In an ever-changing economy, buying a used car is not a unique decision. Almost two-thirds of Americans consider buying a late-model used car over a brand-new one, likely to save money on their investment.
Your used car is an investment you want to protect as long as possible. While the average age of a modern vehicle is around 11 years of age, there are still classic cars on the road that were built many decades ago. The lifespan of your car is essentially decided by how well you take care of your vehicle. Here are ways you can preserve the life of your new-to-you car.
Service Your Car Regularly
The best way to have your car serviced is to follow the advice in the owner's manual. Your car should have come with one (it's often found in the glove compartment). If your vehicle does not have an owner's manual, then refer to your mechanic for regular maintenance. When you have your car serviced, all fluid levels should be checked for accuracy and cleanliness and replaced as needed.
Servicing also includes having your air filter and other features checked. The goal of having your car serviced is two-fold: your car is checked for any minor issues that need to be repaired, and it is also tuned up for safe driving. Regular servicing extends the life of your vehicle by ensuring the engine and other components are working as they should.
Keep Out of the Sun
The sun's harmful rays can not only do damage to your skin, they can also do damage to your vehicle. The sun's rays can crack and fade the interior of your vehicle, crack your windshield (or cause small chips to turn into cracks) and can even damage your car's paint job.
Park in a covered car port, garage or simply in the shade when you can. Purchasing a car cover to shield your vehicle when you are not driving it for long periods of time can help preserve the vehicle as well. Your mechanic can refer you to the best cover for your car's make and model.
Having a lead foot or constantly pressing on the gas and then the brake can wear down your engine and its components. Driving your car at its full capacity before letting it properly warm up can cause it to strain under pressure.
Just like you prefer to do a light warmup before you work out and won't push your body too hard, your car should not be pressed beyond its limits either. Accelerate to speed limits slowly, gently press the brake when stopping and give your car a few minutes to warm up the engine before you start driving for the day. These small changes in your driving habits can help extend the life of your car.
Watch for Dash Lights
Any lights that show up on your dash that indicate you need to check your battery, oil levels or even your engine should be addressed immediately by your mechanic. If you don't know what a sudden new light on your dash means, your owner's manual will clue you in. These lights are activated by sensors in your vehicle that alert you when there are engine troubles, and the sooner you take care of small issues, the less likely it is that they will become major problems.
You can own your new-to-you car for many years if you take care of it properly. Our mechanics at Milt's Service Garage can be trusted to help you with all your automobile needs. Allow us to assist you in extending the life of your car today.