Your car is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, but many people fall into debt paying for expensive car repairs, or find themselves having to take out loans for new cars once their old one runs its course. You depend on your car to get you where you need to go, so it’s important to make sure you do everything you can to extend the life of your vehicle.
Follow these 8 simple tips to keep your car healthy and ensure that it’s running at its best:
- Read your owner’s manual and schedule regular maintenance checks according to your manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Schedule regular oil changes. Regular changes will ensure your car drives smoothly and prevent damaging friction in your engine. Your owner’s manual will have a recommended schedule for oil changes, but on average it should be done every 3,000-5,000 miles.
- Don’t put off minor repairs. If you’ve noticed an unusual sound coming from your engine, or that dreaded check engine light is shining up at you from the dashboard, it’s better to get your car checked out by a mechanic before any potential issues turn into something worse.
- Replace your air filter regularly–about every 12,000 miles. Air filters will eventually clog with dust, which can affect your gas mileage.
- Keep your car clean. Washing the dust, dirt, and debris from your car’s exterior will improve the gas mileage, which means less strain on your engine. Don’t forget to rinse the undercarriage to prevent rust. Don’t forget to keep your car interior clean as well!
- Avoid too many cold starts. Consolidate errands whenever possible, and allow your engine to warm up before getting on the highway and driving at higher speeds.
- Park in the shade or in a garage whenever possible. Sunlight and excess heat can damage your car’s paint job and upholstery.
- Be a responsible driver. Avoid sudden stops, sharp corners, and pushing your car to hit high speeds too quickly. These practices place unnecessary strain on your engine.
These tips are easy to implement, but following them will greatly extend the life of your vehicle. If you have questions about your car’s recommended maintenance schedule, check with your mechanic.