Of a truth, cars cannot last forever but the truth is a car that is properly managed can serve its owner for a very long period of time if adequate measures are taken towards making the car last longer. This not only saves you from spending a fortune getting a new car every now and then; it also helps you manage the one you have at your disposal effectively and get your money’s worth.
These tips will help your car last longer on a regular basis:
Washing your car regularly not only makes it look neat, it also prolongs its life span by taking off contaminants from your vehicle. Accumulated dirt on the car will do more harm than good not only in the aspect of aesthetics but also in areas of functionality and longevity.
In cases where you don’t have the time to clean up your car, ensure you assign this responsibility to car washers or whoever it is that can ensure the clean state of the car is maintained at all time.
Use Heavy Duty Floor Mats
Whether you use your car over long distances or short, it is advisable to keep it as clean as possible so as to keep it in a good state in case of a resale during upgrade. This is achievable by using heavy duty floor mats in place of the factory mats. Heavy duty floor mats provide carpet protection for your car all year round.
Service Worn Out/Damaged Parts
By constantly servicing and replacing worn out vehicle parts, cars are kept in good shape; and when it’s in good shape, its life span is prolonged. Dilapidated car parts contribute negatively to the car’s functionality. Perform a routine check up on your care regularly so as to quickly take note of and replace damaged parts.
High-Performance Synthetic Lubrication
Clean lubrication on a regular basis is the best form of health insurance that can be given to a car. With the right budget, investment can be made in synthetic engine oil; after this, follow the manufacturer’s recommended viscosity and change intervals for both oil and filter.
While it’s true that synthetic oils cost more, they help to significantly lengthen oil change intervals, which can save you money in the long run and give the car engine great protection. In the case of a limited budget, opt for conventional engine oil and follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.
The beauty of synthetic engine oil is the extraordinary way it functions in the engine. It stands up to extreme heat and punishing loads while resisting oil breakdown. And because it maintains its lubricant properties longer, it also improves fuel economy.
Synthetic may seem like a lot of expense, but consider what it saves you in maintenance, repair and fuel consumption. If you don’t drive very many miles, the engine doesn’t have much of a chance to warm up and burn off crankcase condensation, and if you live in an extremely dusty environment, oil changes need to occur more frequently.
Cooling System Flush And Fill
Cooling systems should be flushed and replenished with fresh coolant every two years along with a new thermostat. Every four years, all cooling components, such as water pump and hoses, should be replaced, along with a complete flush and fill. The car radiator should be closely inspected for blockage and corrosion; this is very vital in making your car last longer
Clean coolant along with a corrosion inhibitor can virtually eliminate cooling system malfunction issues. Any reputable auto repair shop can reverse flush the cooling system and service it with fresh coolant in about one hour. If budget allows, investigate the use of a non-aqueous coolant that never has to be replaced.
Make Use Of Manufacturer’s Suggested Octane Rating
Choosing the right automotive fuel isn’t as complex as we try to make it out to be. All you really need to be concerned with is the fuel’s octane rating and percentage of ethanol. If driving a newer vehicle, the only concern is the manufacturer’s recommended octane.
Octane rating isn’t about performance, but instead the fuel’s spark-knock rating. The higher the octane rating, the more stable the fuel. In other words, octane indicates how much compression the fuel/air mixture can take before it ignites. It also indicates how quickly the fuel ignites.
In the old days, tetra-ethyl lead was used to increase octane levels. Since the 1980s, when lead was removed from automotive fuels, other additives have been employed as octane enhancers, such as benzene and ethanol. Today’s octane ratings range from 86 to 93 depending on where you live.
Most motor vehicles operate fine on 86 to 87 octanes without spark knock. High-performance vehicles want more octanes in the 91 to 93 octane range. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual to ascertain the right octane for your car or truck.
Tire Mileage Vs. Tire Time
In recent years we have started paying closer attention to tire age as well as mileage. We’re always proud when we can squeeze extraordinary mileage out of a set of tires. However, as tires age, they deteriorate from stresses, temperature variances and UV rays.
New tires are flexible and tolerant of all kinds of conditions but gradually lose flexibility because lubricants and chemicals that keep them flexible go away over time, making them unsafe and more prone to failure.
You need to know how to tell if you need new tires. Although you may have tires with a lot of tread life left in them, they may not have a lot of life left in them, especially if you have allowed them to become under-inflated or you live in a harsh environment such as the desert. Replace tires when they reach the age of five to six years old or when you begin to see dry rot cracking or tread separation.
Regular Chassis Lubrication
Although very few new vehicles call for chassis lubrication these days, there are some that still require lube jobs. And if you own a classic car, you know where all of its grease jerks are. Every time you change engine oil, perform chassis lubrication. This keeps the steering linkage and universal joints operating smoothly. And don’t forget lubricating door checks, latches and locks while you’re at it.
Emissions Control System
This is easily the most neglected part of an automobile, but surely one of the most important systems. Catalytic converters tend to be life-of-the-vehicle components, yet they should be checked every 100,000 to 200,000 miles for optimum performance. Oxygen sensors should be checked at every tune-up.
Automatic transmission service should be performed regularly follow your manufacturer’s recommendation. I personally suggest replacing the fluid and filter every 20,000 to 30,000 miles. As automatic transmissions operate, friction material from clutches and bands gets into the fluid, causing unnecessary seal wear and ultimately causing transmission failure. Clean fluid is key to long transmission life because it minimizes seal and friction material wear and tear.
Replace Serpentine Belt
In this age of maintenance-free everything; there are some components that require periodic service. Accessory drive belts of all kinds require replacement. Old school V-belts should be replaced every 30,000 miles or when they look dry rotted and worn. Late-model serpentine belts are good for 75,000 miles.
Tire Rotation and Inflation
Tire maintenance and care should include regular rotations (tires rotated from front to back on the same side, never crisscross), proper inflation, and routine front-end alignment. If you stay on top of these tasks, you will get maximum tire life and avoid tire age safety issues.
Could we be missing out on any tips? Kindly share what actions you take towards making your car last longer.