When you buy a new car, you hope it will last forever. And while you know that forever is impossible, you certainly want to extend your car’s life as much as possible.
The good news is that a solid car maintenance schedule will go a long way when trying to extend your car’s life. With proper care you can get a lot of extra years out of your car and increase its resale value in the future.
Here are our top car maintenance tips to extend the life of your car as much as possible.
Check Your Fluids
Fluids are vital to the wellbeing and longevity of your car, so you want to make sure they are maintained. Failure to check your fluids can result in:
- Reduced gas mileage
- Reduced power
- Increased chance of breaking down
Fluids keep your car working properly, so ensuring that they are properly maintained can save you a lot of hassle down the road. Here are the top fluids to keep an eye on:
Oil is the lifeblood of your car. It helps ensure that everything in your engine stays lubricated and protected. If your oil runs low (or runs out) it can completely destroy your engine. Making sure that your oil is topped off and changed when it needs to be will help ensure that your car will have a longer life.
Coolant–also known as antifreeze–keeps your engine cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It also helps prevent corrosion. Coolant deteriorates as time goes on, so you need to make sure it is topped off and replaced as needed. Typically you should check it after 50,000 miles.
Brake fluid is essential to properly working brakes. As brake pads wear, your brake fluid also goes down. Be sure your brake fluid is always in the proper range and be sure to get your brakes serviced regularly.
Transmission fluid keeps all parts of the transmission lubricated and working properly. Valves, clutches, and gears all need to be lubricated to function as intended. Low transmission fluid can cause trouble when shifting and result in a busted transmission–which can be very expensive to fix. Transmission fluid needs to be replaced, but in newer cars this is usually around 100,000 miles.
Keep it Clean–Inside and Out
Give your car a good wash every now and then to get any harmful or potentially corrosive substances off of the paint, such as salt and tar. Not only will your car look better immediately, but a good wash and polish can keep it looking better for longer. Also be sure to regularly vacuum out and clean the inside of your car–this can also prevent bad stains and rips. Keeping both the interior and exterior of your car clean will help your resale value in the future as well.
Take Care of your Tires
It is vitally important to make sure your tires have the proper tire pressure. Underinflation adds a lot of internal stress to the tires, making them weaker. If they are underinflated, not only will it make for a bumpier ride, but it makes you more susceptible to blowouts. And bonus: you get better gas mileage on properly inflated tires. You should check your tire pressure at least once a month.
Also make sure your tires have enough tread on them. If your tires lack tread, they have a greater chance of a blowout and might not be able to stop properly in an emergency.
The way you drive will ultimately affect your car’s life. After all, accidents and improper driving can cause the car to undergo significant stress and shorten the life of many components. Be sure to warm your car up a bit before taking it out on the road, accelerate gently, and avoid slamming on the brakes. All of these steps can help add life to your car.
Use Good Quality Gas
Using quality gas doesn’t mean using premium gas every chance you get. You still need to use the recommended fuel for your vehicle. This means merely to not use the cheapest gas around. AAA found in a 2016 study that off-brand gas tended to have 19 times more engine deposits than name brand gasoline. These carbon deposits end up giving you worse gas mileage, increase the emissions, and cause your car to perform worse. So while the gas might be cheaper up front, you will still end up paying for it in the long run.
Fix Windshield Chips ASAP
While a windshield chip might not seem like a big deal, a chip in the windshield can quickly become a crack if not fixed quickly. And once your windshield is cracked you will need a new one entirely. Replacing a windshield can cost between $200 and $400, so it’s definitely a cost that you want to avoid, if possible.
Change the Air Filter Regularly
Your air filter has an important job: it traps debris and dirt that might get caught in your engine. By keeping your engine clean, the air filter:
- Increases fuel efficiency
- Reduces emissions
- Prolongs engine life
By keeping foreign materials out of the engine, it protects all of the cylinders and pistons that can be easily damaged. Your car in general will perform better when it has its air filter replaced. You should replace it every year, at least, and twice a year if you live in a heavily polluted or dusty area.
In addition to changing your auto air filter, you should also replace your cabin air filter regularly. This filter cleans the air that enters our car from the heating and air conditioning, so it’s important for our health, as well as the health of our cars. If the cabin filter is located behind your glove compartment, it’s easy to check to see if you need a new one. But if it’s somewhere harder to reach, there are some telltale signs that it’s time to change. If you notice any of the following, it’s probably time to replace it.
- Reduced air flow
- Increased noise as you turn the fan higher
- Bad odor
Cabin filters are typically replaced once every year or two.
Those are our top tips to extend the life of your car.
Good maintenance practices can go a long way when it comes to protecting your car. It can help ensure that your car will last longer on the road and ensure a higher resale value when the time comes.
Another good tip for car owners is to refinance your car loan. It can save you hundreds of dollars a year and couldn’t be simpler. Just head over to Auto Approve, fill out some information, and start saving money today.
What are you waiting for? Contact us today!