Everyone wants to get the most out of their car, whether it’s new or old. The problem is that there are many factors that can affect the lifespan of your car. The only way you can keep your car going for as long as possible is by giving it the care it needs. That means dealing with mechanical problems early enough and being cautious whenever you are out on the roads.
Most people who have managed to keep their cars in peak condition over a long period of time will tell you that anticipating and preventing problems before they occur is absolutely critical. If you let too many little things slide, they are eventually going to catch up with you. Preventative measures will actually save you a lot of money in the long run.
While there are many aspects of car maintenance that you can perform on your own, the major ones are best left to the professionals. A professional will solve mechanical problems effectively and, at the same time, offer you some valuable advice on how to take care of your car. Taking your car to a professional mechanic may cost you some money, but ignoring problems will cost you even more.
Here are 8 effective ways to keep your car in peak condition:
1. Sound driving habits
How you drive your car has a huge bearing on whether it stays in good condition or not. If you want to slow down the rate of wear and tear, then you must exercise caution while on the road. This means slowing down when approaching speed bumps and also always driving at a reasonable speed. Overspeeding is one of the most common causes of premature mechanical aging in cars and their various components.
2. Change your oil
There are various schools of thought when it comes to the question of how frequently you should replace the oil in your car. Some will tell you every three months or every 3,000 miles or 5,000 miles. How often you should do it depends on the make of your vehicle. Also, if your car is used in rough driving conditions you need to change the oil quite regularly. The owner’s manual in your car should give you an idea on how to go about it.
3. Rotate the tires
It’s very important that the tires on your car wear evenly. One of the best ways to achieve this is by having them rotated from time to time. That means taking them off and putting each one back in a different location. Tire rotation preserves balanced handling and also helps maintain traction. In fact, there are some tire manufacturers who insist on tire rotation as a condition for their warranties. They understand the importance of rotation, not just for even wear and tear, but also for safety on the road.
4. Keep an eye on your timing belt replacement schedule
A failure of the timing belt, while you are driving, can cause very serious damage to your car. In addition to having to replace the defective belt, you would also have to face up to very costly repairs due to the damage caused by the sudden failure of that belt. If you are not sure how often you should replace your belt, you may want to consult a professional. However, the general rule is that you replace it after every 60,000 miles or thereabout.
5. Fill up your engine coolant
Coolant protects your engine from the adverse effects of excessive heat. In addition to keeping it filled up, you should also be on the lookout for any leaks coming from your car engine. According to autoshopaccessories.com, thieves and Mother Nature are some of your car’s biggest enemies. One other enemy you should definitely look out for is any leak that drains the engine coolant over time. The best time to check your coolant is when your engine has completely cooled off; otherwise, you can easily get serious burns from the hot fluid.
6. Make sure the battery is working
The average lifespan of most car batteries is five years. How long it lasts depends on a number of factors, including the weather conditions and how you drive your car. If you don’t want to end up getting stuck on the road, it’s good that you always check to ensure that the battery is actually working at any given time. If you don’t know how to check the battery, there are many auto shops where it can be done for you for a small fee. If it is approaching the 5-year age range, you should think about replacing it.
7. Change the air filter
The air filter is one of the easiest and least expensive items to replace in your car. Before you replace it, you should make sure that the new one is the right one for your car model. One of the main reasons why air filters get clogged up is driving on dirt roads and other harsh conditions. Different cars have different schedules when it comes to replacing air filters. That means you should be aware of your car manufacturer’s recommendation.
8. Check the lights
It is also important to regularly check the interior and exterior lights of your car to ensure they are working properly. Car lights are essential for keeping you and other road users safe while driving. When they are not working you are exposed to accidents and penalties from law enforcement. Besides the headlights, you should also ensure that the fog lights, brake lights, indicators and sidelights are working. You can do this by having someone stand in front of the car as you switch them on. Once you check the front ones, repeat the process for the brake lights as the person stands behind the car.
Your car works in pretty much the same way your body does. If you take good care of it, it will serve you better. The most important thing is to know how your car works and what it needs to work at its optimum best. Once you know all that, you will be better placed to give it the care it needs.