Drivers who know how to properly treat their vehicle with regular upkeep and maintenance, as well as proper driving technique, get far more kilometers out of their purchase than those who don’t.
We’re going to share the most important tips to help make your car last a long time and show you how this could potentially save you thousands of dollars over time.
1. Don’t ignore your owner’s manual
Inside the glove box of every purchased car is an owner’s manual. Consider this your bible for taking good care of your car. Ignore it and you could be sent to car repair hell. The owner’s manual includes your car’s maintenance schedule, like when to plan major services like oil and filter changes, tire rotations, belt replacements, etc. Staying on top of these recommended maintenance schedules will help you avoid the kind of costly breakdowns that bite into your bank account or credit card.
2. Don’t slip on oil changes
Oil is the lifeblood of the car. It pumps through your engine and keeps it lubricated and cooled. Regular oil changes are Maintenance 101, and your owner’s manual will usually tell you when it’s time to get it changed. If you fail at this, you could do some serious damage to your engine.
3. Keep it fluid
Oil isn’t the only vital fluid in the car engine you need to be mindful of. There’s brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and wiper fluid to name a few. It can be overwhelming. However, the good news is most vehicles these days have indicator lights to alert you when you need to attend to these. Still, it helps to check them (and your owner’s manual) regularly to avoid any unexpected issues.
4. Protect your car from the elements
Canada is a four-season climate which means cars take a beating compared to an all-year sunny place like Los Angeles. If your car is covered in snow, pounded by rain, or exposed to gusts of debris on a regular basis, your paint job is going to take a beating and your vehicle will lose value. Always park in a garage if possible or at least cover it to protect it from harsher conditions.
5. Pump up your tire inspection
Here are four reasons to monitor and maintain correct tire pressure on your four wheels.
- It extends the life of your tires, saving you money.
- It improves safety by giving you better traction and handling during higher speed.
- It helps avoid blowouts that cause expensive replacement costs.
- Deflated tire pressure leads to low fuel economy because your engine must work extra hard. That’s right, poorly inflated tires can increase your gas costs!
6. Don’t be a car slob
While it’s tempting to throw takeout containers in the backseat, never to be seen again, the smells can linger and get into the upholstery. If your car smells like a drive-thru, it’s going to bring down the value of your vehicle significantly. And that goes extra for exterior cleanliness. Don’t forget to visit the car wash on a regular basis, especially in winter when roads are covered in paint-damaging, rust-inducing road salts. A clean car goes a long way toward better resale value.
7. Filters to breathe easy
Imagine filters like a pair of lungs for your car. When your vehicle breathes in dirt and dust while on the road, air filters catch that debris and keep the engine running smoothly. But that’s just one type of filter. There are also oil and fuel filters that trap unwanted sediments. Air filters increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and ultimately prolong the engine’s life. The best part is they are relatively inexpensive to replace. Check your owner’s manual for when it’s time to replace a filter.
8. Pay a little extra for quality
Investing in cheap car parts or products could cause serious damage to your car and lead to expensive repairs. From the engine oil and transmission fluid to how you’re washing the exterior of your car, you’ll be doing more harm than good with low-quality products.
9. Drive smooth
Your driving techniques have a huge impact on how long your car lasts. Driving your car smoothly means planning your stops to avoid slamming on your brakes. It also means staying alert of your surroundings and avoiding potholes, bumps, and other mishaps on the road. Driving smoothly will minimize wear on your vehicle, save fuel, increase the longevity of your car, and most importantly, keep you safe.
10. Be proactive in getting repairs
Postponing car repairs could result in serious malfunctions, not to mention, an incredibly high service bill. Don’t ignore the warning signs of a mechanical problem. The payoff is thousands of dollars saved, and all it takes is a little preventative care to ensure that your car remains in tiptop shape.
WRITER: JANESSA ELLIS
SOURCE: CANADA DRIVERS
DATE PUBLISHED: APRIL 15 2020
PHOTO CREDIT: QUICK RIDER