Anyone who has bought a car knows how expensive they are to purchase. Treating your car right is the best way to avoid needing to buy another one before you want. Thankfully, it’s not that difficult to care for it. Here are 11 easy tips to follow to extend the life of your car.
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Wash It Regularly
It may seem odd, but washing your car makes it last longer. A good wash removes dirt build-up that can erode a paint job.
This eventually can ruin the body underneath it.
Change the Air and Oil Filter
Most people know it’s best to get an oil change once every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Keep on top of those. Furthermore, don’t overlook changing your filters.
Air filters filter out dirt and junk that can negatively impact your engine.
Avoid Bad Driving Habits
Do you have a lead foot? Or do you like to break hard? Limiting those habits will do wonders to extend the life of your car.
Also, pay attention when you are on the road and stay off your phone. This can reduce your likelihood of getting into an accident.
Pay Attention to Noises
Automobiles often like to communicate something is amiss by making noises. If you hear hissing, squealing, grinding, or knocking, it may be a sign your car needs attention.
Ignoring these noises typically makes the situation worse and more expensive to repair.
Mind Your Tires
Don’t overlook your tires! They’re vital to the life of your car.
Keep them properly inflated and rotate them regularly. Avoiding either can compromise the integrity of your car.
Use Your Parking Break
Parking on an incline puts additional stress on your car. That’s what the parking brake is for.
When parking on an incline, use your parking brake. It keeps the car more secure. Using it also ensures your brake cables age evenly.
Get the Fluids Checked
Your car has several fluids it relies on to maintain its health. These include engine oil, automatic transmission fluid, engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
Plan to check them monthly to ensure they’re where you need them.
Driving obviously puts stress on your car. Don’t overuse it by driving it too much.
When possible, group your errands and avoid multiple short trips that can be done all at once.
Stay On Top Of Your Brakes
Brakes are vital to protecting you behind the wheel, not to mention others on the road. Get them checked regularly.
If you hear grinding, it may be a sign your brakes or rotors need attention. Continuing to drive on them can be risky and become more expensive if you ignore it.
Let Your Car Warm Up
Your car likes to warm up a touch before being put to use, especially in cold temperatures.
Instead of speeding off once you turn it off, let it sit and warm for several minutes. You also want to drive off slowly. Doing so reduces strain on your engine while the oil is cold.
Regularly Replace the Wiper Blades
This may seem like an odd way to extend the life of your car. The idea is simple. As they break down they leave smudges on the windshield.
This impacts visibility, which has obvious implications. Check the blades quarterly. If you detect any tears or bumps in the blades, it’s wise to replace them.
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I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.