A lot of us spend money on our car making it look nicer and sportier, but how many of us really spend the time and money to make it last longer? Sometimes it makes more sense to spend on this as it will make your vehicle more enjoyable to drive over a longer period of time and also retain its resale value longer too. Unless, of course, you can afford to change your car every 5 years, it makes sense to think about making that car last longer and in better condition.
The Basics - Oils and filters
This is the most basic item on the list. Regular maintenance using good quality oil, original air and oil filters will always make the engine last longer and help it run better. A dirty air and oil filter will damage the engine in the long run. Is it also helps you save money by making the car more fuel efficient.
Keeping It Cool
Monitor your vehicle’s coolant levels and change it regularly as it will prevent the engine from overheating as well as helping the coolant system last longer. This will allow the the radiator, engine block and hoses to remain clean and rust-free. The car owner can avoid costly repairs by regularly replacing the hoses in the system. Use proper coolant and not tap water as it contains contaminants.
Tyre pressure gauges are inexpensive and to it is easy to check your tyre pressure using the tool. Under-inflated and over-inflated tyres are safety issues that can cause tyre failure. Funnily enough, this aspect of car maintenance is the most neglected of all. Have a regular tyre inflation check schedule, maybe early Saturday mornings at a petrol station. This is good habit to start.
Your dashboard will flash indicators to inform you of the condition of various systems in your car. Keep an eye on them as they tend go out in sequence. Sometimes a particular light may take longer to go out and this may indicate a potential problem. It is important to note that just because an indicator suddenly stops flashing does not mean all is well. Have any recalcitrant systems checked out as soon as possible.
Find yourself a good foreman and stick with him. This is similar to when you are sick and go to your regular clinic, your doctor will have a medical history to fall back on. Your regular mechanic will be familiar with your particular car and its condition.
Spend some time looking over your car before you drive off. Walk around it and keep an eye out for blown bulbs, worn tyres or dents and scratches on the vehicle’s body. A blown bulb might the result of an accident, especially if its your brake lights. Furthermore, scratches can develop into rust spots. A good time to do this is when you are washing your car. Those working at the car wash will likely not tell you of any problems regarding your vehicle, so make sure you wash your car yourself at least once a month.
Your car may have a maintenance schedule in the owners manual when it was purchased brand new. But after it is out of warranty, it is still imperative that you stick to the schedule. Your regular mechanic will be able to advise you of any impending maintenance items, such as belt replacement and etc. If you change mechanics, you may be paying for unnecessary items because the mechanic will not know when previous maintenance was last done.
Driving smarter is actually a critical part extending your vehicle’s life. Burnouts from the traffic lights and emergency braking will only wear out parts faster and use more fuel. So, use the pedals with the precision of a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer. By doing so you can reduce its wear and tear, which means that it will likely require less non-scheduled maintenance.
The exterior of the car needs regular washing and waxing. Don’t forget to detail the interior too. Refrain from eating, drinking and smoking inside the car as this will keep the interior looking fresher for a longer time. It also helps keep pests out. If, for any reason, any spills do occur, have them removed immediately as the longer they remain on the surface, the harder it is to remove it.
Invest in a car cover and replace it regularly, especially if you have no covered parking.
Harmful UV rays will damage the vehicle’s paintwork and also its interior. By using a car cover it protects the vehicle’s paint from bird droppings and tree sap, which can damage the vehicle’s exterior. It is better to replace a cheap cover than to repaint your car as the resale value of your can remains higher if its original paint is intact and in good condition.
By keeping your car in tip-top shape and you will get greater resale value when it is time to replace it. And the new owner will also be tempted to keep it that way too. See you at the next service.