People often research vehicles before buying to see how long they tend to last, with this longevity becoming a focal point of their search. With about 42,740 cars being sold every single day in the United States, this research has a huge impact on consumer decisions. However, the reality is that the key to extending the life of your car is simply to take positive action and take care of the vehicle yourself. Cars that are well-maintained are naturally going to last longer than those that are neglected, regardless of what the reviews say. Below are a few things that you can do to extend the life of your car or truck.
The Maintenance Schedule
All vehicles are going to come with a suggested maintenance schedule, which will be laid out in the owner’s manual. This includes things like changing the oil or changing the transmission fluid. As the professionals at Edmunds have pointed out, you need to pay more attention to what the manufacturer tells you than anyone else, sticking to that maintenance schedule for the life of the car. You also must pay attention to built-in monitors, such as systems that monitor oil life and tell you precisely when the oil has to be changed.
Check Your Fluids
Even when a change is not needed, check your fluid levels. A small leak may not be noticeable unless you do, and you are much better off to find out about it while the car is in the driveway, rather than when a leak in the transmission lines causes the whole car to break down on the interstate. Keep an eye on those levels and investigate if they seem to be declining faster than normal.
Warm Up Your Car
Oil is distributed when an engine is running. When you turn your car off, it works its way out of the engine and into the reservoir. For this reason, you are best off to give your car a few minutes–30 seconds at minimum–to run before you engage the gears. This allows the oil to coat interior surfaces completely so that they do not rub on each other and wear out the internal workings of the engine.
Shut Off that Music
Its fun to drive with the radio on, but you should shut it off from time to time. Listen to the sound of the engine and try to identify any sounds that weren’t there before. According to the experts at Rockland Toyota we need to listen to our cars more. Often, cars give you plenty of warning before a breakdown with these little noises, but you’ll miss them if the music is always blaring. This is especially true for monitoring the life of brake pads, which are designed to make a screeching sound as they wear down, before you get all the way through and wear out your rotors.
Caring for Your Car
With a new or a used car, the key to longevity is just to care for the vehicle. Even simple steps can extend a car’s life by months or even years.