200,000 miles is an average lifespan of a car, but if you don’t pay attention to car care, this number will decrease significantly. Even though the manufacturer and model also affect the durability of the car, they don’t play a critical role. There are multiple factors that 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 the most out of the used car you purchased, you have to follow the same steps to improve the durability 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.
20 AUTOCARE TIPS THAT WILL MAKE YOUR CAR LAST LONGER
1. Buy the right vehicle
First things first, if an automobile is not meant to last long, you can’t do anything to 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 will truly reflect the lifespan of your vehicle, but it is meant for approximation solely. Even so, mileage is an important factor for the customers.
Car makers aren’t always entirely sincere or simply exaggerate the stats for boosting sales. Hence, it is always advisable to ask an expert i.e. almighty google for advice. There are many enthusiasts who are willing to share their experiences related to the lifespan of their vehicles. 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 SUV models);
- Chevrolet (applies to trucks and SUVs only);
This is not the full list of cars that can last for a long time. But if you were considering one of these vehicles anyway, you can undoubtedly purchase it without further research.
2. Change the driving habits
Despite the multiple positive feedbacks, some still 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 pay attention to autocare. However, if you are one of those drivers who prefer to test the speed limits of their vehicle constantly and even make unusual maneuvers, you may find 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.
By modifying your driving habits, you’ll also be able to increase the mileage of your vehicle. In other words, you’ll be able to save some money on fuel.
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 in working condition. The air-con systems sometimes leak refrigerant gas; however, this process might accelerate if you don’t use them 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. However, 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 – we can all agree that it’s not the most desirable outcome.
4. Auto Care 101: 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 thought 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 tears and holes. Lastly, this can help you to discover any issues that require 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.
If you have the resources, consider investing in professional detailing from time to time as it will take your auto care to a whole new level. But if you can’t afford this procedure, you can buy a complete car care kit and do everything yourself.
5. Purchase quality automotive parts for total car care
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 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 that 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. After all, buying one quality part will translate into total car care.
The country of origin effect is usually 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’re already considering changing your living place, this might be another reason for you. If you live in a place where snowy weather is quite common, you’d notice that the roads are constantly salted. Unfortunately, the latter is the main cause of 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. If you already feel fed up with your cold region, it might be more profitable to move to a different place in terms of your automobile’s maintenance. 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 usually have to 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. Therefore, it’s also an important step for proper car care.
You can consult the auto guide or the manual of your automobile as it contains recommended pressure stats for your car. Under-inflated tires significantly affect your vehicle, causing high maintenance costs. Likewise, they can cause irreversible problems that will result in much more trouble 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 i.e. a complete car care guide
Let’s admit – no one likes reading manuals as they can be quite boring. Sometimes it contains information that we’re not interested in or seems useless. Nevertheless, reading a manual of your vehicle is essential as it can provide useful and valuable information. To say the truth, some of the information won’t be necessary. So, you can just skip to the part that includes the maintenance schedule. The latter will be based on the specific characteristics of the model of your automobile.
This information is especially important if you’re not one of those gearheads who knows a lot about all the vehicles out there. Following the schedule of the recommended maintenance is essential for determining all the 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 who is capable of total car care
We have already discussed the role of car parts; however, it is important to mention that even premium quality parts won’t work properly if not installed appropriately. There is a plethora of so-called mechanics out there who chose this profession without appropriate knowledge, solely to get money for life.
Make sure that they aren’t solely a good mechanic, but also have specific knowledge of your car’s model. Every automobile is unique in its way and it is vital to know the specific characteristics of the vehicle you are dealing with. Moreover, after finding such a person, make sure that you always bring your car to them. They will already know the condition of your vehicle and can make necessary changes without further investigation.
10. Use your car regularly, but not too frequently
If you want other autocare tips to work, it is vital to use your vehicle 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. Basically, you have to find a golden mean for the annual mileage that will allow you to make your car last longer. There are a plethora of factors that affect the condition of your vehicle. Though, frequent usage is the main criterion that lessens its lifespan significantly.
Moreover, finding a silver lining for the annual mileage has other perks as well. Insurance companies also care about the number of miles you drive annually. By being proactive, you won’t have to worry that the car insurance mileage limit is exceeded at the end of the year.
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. However, if you truly intend to enhance the durability of your vehicle, you have to make sure that you find the underlying reason for this light. The sudden appearance of warning lights will occur even more frequently when the automobile gets significantly old. This won’t happen without a reason – trust me, there are some issues that even mechanics can’t 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 a 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. It’s always better to examine the vehicle when it’s still possible to repair the damage.
Never, ever ignore the smell
If you check the oil on your own and it smells burnt, it means 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. Neglecting these problems can cause major issues, such as engine failure. If the damages to the engine are serious enough, it mightn’t even be worth replacing. Hence, to keep your car last longer, make sure you consult a mechanic if you smell something unusual.
12. For proper auto care, use good gasoline
Sometimes it is tempting to use the cheapest options on the pump to reduce the expenses. Unfortunately, many people don’t know the consequences of low-quality gasoline. If you would like to extend the lifespan of your car, it is vital to consider this criterion carefully. 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. This means that 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’re not fond of extreme driving, you can notice annoying issues related to the acceleration of your automobile during ordinary daily conditions.
These basic auto care tips can boost the performance of your car significantly and extend its durability at the same time.
13. Don’t run on empty
All petroleum products (despite the quality) leave a certain amount of sediment at the bottom of your fuel tank. Even though this may seem harmless, 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. In that case, you won’t have any other options but replace the motor. Since 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. Don’t forget that global prices shift regularly and the motor might cost even more in a year or two.
14. Keep your automobile covered
If you think that keeping your car in the garage is solely a security measure, you may have to think again. As we’ve already discussed, 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.
If you don’t have a garage, you can also use a high-quality car cover. This will protect the exterior of your vehicle from damage and vandalism at the same time. Similarly, this can also help to cut your insurance premium significantly depending on the insurance company that you are dealing with.
To crank things up, you could also use complete car care kits with formulas that protect the exterior from rust, scratches, and environmental damage.
15. Keep the weight down for total car care
It is a well-known fact that the weight of the car affects the acceleration and fuel consumption of the vehicle significantly. The main result of excessive weight (which we usually overlook) is that it puts too much strain on the wear-and-tear parts of your vehicle. Parts such 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 stuff 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. Plus, it will help you improve the gas mileage of your car.
16. Maintain your car’s battery
Some of the suggestions that we’ve already talked about will apply to the car’s battery, as the weather conditions and the frequency of usage affect it as well. It is an important component since your car won’t start without it.
Try to drive your vehicle at least once per week to avoid the degradation of your battery. If it still dies, 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 auto care step that you can take in advance without much effort. Changing these components is quite inexpensive as it doesn’t require a mechanic. You can easily replace them yourself. It’s important to replace these parts time by time as they wear out easily compared to other components.
You have to remember that the “well-being” of these parts will affect the performance of your car significantly. It’s always better to be proactive and avoid unnecessary expenses in the future.
18. Top up fluids regularly as a preventive autocare measure
Fluids are the lifeblood of your car and, therefore, it’s essential to replenish them frequently. The most important liquid that you have to care about is oil. Changing it once per 5,000 miles is necessary to keep the engine running. Moreover, you should check it every two weeks to make sure that it is at an optimal level. Make sure that it is between the minimum and maximum markers. Pay attention to the color: it should be a light yellowy-brown color in the case of petrol engines. It can be slightly darker for diesel engines, but that isn’t 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. These measures are part of total car care and are necessary for the smooth operation of the vehicle.
19. Rust-proof your car
As we’ve already mentioned, rust can be an important issue with your vehicle. To avoid such difficulties, it is vital to rust-proof it when necessary. Don’t skip this step if you live in an area where the car is exposed to either snow or rain.
20. Test your vehicle frequently
The last step of autocare is to check it frequently for any inconsistencies. There are multiple methods to do so. Though, the most reliable way is to test yourself.
The best tool for such testing is a mileage stopper that will allow you to test your vehicle in a controllable environment without recording unnecessary miles. This tool is frequently referred to by different names, so make sure you’re buying the correct module. It’s 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, which is why car care is so important. If you would like to enhance the lifespan of your car, it is vital to follow all the steps we’ve already mentioned. Even though sometimes it can be exhausting to deal with all these issues, it is the most cost-efficient choice you can make. Being proactive always pays off and will save you not only money but trouble associated with its maintenance as well.