With proper care and attention, it’s possible to keep a car in good shape for a long time. This can result in big savings, as you won’t need to buy new cars as much. Here’s a guide for how to make your car last a decade and beyond.
Change Your Oil Filter and Air Filter Regularly
Many people look after their car decently well but forget some of the basics. They don’t take it in to have the oil and air filter changed often enough and wonder what’s wrong. In many cases changing something like the air filter really isn’t that hard either, and you can learn how to do it yourself and save money.
If your air filter or oil filter are getting clogged up it takes a major toll on the health of your car, leading to a shorter lifespan and cause other related issues that can have your car headed for the junkyard well before its time.¹
Deal With Problems Instead of Ignoring Them
This one may seem obvious but it’s a more common problem than you would think. If you hear a clunking or a wrenching sound when you turn then take your car to the mechanic. The truth is that 95% of problems don’t go away when you ignore them, they just fester and get worse, drastically reducing the life span of your car.
When you see the blinking “service soon” lights don’t assume it’s just a broken indicator and take it in to get checked. The more attention you pay to your car the more you will make sure it has a long and happy life – plus you’ll save money in the long run.²
Keep Your Car’s Burden Light
It can be tempting to load your car up with too much stuff, whether it be work supplies, kids toys, or other things you never got around to unloading.
However, keeping your car light will actually take a considerable strain off the engine, brakes and transmission. In addition, keeping your car lighter will give you more gas mileage per gallon, which is always a plus.³
Maintenance is one of those words that’s taken for granted in many cases with cars. It can often feel like you are throwing money away. But the truth is that maintenance really counts and it can greatly increase your car’s overall life.
Make sure to have the oil and air filters changed regularly as mentioned above, and have the car brought in for a regular checkup on the tires, transmission, engine, windshield wipers and every other possible issue that could come up.
Sometimes a small problem can be nipped in the bud before it becomes a costly problem down the road. Always make sure your mechanic uses top-notch parts, as sub-standard, low quality auto parts can also be a big drag on your car’s life cycle.⁴
Warm Up Before Driving
One of the most common reasons that cars break down and enter a cycle of problems is extremely simple: people don’t warm up. If you don’t warm up your car you are forcing thick oil that isn’t ready through your motor and putting a major strain on it. You need to boost up your engine and get it warm and humming and ready to drive.
Let your car idle for at least one minute before driving, and start slow. Don’t rev up a relatively cold engine too hard at first. It’s really bad for it. Once the heater is blowing nice and warm you’re ready to put the pedal to the metal.²
Look After Your Battery
The battery is a very integral part of your car. One way to keep good care of it if you’re not driving often is to use a trickle charger when it’s sitting around. Try to drive your car at least once a week and avoid jumpstarting to help the battery.¹
Go Really Fast – Sometimes
In most everyday driving you generally don’t get above 3,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). That’s fine, but every now and then you should be cranking up your RPM very high all the way to 6,000 or so on the wide open highway to clean out carbon buildup on the combustion chamber, intake manifold and valves. Carbon buildup can cause all sorts of issues.³