How to Help Maximize the Lifespan of your Vehicle
You see them all the time. Ads on television, on the radio, and in the newspaper for everything to do with cars: oil changes, transmission services, brakes and muffler places, car detailing services. If you brought your car to one of these places every time you saw an ad, you’d spend every day at a different place! All of these ads tell you to come into service your car – a constant reminder that servicing your car is important. It can also be expensive. It’s great to have an honest mechanic that you can trust to fix your vehicle, so try to find someone in your neighborhood that you can go to just in case.
But, you can minimize the number of times you need to visit the mechanic and help to maximize the lifespan of your vehicle by following a few simple (and cost-effective) guidelines.
- KEEP YOUR TIRES PROPERLY INFLATED AND PERFORM REGULAR TIRE ROTATIONS – This is a very inexpensive way to prevent some potentially expensive repair bills. Vehicles with tires that are properly inflated and rotated have fewer problems with alignment and balancing issues. Considering you can get air for your tires at any service station, it’s worth the minute or so that it talks to make sure they are inflated properly. Tire rotation can be done on your driveway with a tire changing kit, or at most service stations/garages for around twenty dollars. Properly Inflated tires cause the engine to work less, putting less undue stress on it and extending its life.
- DRIVE YOUR CAR AS TENDERLY AS POSSIBLE – Stopping and starting, peeling away when the light turns green, braking hard, driving too fast over speed bumps – these may seem like small things, but they all add up over time.
- MINIMIZE THE TIME YOUR CAR IDLES – letting your engine idle causes it to work overtime. It may also cause other parts under the hood to work harder than they have to. In a situation where you are in your car while it is parked for a period longer than a few minutes, turn it off. It also burns more gas to idle the engine, which is an added cost. It also hurts the environment.
- REGULARLY SCHEDULED OIL CHANGES – Don’t be the person who leaves their ‘regularly scheduled’ three thousand mile oil change wait until five thousand miles. This can cause your engine to burn dry of oil and a worst-case scenario could mean that you need to replace your entire engine. Also, engine failure due to improper care, including not getting scheduled oil changes, can cause your warranty to be invalid or nullified if you have a car under warranty.
- OPT FOR RUST PROOFING – When you buy a new car, you are usually offered a rustproofing package designed to prevent the rusting of the metal in the body of the vehicle. For a few hundred dollars extra, you can protect yourself against costly body shop rust jobs down the road.
- REMOVE UNNEEDED ITEMS FROM YOUR VEHICLE – take the golf clubs out of the car for the winter – the additional weight causes the engine to work overly hard, putting avoidable stress on the motor and causing more gas to be burned.
These are just a few tips for some easy tactics to extend the life of your vehicle and save money on avoidable repairs. Always remember that your safety is at stake. A properly maintained vehicle is not only good for the car but is also safer. A safer vehicle gives you more peace of mind and allows you to focus on driving carefully and without the worry that an improperly maintained vehicle may break down on you.