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How to Make Your Car Last For Years

Many people rely on a car for transportation. Cars don’t come cheap, especially if you’re purchasing a new one. To get the best value out of it, you need to make sure your car lasts as long as possible. Here are some things you should be doing to make your car last for years.

Know Its Limits

Knowing how your car is supposed to perform when you drive it is an important part of being both a responsible driver and a good car owner. If your car isn’t a sports car, it’s best not to drive it like it is. It’s typically best to be kind to your car when you drive. Let it warm up before you really put it through its paces and be gentle with the steering wheel, breaks, gas pedal, and gear shift. Being gentle when you drive helps reduce wear and tear on the car, and helps improve your gas mileage.

Change Your Oil

Your car needs to have its oil changed periodically. How frequently you need to change it will depend on your vehicle and the oil it’s supposed to use, but for most newer cars you’re looking at an oil change around 5,000–7,500 miles. Keeping your car running on clean oil is critical to keeping your engine healthy. You should check your oil at least once every couple of weeks to make sure you have enough and that it is clean. If you’re running low or it’s dirty, you need to get that taken care of. Oil changes can be a little pricey, so if you want to save some money on car maintenance, learn how to change your oil yourself. You’ll only need to pay for the oil and tools instead of adding in costly labor to the price tag.

Get It Serviced

Cars need tune ups periodically to make sure they’re running at their best. Getting your car serviced professionally according to your owner’s manual can help you avoid needing to pay for expensive repairs down the road. A major service might involve replacing some of your car’s components, such as filters, spark plugs, and your timing belt. When it comes to parts replacements, quality matters. This isn’t the place to be cutting costs. You want to make sure you’re getting OEM parts because subpar auto parts can cause car performance issues. By using quality parts, you protect your car from these issues and can help extend the life of your car.

Clean It

Cleaning your car does more than just keeping it looking nice. It’s actually an important part of helping your car last as long as possible. Dirt and grit can get into moving parts, causing them to wear down faster. Keeping your paint in good condition can help prevent rust from developing. You should keep your car clean on the inside as well. If you ever end up needing to resell your car, how clean and well kept your car looks will have an impact on what you can sell it for.

Tire Maintenance

Maintaining your tires is another important part of making your car last as long as possible. You should check the air pressure in your tires regularly to ensure that you have just the right amount.  Not having enough or having too much can both cause problems for your tires and your car. Check your tread periodically to make sure you have enough to grip the road properly. Not having enough tread could easily land you in an accident that could total your car years in advance of when it might otherwise need to be scrapped. It’s also a good idea to rotate your tires to even out the wear on them. If you notice that your tires no longer have enough tread or if they become damaged, make sure you replace them with new ones. Don’t make the mistake of purchasing used tires, even if they are less expensive.

Change Your Filters

When you change your oil, you should change your oil filter too. Oil filters become clogged over time, which can cause a couple of problems. First, you may block the flow of oil to your engine, which can result in engine failure. Conversely, a dirty, clogged oil filter may allow contaminants to reach the engine, which will cause it to wear down more quickly. Your engine air filter should also be replaced periodically, typically every 15,000–30,000 miles, depending on your manufacturer’s recommendation. This also helps protect your engine from damage and helps it run more efficiently.

Top Off Your Fluids

In addition to ensuring that your oil is at an appropriate level, it’s important to check on your other car fluids and top those off when needed as well. Top off your coolant reservoir, your windshield washer fluid, your brake fluid, your transmission fluid, and your power steering fluid as needed. This will help keep your car running smoothly and prevent the damage that would otherwise occur if the fluids were too low. Keep in mind that overfilling can also cause damage, so be mindful to not overdo it.

Keep It Covered

Leaving your car exposed to the elements can really do a number on it. Between the sun’s heat, dirt and debris, bird droppings, tree sap, and rain, your car can be pretty vulnerable to damaging forces. Keeping your car covered, whether by using a car cover, a car port, or a garage, can significantly reduce your car’s exposure and keep it safer. Stowing your car in the garage has the additional benefits of reducing your risk of theft and may even get you a reduced rate on your car insurance.

Cars can potentially last for years and well over a hundred thousand miles. In order to accomplish this, you need to take good care of it and be diligent when it comes to car maintenance. If you do this, your car will last longer and you’ll get far more out of it. You’ll be able to go longer between purchasing new cars, and save money on more expensive repairs. Properly maintaining your vehicle really is the best way to go.

Read this next: What to Look for When Getting a New Car

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