7 Easy Ways To Extend The Life of Your Car
March 9th, 2016 by Eli P
Cars cost a lot of money, so it makes sense to take good care of them. You can extend the life of your car, and maximize your return on investment, by practicing the following routine maintenance procedures.
Know what to do and when.
First, get to know your car by carefully reviewing the owner’s manual. In particular, pay close attention to the section on scheduled maintenance so you know when different procedures are required. Keeping up with basic maintenance on the engine, drive train, cooling system, and even the exterior of your car can prevent big problems that lead to costly repairs.
Change the oil on a regular basis.
This is one of the most basic and most important maintenance procedures. Whether you do it on your own or take your car to a “quickie” oil change service, few things will do more to protect your engine, especially on older cars. The general rule of thumb is to change the oil every three to five thousand miles, or at least every six months. Be sure to change the oil filter as well.
Check the fluids.
Fluids play an important role in keeping your car running smoothly and safely. At least once a month (more for older cars), check the levels of your engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and radiator coolant, and top off as needed. If a fluid is constantly low, have a mechanic check for signs of a leak.
Change the air filter.
This simple task often gets overlooked, but a dirty or clogged air filter will significantly reduce the performance and efficiency of your engine, and cause you to spend more on gas. Air filters can be purchased at any auto store, and are easily changed in a matter of minutes. Check your owner’s manual to determine the correct size and type for your car.
Rotate the tires.
Tires can wear unevenly and even get out of balance if not regularly rotated. Rotating them every six to eight thousand miles will not only extend the life of your tires, it will also extend the life of your car. Many tire retailers will rotate your tires for free as long as you purchase them at their store.
Change the spark plugs.
When spark plugs get worn out or covered in grime or grease, your engine can’t work properly. This will reduce your gas mileage and can also lead to other engine problems that require expensive repairs. Unless you have some experience with auto work, it’s best to leave this maintenance procedure to the professionals.
Wash your car regularly.
Some might not consider this as maintenance. But a little elbow grease will not only keep your car looking good, it will also go a long way towards preventing rust, corrosion and other types of damage to the body and undercarriage. If you live near the ocean or in cold areas where the roads are regularly salted in the winter, frequent washings are especially important.
Today’s cars are built to last – if you take care of them. Whether you perform the maintenance yourself or leave it to the pros, doing it in a timely, scheduled manner will keep your car looking and driving good for a long time.
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