Extend the Life of Your Car — Top of the Best Tips from Experts
No car is designed to last, no matter how much does it cost. But if you pay attention to a few basic things, you can extend the life of your favorite vehicle.
Anyone who has bought a new car usually wants to drive it for as long as possible. At the end of the day, an expensive purchase must also be justified. Cars are used on average for 10 to 11 years before they end up in scrap metal, and the expected service life can be about 15 years. But if you heed the following tips, you can enjoy your car for a much longer time.
The lifespan of modern vehicles might be easily extended. It is especially effortless when high-quality materials and advanced components are used in the manufacture of cars. Accordingly, they should not wear out and are easy to maintain.
The lifespan of all vehicles can be extended if the owner pays attention to care and maintenance. Such mending should always be carried out by a specialist who quickly and reliably finds errors and corrects them. Careful driving can also extend the lifespan, and it not only prevents accidents and reduces excessive wear on vehicle components. Therefore, it is sometimes possible to achieve a vehicle service life of 15 years or even more.
What does the mileage of cars depend on?
Firstly, it all comes down to the human factor. Careful driving and use can significantly extend the life of the vehicle. For instance, frequent short trips, during which the engine does not get warm enough, are just as harmful as driving at very high speeds. If the car is regularly moved and used over long distances, life expectancy will also increase.
Regular and thorough maintenance is also essential. It, in particular, includes a timely oil change, which must be done differently depending on the model. You can find the relevant information in the instructions for the vehicle. In addition, you should not save on parts and invest in good quality.
Special operating conditions: under the sun and in winter
A full blaze of the sun can damage the car, and the sun impairments the paint on the body, causing the interior to burn out and the skin to crack. If possible, you should also park in the shade.
Traveling by car in winter is also detrimental. Salt corrodes metal and body paint, and a long warm-up will wear out the motor. It is better to plan your trips so that the route is without long stops: the heated oil lubricates the parts well.
Use conditioner regularly
The following recommendation concerns the air conditioner. Some auto owners choose not to use it. It is generally accepted that frequent use of an air conditioner in a vehicle increases fuel consumption, and it is entirely accurate. Nevertheless, such a pattern does not mean that the device should be turned on as rarely as possible. Conversely, infrequent use can damage the cooling system, causing fluid leakage. As a result, the loss of fuel will be more significant. Consequently, modern car air conditioning systems are pretty effective, and not using them for several months can lead to the fact that after their activation, coolant leaks might occur due to damaged seals and other components.
Keep the car clean
Dust, dirt, and salt accumulate on the underbody, fenders, interior, and body parts. Small particles will scratch the paint, resulting in rusting. The car wash should be visited regularly, and the bottom should be additionally treated with anti-corrosion agents to extend the car's life. The entire body should be covered with wax to fill in micro-cracks in the paint and prevent aggressive substances' ingress.
By the way, it is important to pay attention to what the car’s interior looks like. One can judge the owner and his attitude toward his iron friend. Sitting in an unkempt, dirty interior, you will surely hear extraneous noise and rumbling or rattling, although the car may not be quite old.
It is much more pleasant to drive in a clean and comfortable car with a pleasant aroma while enjoying the quiet music and looking at the landscapes passing by. In a wet cabin, electronic devices may fail, and unpleasant odors may appear. Therefore, remember to take care of the cabin and seats - your car will last much longer with a caring attitude.
Go for corresponding speeds
It is well known that the engine wears a lot at the limit of the red speed range. The standard speed range of 1500 to 3000 rpm spares the motor. Driving at too low a speed also increases the load on the vehicle. You can tell when the engine is not revving, even though you press the accelerator pedal. The rule here is: it's better to switch to a lower one to increase the speed because a constant reduced rate puts stress on the crankshaft.
Observe the condition of your tires
Increased pressure accelerates suspension wear. Maintaining the correct tire pressure reduces fuel consumption and improves handling while driving. Consequently, it is worth checking the wheel alignment more often, and incorrect wheel alignment causes tires to wear out faster. The exact information about the bars in the tires of a particular car is indicated in the datasheet.
As soon as the road gets slippery, most people like to change their summer tires to winter ones because no one wants to risk a severe accident while braking. Replacing tires in spring is not easy for some drivers due to convenience or inattention. But if you ride winter tires in the summer, you will face a lot of problems:
- First, tire wear increases because the rubber on winter tires is significantly softer and more sensitive to heat.
- Secondly, drivers run the risk of longer stopping distances and the risk of being involved in a rear-end accident.
- Thirdly, such negligence also significantly increases gas mileage.
See the car manual through
For many experienced vehicle owners, this advice will seem ridiculous, but do not forget that technical progress does not stand still, and along with it, new technologies appear. Numerous parts of cars are being improved, and everyone needs to know about it — both newbies and professionals. Carefully read the instruction manual — it describes all the main components, location, and maintenance procedures. Therefore, it is better to store the instructions in a car drawer or glove compartment.
Shift the clutch softly
Unfortunately, many auto owners do not know what a jerk gearbox means for a car. Rough gear shifting can cause severe damage to the transmission and might be costly to repair. When changing gears, make sure that it engages quickly, and the car should not jerk. Never use force - especially when the car is still cold, you should carefully change gears.
Constant clutch engagement also leads to severe wear. The so-called slipping of the clutch damages your vehicle, which means that you are likely to have to make repairs much earlier than necessary.
Steer clear of short trips
Those who frequently travel short distances risk not only increased fuel consumption but also increased bearing wear. In addition, the engine does not warm up properly, which means that water and fuel cannot evaporate properly and settle in the oil. In diesel vehicles, this can even lead to a clogged diesel particulate filter.
Find a reliable service that will help you look after your car
It would be best to never forget about timely maintenance of your car, and then it will thank you for the long lifespan. According to the datasheet, change engine oil, air, oil filters, spark plugs, high voltage wires, and other parts in time. Numerous experts advise buying parts from brand stores, resisting the temptation, and going after cheap oils and fuels. It will not save your money, but on the contrary, it will entail high costs for the repair of early worn-out units and machine components.
Manufacturers offer a maintenance schedule based on the number of kilometers traveled over some time to ensure that the vehicle will perform as expected. On the other hand, buyers are encouraged to request any used car they are considering purchasing the service history. Machines that have undergone regular maintenance are more reliable and have a longer lifespan.
A quick overview of the benefits of a timely vehicle inspection:
- Increased sense of safety while driving.
- You get a manufacturer's warranty for new cars.
- You avoid severe damage and better manage your expenses.
- Your car's resale value is higher.
Don't give problems the go-by
If your car causes problems or displays an error message in the instrument cluster, take care of it immediately. Either you have the necessary specialized knowledge and can manage them on your own, or you should be on your way to the service station.
Numerous errors are much safer if they are instantly recognized and corrected. For instance, if the belt squeaks, immediately contact a service station. Either the pulleys are broken, or the auxiliary unit has defective bearings. Something like this can lead to engine failure much quicker than you might think.
If repairs are already needed, don't keep on waiting long. Otherwise, there is a chance of consequential damage that could ultimately cause damage to the engine. In addition, delayed repairs can quickly become life-threatening for drivers and other road users, and a worn brake might be devastating.
Use high-quality auto products
Try to use the brands of oils that the manufacturer offers. By using cheaper substitutes, you harm the motor and shorten its life. Moreover, for whole and long-term engine operation, engine oil must be changed regularly. Oil tends to attract various impurities. As a result, it becomes dirty, which can lead to a loss of lubricating properties. If the oil is not changed promptly, the car engine will quickly fail. By regularly changing the oil, you will ensure a long and trouble-free operation of the machine and the cleanliness of its parts.
It is likewise necessary to constantly monitor the oil level that is consumed while the engine is running. Its lowered level has a detrimental effect on motor parts and leads to their breakdown.
Several other types of working fluids take part in the car's operation, which requires attention — these are brake fluid, fluids in the cooling system, an automatic transmission, the power steering, and the transfer case. When reading the instruction manual, pay attention to the timing of the change or topping up of these fluids. By fulfilling the manufacturer's requirements, you will extend the life of your machine.
Do not drive with an empty tank
If your common practice is to drive with the minimum fuel in your tank, don't be surprised if the fuel system can keep being damaged. The impurities in the fuel accumulate at the bottom of the tank, and they may clog the fuel filter or even the pump or injectors. It is an accurate shortcut to high repair bills.
Keep your car covered
Experts do not recommend driving a car into a heated garage for the winter, and it has a negative effect on the metal elements of the body, which are rapidly corroded in a warm area. The car experts recommend parking your car in a typical cold garage with good ventilation, and fresh air inflow removes moisture and prevents rust formation.
Pay attention to your driving style
Driving at maximum speeds quickly wears out the engine and car parts, bringing a significant overhaul closer. Harsh braking and starting will likewise cause breakdowns. Always remember that your movement should be smooth and calm.
It is essential to avoid prolonged downtime and extreme stress. Careful driving on bumpy road surfaces extends the performance of the vehicle. It is better to drive around a broken section of a good road than spend money on forced repairs.
Correctly selected driving style prolongs the life of the car. It should not be necessary, and where it is not required to rush at maximum speed — this leads to rapid wear of parts. Heavy braking might also lead to breakdowns and other troubles. Do not jump out of place, but move smoothly and calmly. With constant trips around the city, it is sometimes necessary to go onto the highway, drive at high speed to allow the engine to dry out. It is almost impossible to warm up the machine very much in urban conditions, and moisture remains in it.
Watch the engine in the car
The car's engine is its heart. Probably, such a comparison will sound like a kind of cliché, but it fully reflects the reality. This unit is the critical component of all cars, without exception, and requires a particular attitude towards itself. And the most vital material on which the high-quality and long-term operation of the engine depends is oil. You need to choose it especially carefully, based on the car's characteristics and the manufacturer's recommendations. Many experts recommend replacing at least every 10,000 kilometers, and if possible, more often.
Replace spark plugs and wires
It is the easiest car care step that can be taken in advance with little effort. Replacing these components is inexpensive as it does not require a mechanic, and you might easily replace them yourself. It is essential to replace these parts from time to time as they wear out quickly compared to other components.
You must also remember that the good condition of these parts will significantly affect your vehicle's performance. It is always best to be foresighted and avoid unnecessary expenses in the future.
Top up fluids regularly
The quality of the oil impacts the operation of the entire machine mechanism. If it gets old or dirty, friction occurs between the moving parts, which increases engine wear. And this leads to major overhauls, which will be expensive.
The durability of a car depends on other essential fluids: transmission and hydraulic oils, brake fluids, antifreeze. They need to be refilled and changed periodically, and savings on fluid replacement will cost an expensive overhaul. The frequency of replacement is indicated in the technical data sheet for the vehicle.
Protect your car from rust
To prevent the body of your car from turning into a rusty, leaky piece of metal in just a few years of operation, you need to take care of it no less carefully than the engine or other mechanisms. The underbody, fenders, and other body parts are constantly exposed to dust, dirt, oils, exhaust particles, and road salt during the process.
The car must always be kept clean. Regularly visit the automobile wash because a dirty auto rusts faster. It is perfect for treating the bottom and other parts with anti-corrosion compounds, and you can do this yourself with a paintbrush. It will not hurt to treat the brake fuel lines with anti-corrosion agents. It is good to wax the car's entire body after each wash, and it fills in all micro-cracks in the paint and prevents aggressive media from penetrating.
Check your vehicle frequently
Cars today are a balanced mechanism in which all units and parts are interconnected, and failure of one of them might lead to severe malfunctions of the entire body of the machine. Consequently, early detection and elimination of minor issues can help you save significant amounts of your budget.
Further operation of the car, for example, with an engine that is not working correctly, will lead to its overhaul and high costs. Minor malfunctions include the appearance of extraneous sounds, the emergence of a new unpleasant odor in the cabin, oil leakage, or any working fluid. It is necessary to correct such problems promptly, not only to extend the life of the car but also for personal safety.
Many factors can prolong the life of a vehicle, and some take time and must be coordinated with fleet management. The rest is relatively easy to do, and the automobile owner can do it himself because the smooth and long-term use of the car should be in the interests of the vehicle owner. In this way, the waste of time and money might be avoided, and unpleasant collisions between fleet management and drivers due to poor driving skills can likewise be kept off.