a number of steps to take to delay your car’s expiration date. Here are just a few of them:
- Adhere to your car’s service schedule – Nobody wants to spend time in the auto repair shop, but it is vital that you comply with the proposed maintenance for your vehicle. Regular service visits are investments in your car. Follow the service schedule in your car’s manual for oil changes and filter replacements. You should also get a regular inspection of the coolant, battery, radiator hoses, spark plugs, and timing belt. Regular maintenance will not only prolong the life of your car, but it will also increase its resale value. It’s a good idea to keep your service receipts. If you decide to sell your car down the line, you can present potential buyers with proof that you have maintained your car well.
- Don’t ignore red flags – Your car can give you clues about problems that it may be having. These include strange noises, shaking, pulling to one side, or making a humming noise when you fire up the air conditioning. If something seems to be off with your car, it probably is. Small problems can spiral out of control, so make sure to have your car serviced the moment you notice potential problems. Today’s minor repair can quickly become tomorrow’s costly fiasco.
- Clean your engine at least once a year – Most car owners spend a great deal of time cleaning and beautifying the interior and exterior of the car, but they may neglect the engine. This is ironic because the engine is the most important part of the car. If you don’t clean your engine from time to time, it could become coated with dirt and grime. This accumulation could cause the engine to run hot, resulting in extra wear that may reduce its lifespan. It will be difficult to pinpoint problems, such as oil leaks, when the engine is covered with grime.
- Drive your car at least once a week – If you are constantly taxing your car, you’ll put stress on the engine, but if you don’t drive your car at all, you’ll have trouble, too. If you own a car that you don’t currently need, make sure that you take it out for a spin at least once a week to keep the engine in good shape.
Next to our homes, a car is one of our biggest investments. Giving it the TLC it deserves will pay dividends in extending its life.