Cars are one of the biggest purchases that one can make. So it makes a lot of sense to make it lasts for as long as possible. Extending the life of a car is easy if certain rules are strictly followed.
In this article, we highlight some things to do to extend the life of your car.
See Also: 5 Things To Consider Before Buying A Car
Avoid Roads With Potholes
Driving into potholes can damage your car. Each time you drive into a pothole, the impact it has on your car can damage your vehicle’s suspension system.
The cumulative effect of driving over them repeatedly can take a toll on your vehicle’s wheel alignment, tyres, etc.
Whether you hit a pothole head-on, or you react in time to partially avoid one, it can damage your vehicle.
Use Genuine Spare Parts
Always using genuine spare part is one way to make your vehicle last longer. Genuine spare part guarantees durability and the longevity of your car.
Every driver or car owner must bear in mind that a car needs genuine parts to serve better and last longer. So, when next you decide to get a part for your car, make sure it is genuine.
Change filters regularly
Over time, and with frequent usage, your car’s oil filter and air filter become clogged. This is why it is important that the filters are changed regularly.
Filters should be changed during scheduled servicing or oil change of your car. Ensure to always replace air filters once every 6months.
Changing both air and oil filters are relatively simple jobs. They are processes you can do without needing to consult a mechanic. However, if you are not comfortable with self-service, seek the services of a mechanic.
Washing your air filter is another way of prolonging it. However, using cheap, poor quality filters could damage your engine in the longer term.
Replace spark plugs
Replacing spark plugs is something you must do regularly. This is necessary in order to optimize your car engine performance.
Replacing spark plugs is another straightforward job you can do yourself, but if you are not comfortable doing it, then wait for it to be changed by a mechanic during servicing.
A spark plug in a poor condition either indicates wear over time and needs replacing, or can hint at the condition of your engine.
When inspecting a spark plug there are signs to look out for to know if they are still in good condition. For instance, check to see if it has a light brown electrode and insulator. Also, check that there are no signs of melting and no signs of wear or deposits.
Check The Level Of Your Car Fluids Regularly
Always ensure to top up fluids regularly. For instance, always check the level of brake fluid and transmission fluid every morning. Also, change your car engine oil at least every 3 – 6 months, this will help to lengthen the life span of your car.
Check your engine oil once a fortnight by opening the bonnet and removing the dipstick. Car fluids are very vital to the health of your car. So, failing to replenish them can severely damage your car.
Other fluids to check regularly include the coolant reservoir. Also, observe the level of the engine radiator coolant, it is advised to flush or change your radiator coolant once or twice a year.
Check your tyres
Tyres are arguably very vital to the safety of a car in motion. This is why it is important to check them regularly. Carrying out tyre check at least once a week – could save your life. It could also save you money.
For instance, under-inflated tyres will increase fuel consumption. An under-inflated tyre will require more energy to roll, and more energy means more fuel. Regularly check the pressure of your tyres once a week. So it is important that you keep them topped up to the recommended pressures listed in your car’s handbook.
It is also important that you go for vehicle alignment. This is important in other to extend the life of the tyres and protect the vehicle from shaking while driving on speed.
Having your car’s wheels professionally aligned may reduce tyre wear, too – with the added benefits of improved steering response and handling.
Use your air conditioning Regularly
Using your car’s air-conditioning regularly is something you should always do.
By not using the car air-conditioning systems regularly, you stand the risk of inevitably leak refrigerant gas over time.
While not using your car air-con may save fuel, however, and at the long run you could end up spending more on refilling the gas.
Avoid Carrying Heavy Loads
Avoid carrying unnecessary heavy items in your car. Carrying heavy load with your car is a definite way to dent your car’s fuel economy.
Carrying heavy load will also put additional strain on wear-and-tear parts such as tyres, brakes and suspension bushes.
In your car boot, clear out everything you do not need. Just remember to leave the toolkit, jack and locking wheel nut key in case of emergencies.
Maintain your car’s battery
Whenever you do not use your car for long periods of time, the battery will degrade and go flat. Then jump-starting your car would then become necessary.
However, jump-starting the car puts additional strain on the battery. It can also damage the engine management system and other delicate electronics.
So, whenever your vehicle is parked for a long time, consider using a trickle charger to keep the battery topped-up. Otherwise, try to drive your car at least once a week.
Don’t Drive Your Car With Little Fuel
Driving your car on an empty tank can cause serious and costly problems to your car’s fuel system.
Do not allow the fuel in your vehicle to completely finish. This will ensure that the fuel pump does not suck in dirt. This will prevent damage to the carburettor or injector.
Your fuel pump also has a fuel filter, which can quickly get dirty if you drive with a low tank. So, ignoring your car’s low fuel warning is generally a bad idea.
See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy A White Car
Park in the shade
A garage is the most ideal place to park your car. However, if one is not available, reduce the potential damage to the interior of the car from UV sunlight and heat by always parking your car in the shade.
Parking your vehicle in a garage keeps it dry, clean and safe. It also minimizes the risks of accidental damage, vandalism and theft.
If you do not have a garage, then maybe you should consider buying a car shade or a high-quality car cover instead. Covering the car is important especially if you often leave your vehicle parked for long periods of time.
Carry Out Regular maintenance
Servicing your car regularly is very important in order to keep it in good condition and extend the life of the car. Regular maintenance has always been the number one way to keep your vehicle in good shape. Regular checkups help you catch problems while they are still small and relatively inexpensive to fix.
Service duration should be based on time or miles driven. For instance, you could service your vehicle once every 3 months or every 10,000 miles. Many modern cars have warning lights on the dashboard to alert you when maintenance is needed, too.
However, it is often advised that you carry out a ‘minor’ service once a year and a ‘major’ service every two or three years. A minor service includes changing the oil and oil filter and replacing other fluids if necessary. Depending on the vehicle and mileage, a major service may also cover replacement of the air filter, spark plugs and cambelt.
The number of tasks included in even a minor service is numerous. However, all should include checks for oil and fluid leaks, tyre pressures and condition, excessive exhaust emissions, brake wear, and the correct operation of the steering, gearbox, clutch, suspension, lights, wipers and horn.