Just because your loan is paid off, or you hit the 100,000 mile mark doesn’t mean you have to start car shopping – if you treat your car right, nowadays cars can last to 200,000, 300,000 or sometimes even longer. Here’s some simple tips to help make your car last longer.
Don’t Cut Corners
Don’t cut corners to save a buck – to help extend the life of your engine when you have your oil changed use a high grade filter, and pay a bit more for the high quality synthetic oil. In cold weather, this will help maintain the oil’s fluidity and it will be less likely to break down when the engine gets hot. While it cost you more upfront, it saves you money in the long run helping your engine last longer; same thing with the good filter, it can help eliminate any unwanted particles from the oil.
Always Maintain Your Fluids
Your owners manual will tell you that you probably don’t need to check your power steering, brake fluid or coolant for the first few years, but honestly it’s a smart idea to check at least every 20k miles. Make sure its consistent, and if any feel gritty or smell funny, you’ll probably need a fluid change.
If your orange coolant is dark red, most definitely change it! Also if it’s cloudy – that means your engine may need service. It wouldn’t hurt to change the transmission fluid every 35k miles or so and of course, using high-quality transmission fluid as well, which will offer better protection if the transmission gets hot .
Baby Your Baby
If your car has been parked over night (or especially if it’s been parked longer) don’t just start up and drive off. During the period it has been sitting the oil settles in the oil pan leaving moving parts in the engine without lubrication. Wait at least a minute or so to allow your car to warm up without revving the engine, so that the oil pump can do its job.
Slow and Steady Win the Race
This is more than just road rage – you don’t need to accelerate quickly, or slam on the brakes, or throw your car into reverse before you are fully stopped – all of those things can really wear on your vehicle – and break it down before it should be.
If you take the time to keep up the maintenance and treat your car right, it will treat you right back. You should be able to keep watching that odometer rolling several thousand miles more than you ever thought possible!