How to Extend the Life of Your Car

How to Extend the Life of Your Car
  • Opening Intro -

    The average price of a new car is approaching $30,000 with the Federal Trade Commission offering a figure of $28,400 as of April 2009.

    That's a lot of money and is only surpassed by what you paid for your home and what you're likely to pay for your childrens' college tuition.


Car saving tips for the vehicle you love.

With cars now so expensive, doesn’t it make sense to find ways to extend the life of your car? Even if you drive 15,000 miles or more a year, you can keep your car for 10, 15 or more years by following some proven points:

1. Read your car manual – The first thing you should do with your new car is to familiarize yourself with its manual. You know that it is sitting in the glove box, but you need to open this manual up, turn to the service interval pages and promise yourself that you’ll follow the instructions explicitly. That means when oil changes and tune ups are due, and belts, hoses, wires and other parts should be changed, you’re on top of things. Your manufacturer knows your car and has calculated what needs to be done to bring forth the best savings.

2. Flush fluids – Cooling system anti-freeze, brake fluid and power steering fluid are oftentimes forgotten by car owners until something goes wrong. Something usually goes wrong because people neglect changing fluids. Follow your owner’s manual, but be prepared to let no more than two years go buy between complete flushes. Do the same with your transmission every 40,000 miles or less.

3. Check your tires – Once a month, resolve to check your tires with a tire gauge to ensure that each one is sufficiently inflated. Tires that are properly inflated, rotated regularly and replaced as needed will help keep your car safe and extend tire life. Problem tires can contribute to a wreck, leading to costly and sometimes dangerous consequences. Keep your front end aligned, check your brakes and ensure that your suspension system is in top order too.

4. Keep it in the garage – If you have a garage, then use it. Not for storage of your “stuff,” rather for keeping your car sheltered. Sun, wind, rain, bird poop, falling sticks and so many other things can take its toll on your car’s surface. If you live near the sea, then salt air can rust your car out.

5. Hire a mechanic – Today’s complicated engines, transmissions and technological parts makes it virtually impossible for people to service their vehicles. This means you need to find a mechanic you like and trust, allowing him to handle service not covered by your warranty. An extended warranty may cost you $1,500 or more, but you may be able to save money by forgoing a warranty and working closely with your mechanic.

6. Pamper your car – No car deserves to be abused! On very cold mornings, start it up, but wait about one minute before taking to the road. Your engine heats up quickly, but by allowing some extra time you can ensure that the oil thins out. In the coldest climates, your car should be in a garage with an engine heater. Gently accelerate to local speeds and carefully brake. Hypermilers may be eccentric, but they know how to coax their cars to gain improved fuel economy. That also results in a car that is properly cared for and will last longer.

Finally, respond to service letters and recalls promptly. Besides a possible safety issue, a particular problem could takes it toll on your car even with a promised and paid for fix handled. By caring for your car you can minimize repairs, maximize its lifespan and save you money.

See AlsoFTC: Buying a New Car

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Categories: Autos Express