After acquiring your dream car, it is time to learn how to keep it running like new. Do you want to know how to maintain your car to last many years?
You can do many things to make your car last longer. Changing the motor oil periodically and filling up the gas tank are two of the most important things you can do.
Washing the car, checking the tires, and tackling any issues as soon as you notice them are also essential aspects of car maintenance. Another thing you can’t miss is to take your car in for regular tune-ups.
This post explains how to maintain your car, so it lasts longer and runs smoothly. Follow these tips, and you’ll find yourself behind the wheel of a reliable car.
15 Car Care Tips To Extend Your Car’s Life
Whether you are doing summer or winter driving, your car needs regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. These tips can help you take care of your vehicle:
#1 Change the engine oil within the intervals
Oil changes are one of the most important aspects of maintaining your vehicle. Changing your oil within the recommended intervals is crucial when preserving your car engine.
Consult with your vehicle owner’s manual in your glove box to know the recommended intervals. Oil changes are necessary to prevent engine wear and tear, reduce carbon deposits and keep your car running smoothly for a long time.
Dirty oil can also reduce fuel efficiency, so regularly changing your oil is a fantastic way to save money on gas. Some mechanics prefer synthetic oils, as they can provide better engine protection.
Also, we recommend replacing the oil filter when changing the engine oil, as it helps maintain clean and fresh oil for your engine.
#2 Improve your driving habits for the better
Driving like Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen may be fun, but it doesn’t help preserve your vehicle. If you want to extend the life of your car, you need to create a gentle driving style on your vehicle.
This can be achieved by avoiding hard turns, sudden acceleration, unexpected braking, and staying within the speed limits to reduce unnecessary wear on your car’s engine and transmission.
Other good habits include keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, anticipating road hazards, and keeping your hands on the steering wheel to avoid accidents and to make your car last longer.
Learn how to use your clutch pedal for engine braking to prevent excessive wear on your brakes and transmission.
#3 Wash It to keep the car’s paint job fresh
Keeping your car clean is essential to preserving the paint job and protecting your vehicle from accelerated wear. For this, it is best to find a professional detailer and avoid using automated car washes.
They tend to leave fine scratches on the paint, which can accumulate over time to damage your car’s body. Leaving you with no option but to touch up paint and repaint the entire vehicle to keep it looking fresh.
Try to use the right cleaning products. Some washing liquids contain salt and other additives which can damage your car’s exterior in the long run. So be sure to pick a mild car wash solution without harsh chemicals, and always dry it with a microfiber towel.
#4 Don’t forget the air filter when you get an oil change
Cars tend to accumulate dirt on the floor mats. When dirt particles enter the air conditioning ducts and clog air filters, it decreases the airflow and hinders engine performance.
Regularly clean your mats and replace the air filters to make your car last. These little tasks can help improve fuel economy and reduce wear on your engine.
#5 Verify that you have the correct tire pressure
Checking tyre pressures should be a regular part of your vehicle maintenance. Low tire pressures can cause uneven tire wear, leading to replacing tires early and reduced fuel efficiency.
Proper inflation can help you get the best mileage out of your fuel and also improve steering, braking, and handling. Verify this by looking at the dashboard measurements given by the vehicle’s sensors.
Consult your owner’s manual to know the correct pressure for your vehicle’s tires. You can also check the pressure at any gas station or use a tire gauge in your home garage. I own a tire pressure gauge that I use as a secondary measure.
#6 Tackle any dashboard lights immediately
Most cars have a dashboard light for every system of the vehicle, and they are typically colored green (standard), yellow (warning), and red (emergency). The red one typically means you may have to deal with an expensive repair.
Dashboard lights are the easiest way to spot any issues with your car. If you notice a light come on or hear warning beeps, it’s best to get it checked out as soon as possible.
#7 Change brake fluid and brake pads periodically
Brake fluid is a special liquid that transfers force from the brake pedal to the brakes themselves. Over time, the fluid can become dirty, which causes corrosion and reduces its ability to do its job.
This is why it’s crucial to change the fluid of your brakes periodically and maintain them by replacing the pads. Brake wear is standard, and neglecting this maintenance can put your safety at risk. For best results, consult a mechanic who can help you with your brake job.
#8 Verify the power steering fluid is on level
Ensure that your power-steering system operates smoothly by checking the fluid reservoir monthly. To do so, check that there is the correct amount of fluid present and that there are no signs of leaks.
O-rings, seals, and other components used in power steering can become damaged over time and cause fluid to leak. Refer to your car’s owner’s manual so you can find the location of the power steering fluid reservoir in the engine compartment and what fluid to use.
Too much fluid retention can lead to difficulties with your power-steering system, so only add more when necessary.
If you have difficulty turning your steering wheel or hear a whining noise from your power steering while cornering, it could mean that your reservoir doesn’t have enough fluid.
#9 Flush the cooling system when needed
A good rule is to flush the coolant and replace it with fresh fluid every two years or 30,000 miles. Overall, this process is essential in maintaining your car’s cooling system.
The buildup of scale and rust in a radiator is the number one cause for radiators to stop working. Flushing helps remove these deposits to prevent overheating and damage to your radiator.
While you perform this service, inspect the hoses and radiator cap. This is a perfect time to replace any broken hoses or defective fluid caps. You will need a unique draining tool and distilled water to flush your cooling system properly.
#10 Changing the fuel filter is a must
Fuel filters collect contaminants and are responsible for cleaning and maintaining fuel injectors. They remove impurities so that your petrol engine draws in clean fuel.
Over time, dirt and rust can accumulate in your car’s fuel system and clog up the filter. If you’re having issues with your car starting or randomly stalling, it’s likely due to this.
Experts recommend changing your vehicle’s fuel filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles to prevent this from happening.
Avoid running your fuel tank on empty, as this can also cause sediments to gather in the filter. Regular fuel filter maintenance is crucial in maintaining your car and preventing costly repairs.
#11 Change the water pump if needed
If the water pump isn’t functional, the coolant will become dirty and hesitate to circulate, making the engine overheat. The average lifespan of a car water pump is 60,000 to 100,00 miles. However, this can change depending on your car model and driving habits.
The gaskets on most water pumps tend to leak over time, so it’s essential to inspect them for any signs of damage. If the pump is worn out, it will need to be replaced. You will notice that your car starts to make whining noises when it is broken.
#12 Keep the vehicle covered at all times
The sun’s UV rays can damage your car’s exterior paint, so keeping it covered when it’s not in use is crucial. This will help you maintain the original looks of your car and prevent it from fading.
Using an external car cover is also a great way to protect your vehicle from dirt, dust, rain, or even snow. A roof carport from Fair Dinkum Builds can also help protect your vehicle from extreme weather conditions and extend its life.
#13 Test your car’s battery for voltage performance
Batteries that aren’t functioning correctly can be a safety hazard, so it’s essential to test them regularly. The average lifespan of a car battery is 4 to 7 years, depending on your driving habits and other factors.
A super simple test you can do at home is to check your battery’s voltage level. To do this, hook up a multimeter to the terminals and set it on DC voltage. If the battery is not working correctly, you may need to connect it to a battery conditioner to help maximize its lifespan.
We recommend our clients use maintenance-free batteries because they automatically replenish their electrolytes. However, it’s still important to regularly test your battery’s voltage and replace it if necessary.
#14 Have your tires rotated and align the wheels
Tire rotation should be done every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Rotating your tires helps prevent cracking and tread separation. To drive a reliable car, you must ensure that your tires are rotated and follow the service schedule.
You should also have your car’s wheels aligned on a regular basis. Wheel alignment helps ensure that your car’s tires make contact with the road as they should, improving traction and handling. It reduces the chances of you having to replace tires.
Every time I leave my car sitting for an extended period, I always have it rotated and align the wheels. This helps keep my car in excellent condition and running smoothly for years.
Your tires act as your car’s legs, and the structural integrity is at risk when they’re in poor condition.
#15 Replace spark plugs every 40k miles
The condition of your spark plug either indicates the current condition that your engine is running. If the plug is new and there’s a significant gap between the electrode and the insulator, it could mean that engine isn’t performing as well as usual.
To examine a spark plug, observe if it contains the following:
- A light brown electrode and insulator
- No indications of melting
- No evidence of wear or deposits.
The new long-life plugs can last for 100,000 miles, and they are becoming increasingly common in newer cars. Older model cars will need to replace the plugs, usually after 30,000 miles.
Can I genuinely keep my car for years?
Yes indeed. Classic cars are a great example of cars that can last for many years. However, maintaining a classic car or even a new car in good condition requires regular care and attention.
Using the parking brake can come in handy if you own a car with a manual transmission. When parked on an incline, you should always use the brake to prevent your car from rolling or shifting.
You should also regularly check your engine oil, brakes, air filter, and tires. It’s also crucial to keep your car covered when not in use so that it doesn’t get damaged by the sun.
How to avoid excessive fuel consumption?
You can save fuel by maintaining your car properly, including regular tune-ups and replacing worn-out parts. Also, constantly verifying that all the fluid levels are correct, including:
- Transmission fluid
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
Checking the catalytic converters periodically to ensure they are working correctly can also help to improve fuel efficiency. Additionally, driving consistently can contribute to you to start saving money on gas.
Your timing belt is another important component of your car that impacts fuel efficiency. The timing belt should be replaced every 40,000 miles if you drive an older vehicle.
Last Updated on: January 26, 2023