When you really consider it, our vehicles are one of the most important and powerful pieces of equipment we possess, next to our homes and other fun “toys” we may have. Whether you use your automobile for your daily transportation or you have a great luxury car you drive on occasion, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get 12 – 15 years of life and up to 200,000 miles of use out of your car.
It all boils down to maintenance and how much care you provide during the course of ownership. So here are a few ways you can really extend the life of your car and get the most use over time.
Consistent Car Maintenance. See the factory recommendations.
This includes oil changes, general maintenance, including periodic service of the brake systems, cooling systems, transmission, radiator — and so on. Usually the car maker provides a service schedule with their new cars, listing what should be done, when it should be done according to mileage accrued or time passed. Most drivers take these as “suggestions” or never look at the recommended maintenance schedule at all. This could eventually cost you thousands of dollars in future repairs. The maintenance schedule is there for a reason. Ignore them at the risk of car breakdown and wallet deflation. For example: Failure to have an ABS brake system periodically flushed can lead to the premature failure of major (and expensive) parts like the ABS pump. Or failure to get regular oil changes could greatly reduce engine life.
Are you a normal driver or a severe driver
Most people are under the impression that they have to do oil changes and filter swaps every 3000 miles, when in fact upon closer examination of their driving style and frequency qualifies as “severe use” — and the intervals for service and maintenance are actually much shorter. Often times the recommended maintenance suggested by automakers for what’s considered as “normal” or “reasonable” driving. However only you know how you drive and if you are an aggressive driver, you may be incurring more wear and tear than the average car owner. For example, if you live in a city/suburban area and your driving includes a lot of stop-and-go action, then you usually qualify for the “severe” (or “heavy duty”) intervals, which tend to be much shorter. It’s important to follow the right schedule, in either case. You are better off spending $50 dollars for your oil changes that having to get a new engine or new car entirely.
Car service by trained technicians
Today’s cars are more complex than ever with computer systems, sensors and all kinds of incredible technology. Unless you are a trained technician, a do-it-yourself approach to maintaining your car could certainly be detrimental to the vehicle and in some cases – you. Most of the time, “do-it-yourself” work can result in botched repairs and improperly done service that accelerates wear and tear. It’s like deciding to perform a medical procedure on your self – hoping to learn as you go – without having the credentials and training of a medical doctor. You are almost always better off taking your vehicle to a reputable auto repair and diasgnostic shop and having your car taken cared of by a professional. If you want your car to last, avoid fiddling around with things yourself. It’ll save you money and it’ll extend the life of your vehicle.
Smart Driving Style
Cars are fun machines. There’s no denying it. Unfortunately, sudden accelerations, peel outs, start and stops, throwing the car around corners and whipping doughnuts – though fun – is ultimately killing your gas mileage, stressing your engine, wearing out your tires and taking years of the life of the car.
Focus on driving in a steady way keeping an even foot on the gas and taking your time. If you drive a manual transmission, do your best not to hold the clutch in while idling at the light. Instead put the transmission in neutral and wait for the light to change. Avoid sudden accelerations, late braking and any other form of severe type driving. This will help you save gas ultimately save money.
Last but not least – Wash your car regularly.
Just like we feel great when we are dressed nicely, we equally feel awesome when our cars are clean and shiny. Just remember that a clean car is NOT a substitute for internal maintenance. There is no point having a shiny car that can’t make it down the road. that being said the exteranl parts of our vehicles are important and regular washes with periodic detailing will allow you to spot dents, scratches and other vehicle wear and tear that may need to be addressed.