Too often, people neglect their cars and get surprised when big problems arise. Just as you can’t forget to brush your teeth for a year and expect your annual teeth cleaning to suffice, you can’t ignore your car maintenance and expect a yearly tune up during inspection to keep your car in top condition.
Fortunately, with regular and proper care, you can often avoid big problems and extend the life of your engine and vehicle. Use the following tips if you want to learn how to keep your car running like new.
Change the Oil and Fluids
Out-of-sight-out-of-mind is a dangerous philosophy to take with your car’s fluids. It’s important to regularly change your oil, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, windshield wiper fluid, etc. according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for your car. While you may be able to sometimes stretch these recommendations without any short-term effects, you can see the problems that come from taking short cuts in the long term.
Avoid Extra Weight
Unless you have a large truck, your vehicle was likely not designed to constantly lug around excessively heavy objects. Transporting heavy items from time to time is fine, but you may want to find a different place to store your weight collection than the trunk of a 4-door sedan. You want to avoid putting unhealthy strain on your engine and tires.
It’s not necessary to show off your car’s quick acceleration every time you get behind the wheel, and frankly, it’s not great for the car. Slow acceleration is much better for the health of your vehicle. Especially during the winter, give the oil a chance to warm up; don’t rev up your engine and speed away from your driveway.
Take Care of Your Whole Car
Don’t just focus on big-ticket items like your engine, transmission, and brakes. Take care of the whole vehicle. It’s tempting to write off odd problems with your car as a personality quirk, but the weird noise you noticed could be indicative of a larger problem. Ignoring a scratch or worn off paint could lead to rust. A small crack in your windshield could easily expand. If you want to extend the life of your vehicle, you have to take care of the whole car.