Nobody wants to have to deal with expensive car repairs. If you’ve just bought a vehicle, you want to be able to ride it as long as possible and for it to retain its value. If you just bought an older vehicle, you don’t want to end up paying more on vehicle maintenance than what you paid for your vehicle. And you also don’t want it to die on you after a few months. However, there are many things that you can do to make sure that your vehicle lasts longer. Therefore, you need to avoid mistakes that could cause it to deteriorate faster.
8 Tips for Vehicle Maintenance that Increase its Longevity
Here are a few simple tips that will allow you to increase your vehicle longevity:
Change the Oil Regularly
Changing your oil regularly is absolutely essential for any vehicle. If you run on old dirty oil, your engine’s performance will suffer and sludge will start forming inside the motor, which can lead to severe damage. If you neglect to change your oil long for enough, your motor will eventually fail. So, make sure that you change the oil at least once every 3k miles or follow your manufacturer’s instructions.
Choose the Right Type of Antifreeze
It’s still funny to see how many people have no idea what antifreeze does and aren’t aware that different types will work better for different vehicles. But maintaining proper antifreeze levels and using the right type is essential for your motor.
Antifreeze is responsible for preventing your radiator from overheating, and it also prevents it from freezing during colder months. Not only that, but it has a direct influence on your car’s performance. However, it will protect the cooling system and engine from corrosion.
Types of antifreeze can often be identified by color. Green coolants, for instance, are referred to as IAT coolants, which stands for inorganic acid technology. These are made with synthetic components and will work for most trucks or cars as long as you replace it every 24k miles max.
Orange antifreeze is usually referred to as organic acid technology coolants and uses organic elements. However, if you own a Volkswagen, SAAB, or a GM, this is usually the type of coolant that is recommended. These types of coolants should never be mixed with coolants using nitrates and will last much longer then IAT coolants, up to 600k miles to be exact.
You also have hybrid coolants that are usually yellow in color or extended life coolants which are red. If you want more details about coolants and which one you should use for your vehicle maintenance, you can compare them here.
Keep the Car Clean
You also have to make sure that you keep your car clean as much as you can and never let dirt build up. Rain, tree sap, snow, bird feces, salt, etc., all start building up on your vehicle. Not only will these be damaging to the paint. But they could cause some serious damage to your car’s body as well.
That’s especially the case for people living in colder climates where de-icing agents can cause a lot of damage to the metal on your vehicle. So, don’t neglect washing your vehicle regularly; it goes far beyond just aesthetics.
Inspect Your Tires and Wheels
Another thing you should keep an eye on is the pressure in the tires. This might seem like a small detail, but bad or uneven pressure in the tires can reduce gas efficiency, performance, steering response, and longevity of your tires.
Not only that, but uneven tire wear or unbalanced tires can put more pressure on your suspension system. It can end up costing you a lot in repairs in the long run.
Read the Owner’s Manual
Let’s be honest, when was the last time you actually read the owner’s manual for your vehicle maintenance? Most of the time, the owner’s manual stays buried in the glove compartment never to see the light of day again. But it is full of important information such as how you should use important functions on the vehicle or what is the proper vehicle maintenance schedule. If you ever have a question about an issue with the vehicle, or when to make filter or oil changes, everything should be in the owner’s manual.
Filters are the first line of defense against debris and prevent it from entering the engine. Oil and fuel filters filter out abrasive and potentially harmful sediments. While your owner’s manual should have clear instructions as to when you should change them, it’s not always set in stone. In most cases, your oil filter will be replaced with every oil change. But the frequency at which you should replace filters largely depends on your particular environment and driving conditions.
Watch Your Driving Habits
The way you drive will also have a direct effect on the vehicle’s wear and tear. Your driving habits could also affect your fuel consumption. It’s also your responsibility as a driver to drive safely and avoid high speeds.
If you want your vehicle to last longer, try to not accelerate and break too abruptly. Be smooth on the accelerator. Try to minimize any kind of stress on the motor. The gentler you are with it, the lesser the risk it will start breaking down.
Take Care of Repairs Quick
Just because you can still drive your vehicle, it doesn’t mean you should postpone repairs. You need to have any kind of issue with the vehicle fixed immediately, even if it seems minor. The longer you wait, the more damage it could cause to the vehicle and lead to something more serious. Something as simple as a faulty water pump could lead to overheating and catastrophic damage to your engine. So, make sure that you always stay on top of repairs, or it will end up costing much more in the end.
A car is a very important purchase. And if you want your car to last longer and still have some value when comes the time to sell, make sure that you follow these instructions to the letter.