200,000 miles is an average lifespan of a car, but this number will be different depending on the maker and the model of the car. Nevertheless, multiple factors influence the health of your vehicle and you have to be aware of them.
Whether you would like to make your brand-new vehicle last longer, or get most of the second-hand car that you purchased, you have to follow the same steps that will improve the lifespan of your “life companion”. Keeping your car running longer will not only make your automobile usable for a long time, but it will also lessen the unnecessary expenses that are unavoidable once in a while.
How to make your car last a long time?
1. Buy the right vehicle
First things first, if an automobile is not meant to last long, you cannot do anything that will increase its lifespan. There are multiple threads online that provide information about the specific cars with their approximate longevity. The automakers always state the mileage, as a measurement representing the distance that you can drive without facing any major difficulties with your vehicle. The mileage is not the sole factor that truly reflects the lifespan of your vehicle, but it is meant for approximation solely.
The carmakers sometimes are not entirely sincere or simply exaggerate the stats for boosting sales. Hence, it is always advisable to ask almighty google about the advice, as many enthusiasts are willing to share their experience related to the lifespan of their vehicle. To ease the pain of surfing the web, we made a list of cars that have proven to have superior longevity:
- Toyota (exceeding 250,000 miles);
- Mazda: (Up to 200,000 miles);
- Ford (only applies to trucks and SUVs models);
- Chevrolet (applies to trucks and SUVs only);
This is not the full list of cars that can last noticeably long, but if you have already had in mind one of these vehicles, you can undoubtedly purchase it without further research.
2. Change the driving habits
Despite the multiple positive feedbacks, some claim that they didn’t have the same experience in terms of the longevity of seemingly harmless automobiles. Such inconsistencies are usually caused by multiple factors that affect the lifespan of your vehicle.
To keep your car running long, it is vital to take appropriate care of it. Though, if you are one of those drivers who prefer to test the speed limits of your vehicle constantly and even make unusual maneuvers, you may find out that your automobile is not immortal. If your priority is to make your car last longer, it is inevitable to avoid driving excessively fast and using brakes unnecessarily.
3. Use your air conditioning regularly
The air conditioning is one of those parts of the vehicle that you have to use time by time to keep it in a working condition. The air-con systems sometimes leak refrigerant gas; however, this process might accelerate if you don’t use it frequently. We call it re-gassing and it can significantly damage your automobile, as all the parts of your car act as one and affect the performance of one another.
If you would like to extend the lifespan of your automobile to avoid extra expenses, you might find this topic quite contradictory. Using air conditioning usually causes the usage of more fuel that is associated with more expenses. Though re-gassing can also cost you around 70$ and it can also damage the other parts of your automobile. Not to mention blowing cold air in the winter that is not the most desirable outcome.
4. Keep Your Machine Clean
Cleaning your vehicle doesn’t simply make it look good, but it also helps to keep your car last longer. This opinion is not sometimes given enough thoughts when considering the automobile’s preservation methods. nevertheless, it truly is a crucial point that you have to take into account.
Washing and waxing your car can prevent the rusting process and will preserve the paint much better. Correspondingly, vacuuming can minimize premature wear, which is the usual cause of the tears and holes. Lastly, this can help you to discover any issues that require your prompt action. For instance, if there are any faulty parts or cracks that require your attention you will be able to find out about them before the situation escalates and leads to excess expenses.
5. Purchase quality parts
Who is not tempted to purchase a car part that is not visible on the outside, looks the same, and costs 3 times less? This is usually the main cause that leads to engine failure or any other problems either related to the part that you changed or with any other parts, which it interacts with.
If you search for your automobile’s parts you will find multiple providers; However, it is essential to either buy it from a manufacturer or from a reliable provider, which produces premium quality products. Even though this solution might cost you a lot, consider it to be a long-term investment as it can outlast three low-quality products.
Country of origin effect usually is an important determinant while you consider different providers for your parts. For instance, Germany is well known for its unrivaled quality of car parts, whilst China is well known for its low-quality and low-price products.
6. Consider moving to a different place
It may seem silly, but if you have already had thought of changing your living place, this might be another reason for you. If you live in a place that is well known for its snowy weather, most likely the roads will be constantly salted, which is the main cause for rust damage. Likewise, rainy climates and beach areas with a salt spray can also cause premature rust and corrosion.
The cars thrive in sunny areas and if you already feel fed up with your cold region, it might be more profitable in terms of your automobile’s maintenance to move to a different place. The rust is an important issue that you have to deal with instantly as it can become irreversible if you don’t take appropriate measures.
7. Keep your tires properly inflated and rotated
This is the most important safety measure that we have to usually take into consideration to avoid a car accident. Having the tires inflated just right will not only keep your gas expenses low but will also save your vehicle from wear and tear. Though, it is also an important step to keep your vehicle run longer.
You can consult the handbook of your automobile as you can get recommended pressure stats for your automobile. Under-inflated tires significantly affect your vehicle, causing high maintenance costs. Likewise, it can cause irreversible problems that will cause you much more troubles in the long run. Hence, if you sometimes feel lazy to inflate the tires when necessary, think of the long-term consequences that your actions might have on your car.
8. Read the owner’s manual
Let’s admit no one likes reading manuals as they can be quite boring. Sometimes it even contains the information that we are not interested in or simply it is quite useless for us. Nevertheless, reading a car manual of your vehicle is essential as it can provide valuable information, that you might need. Likewise, to say the truth some information is not even necessary, so you can just skip to the part where it states the timing of its maintenance based on the specific characteristics of the model of your automobile.
This information is especially important if you are not one of those gearheads who knows a lot about all the vehicles out there. Following the schedule of the recommended maintenance is essential to determine all flaws that require your prompt attention. As we have already discussed, this might become a serious problem after some time.
9. Find a trustworthy mechanic
We have already discussed the role of car parts; however, it is important to mention that even premium quality parts will not work properly if not installed appropriately. There is a plethora of so-called mechanics out there who chose this profession without appropriate knowledge.
Make sure that he is not simply a good mechanic, but also has specific knowledge of your car’s model. Every automobile is unique in its way. Hence, it is vital to know specific characteristics of the vehicle you are dealing with. Moreover, after finding such person, make sure that you always bring your car to him. He will already know the condition of your car and can make necessary changes without further investigation.
10. Use your car regularly, but not too frequently
To keep your car last longer, it is vital to use it at least once per week. This will make sure that the battery doesn’t go flat, fuel doesn’t go stale and the clutch and the brakes don’t seize up. Simply using your automobile once per week will allow you to avoid all these problems. Even though it might be like the best buddy for you, never forget that it is still made of metal and is prone to getting rusty.
On the other hand, your automobile will be significantly damaged if you don’t give it a rest time by time. Find a golden mean for the annual mileage that will allow you to make your car last longer. There is a plethora of factors that affect the condition of your vehicle. Though, frequent usage is the main criterion that lessens its lifespan significantly.
11. Don’t ignore the signs
Never, ever ignore the warning lights
You may have heard that these lights sometimes blink for no reason and you can neglect them. Though, if you truly intend to keep your car last longer, you have to make sure that you find the underlying reason for this light. These blinks are even more frequent when the automobile gets significantly old. Though, not without a reason, as there might be some issues that even mechanic could not determine. The prolongation of the lifespan of your car requires you to be more cautious when you notice any signs of potential damage.
Never, ever ignore odd noises
The noise can sometimes be misleading. Most of the time it can be caused by a rock or any other object that you might encounter on the road; however, it can also be the sign that a certain part of your car is not working properly. If you are not sure what caused the unusual noises, take your automobile to the mechanic instantly.
Never, ever ignore the smell
If you check the oil on your own and it smells burnt, that will indicate that the engine is not using enough fuel. Similarly, if your car has a dipstick to check the level of the automatic transmission fluid, the burnt smell will be a bad sign as well. Neglecting these problems can cause such major issue as engine failure, which sometimes is not even worth replacing. Hence, to keep your car last longer make sure that you consult a mechanic if you smell something unusual.
12. Use Good Gasoline
Sometimes it is tempting to use the cheapest options on the pump, as it can significantly lessen the expenses. Unfortunately, a plethora of people doesn’t know the consequences of low-quality gasoline. If you would like to keep your car run longer, it is vital to consider this criterion carefully, as low-grade fuel will affect your car’s engine and its acceleration. In most cases, the engine is the most expensive part of any automobile, and being careless can cost a lot in the long run. Correspondingly, it is not the only part that is affected, low-quality gasoline deteriorates the condition of many other parts. Lastly, even if you are not fond of extreme driving, you can notice annoying issues related to the acceleration of your automobile during the ordinary daily conditions.
13. Don’t run on empty
Despite the quality of gasoline that you use, all petroleum products leave a certain amount of sediment at the bottom of your fuel tank. Even though this may seem a harmless consequence of your ordinary car usage, it can become quite problematic after some time. These outcomes become detrimental when your gas gets low, as these sediments get pushed into the engine.
As you may have already guessed, time by time this will destroy the engine entirely and leave you without other option than changing the engine entirely. Considering that the price of this vital part starts from $4,000 it would be great if you were proactive and simply filled in the fuel tank on time.
14. Keep your automobile covered
If you have thought that keeping your car in the garage is solely the security measure, you may have to think again. As we have already discussed above the weather can significantly affect the condition of your vehicle. Since keeping your car in the street for a long time can expose it to harsh weather conditions, it is always advisable to keep it in the garage.
In case if you don’t have a garage, you can also use a high-quality car cover. This will also increase the lifespan of your automobile and keep it safe from vandalism. Similarly, this can also help to cut your insurance premium significantly depending on the insurance company that you are dealing with.
15. Keep the weight down
It is a well-known fact that the weight of the car significantly affects the acceleration and fuel consumption of your “life companion”. Though, the main consequence that is sometimes overlooked is that it puts too much strain on wear-and-tear pars of your vehicle. Such parts as tires, brakes, and suspension bushes are significantly affected by the excess weight of your vehicle. Hence, you will have to replace them quite frequently, unless you want them to damage the other parts as well.
To make your car last longer, remove any unnecessary staff from your automobile and make it as lightweight as possible. This will not only save you some money, but it will also keep your “life companion” clean and tidy.
16. Maintain your car’s battery
Some of the suggestions that we have already talked about will apply to the car’s battery as well, as it is highly affected by the weather conditions and the frequency of its usage. It is an important component as without this part your car will not be able to start.
Try to drive your vehicle at least once per week to avoid the degradation of your battery. Nevertheless, if it still runs out of energy consider using a trickle charger to keep the battery topped-up after keeping it in a stationary condition for a long time. Jump-starting the automobile can damage the engine management system as it puts too much strain on essential parts of the vehicle.
17. Replace spark plugs and leads
This is the easiest step you can take in advance without much effort. Changing these components doesn’t only cost significantly low, but it also doesn’t require the interference of the mechanic. These parts have to be replaced time by time as they wear out easily compared to other components. Likewise, the well-being of these parts will significantly affect the performance of your car and it is always worth being proactive to avoid unnecessary expenses in the future.
18. Top up fluids regularly
Fluids are the lifeblood of your car and it is essential to replenish them frequently. The most important liquid that you have to care about is oil. Even if you change it once per 5,000 miles it will be fine; however, check it every two weeks to make sure that it is in optimal level. Make sure that it is between the minimum and maximum markers and that it is light yellowy-brown color in case of petrol engines (in case of diesel engine even dark color of the oil is not a sign of alarm).
Correspondingly, make sure to check the fortnightly coolant reservoir. If necessary, top it up with 50% distilled water and 50% antifreeze.
19. Have your car rust-proofed
As we have already mentioned, rust can be an important issue with your vehicle. To avoid such difficulties, it is vital to rust-proof it when necessary. Make sure that your car is rust-proof, especially if you live in the area where it is exposed to either snow or rain.
20. Test your vehicle frequently
Last but not least, to keep your car last longer you have to make sure that you check it frequently for any inconsistencies. There are multiple methods to do so. Though, the most reliable way is to test by yourself.
The best tool for such testing is a mileage stopper tool that will allow you to test your vehicle in a controllable environment without recording unnecessary miles. This tool is frequently referred by different names, but it is vital to purchase a premium quality product that you can even use later to compensate for incorrect mileage caused by irregular tire size.
The lifespan of your car is always in your hands. If you would like to make a car last more than 200,000 miles, it is vital to follow all the steps that we have already mentioned. Even though sometimes it can be exhausting to deal with all these issues, it is the most cost-efficient choice that you can make. Being proactive always pays off and will save you not only the money but the trouble associated with its maintenance as well.