Statistics show that the average driver will keep his or her car for roughly six years before buying a new one. Buying a new car isn't cheap, but there are ways to prolong the life of your existing vehicle, which is something that we're going to discuss in today's blog post.
If there's one type of automotive maintenance that you don't want to overlook, it's changing the oil. Oil is responsible for lubricating the engine and its respective components while also wicking heat away from the cylinders. Over time, however, dirt, debris and "sludge" will accumulate inside the oil, making it less effective at performing these tasks. Refer to your vehicle's owner manual for specific guidance on when and how to change the oil; however, a good rule of thumb is to change it at least once every 5,000 miles.
Watch the Engine Temperature
Allowing your engine to overheat is just asking for trouble, which is why it's a good idea to monitor coolant levels. When the cooling system fails, it may cause the engine to melt down, literally. Check your car's coolant levels, and when necessary, add extra coolant to protect against overheating. Keeping the engine well-lubed will also help to protect against overheating.
Related Reading: Common Causes of Engine Overheating
Of course, the way in which you drive will also play a role in the longevity of your car. If you have a habit of slamming the gas pedal when the light turns green, only to stop just 100 yards down the road at the next red light, you'll increase wear and tear of your car's engine and components. To prolong the life of your vehicle, lighten up on the gas pedal by driving more cautiously.
Wash and Wax it
We can't talk about ways to prolong the life of a car without mentioning washing and waxing. When dirt settles on the surface of a car, it will slowly rub away at the protective coating of paint. This problem is compounded by the fact that cars are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. You can protect your car from this destructive and damaging phenomenon, however, by washing and waxing it on a regular basis.
When was the last time that you had your tires align? Whenever you drive over a pothole, speed bump, or any uneven surface/terrain, it will gradually knock your tires out of alignment. When this occurs, it will pull your car to either the left or right side, causing additional tread wear while subsequently forcing you to replace the tires sooner rather than later. If you notice your car pulling to one side, take it to an auto shop for a diagnosis.
Related Reading: DIY Wheel Alignment Guide