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Don't Kill your car! - 10 Things You Can Do For a Longer Car Life

Don't Kill your car! - 10 Things You Can Do for a Longer Car Life

New or used, you’re dropping $$, your investment should be protected.

Keep your car alive longer following a few simple steps. If followed, can be the difference between riding your car for 200,000 - 300,000 miles vs 100,000 miles. That translates to longer life and a pocket full of guac.

 #1. You need to change the oil - Religiously - Every 3,000 - 5,000 miles - Check Your Manual

Check your owner’s manual. Yeah, you know—the thing in your glove box you haven’t looked at since the dealer showed you where it was. It will tip you off to how often you should change your oil. It’s probably in every 5,000-mile department but check it out. If you push it too far, your oil will start to have far too much metal and dirt in it, and that can spell disaster for the most important components of your engine. Your engine will become too hot, and a host of problems are on the way if that happens. Note to the road warrior, you must change your oil more often and start thinking of adding synthetic high mileage oils to protect your car and your wallet. 

 #2. Keep it fluid - Check ALL Your Fluids

Oil isn’t the only vital fluid in the car engine you need to be mindful of. There’s brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and wiper fluid to name a few. It can be overwhelming. Yes! you can kill your car running on E- running. Cars low on gas can get extensive damage in fuel injectors and fuel pump, try to maintain your gas at least a quarter till...

#3. Pay attention to your gauges & Dash

Good news, most vehicles these days have indicator lights to alert you when you need to attend to these. Still, it helps to check them (and your owner’s manual) regularly to avoid any unexpected issues. Your dash is there to help you determine if your car is asking for help. Paying attention to your gauges can save your car's life. Such as, your car overheating, stop driving it ASAP, this means your car is having a stroke. No joke, you can kill your car if you drive it while it is hot. Stopping your car before it dies means a lower bill for you, the difference is between paying hundreds vs thousands. a new motor runs anywhere from $4,000 -$12,000 vs a busted radiator $200-$700.

 #4. No Quema? - Don't be a speed racer

If you treat your daily driver like a race car—taking high speeds turns, braking hard, accelerating too fast —you might have some fun, but it will come at the expense of your wallet.  Those sharp turns are doing a number on your tires, which means balding and unbalance tires that will come up quicker. Braking hard leads to faster deterioration of your brake pads. It also puts added stress on several motor and suspension components, meaning they will have a shorter shelf life bringing new and frequent expenses. Although strong acceleration isn’t the worst thing you can do, doing it all the time, and even worst...while the engine is cold, just brings to many issues that you do not want to be dealing with all the time.


#5. Pay attention to your tires and suspension

Your tires are the feet and running shoes of your car is running on, and your suspension are the legs it stands on. When they’re not right, the structural integrity of the car is compromised. If your tires aren’t properly inflated, not only are you at greater risk for a blowout, but you’re wearing your tires down unevenly, which means greater potential for an accident plus worse gas mileage. Make sure you know and check the measurement of how inflated your tires should be to avoid over wear of your tires and avoid accidents. Rotating your tires is just as important, since tires naturally wear unevenly, if you don’t rotate your tires, you’re cutting the life of your tires down and even putting your wheels and the rest of the car at greater risk every time you drive. Your car's suspension system is responsible for smoothing out the ride and keeping the car in control. Specifically, the suspension system maximizes the friction between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling of the road and elements. 

 #6. Pay attention to the little problems

We know how the story goes. You hear a funny rattle while driving your car, you say to yourself, “that’s new.” And overlooked it. Then, slowly, you get used to the rattle, accept it, and figure it’s no biggie as if your car is running fine. All those new noises and unfamiliar things are warning signs and if you pay attention to them, your car will thank you with a longer life. What’s a rattle today could be a snapped timing belt tomorrow. Just like that "boom!" paycheck goes to your car vs the sweet trip you were planning. 😥😬

 #7. Getting your air filter changed is not a scam

Listen, we get it. You go to one of those quickie oil change joints and feel like every additional service they try to sell you is just to fleece you out of some cash. While it’s good to be skeptical, the air filter thing they’re talking about is important. Dirt and debris can seriously harm your engine and chop years off its life. The air filter blocks a lot of those particles from wreaking havoc. However, if you don’t get the air filter changed, many will make it through. It’s a cheap and easy way to keep your engine humming. Check your manual but expect to change it every 15,000 – 20,000 miles or so.

 #8. Use your parking brake

With the slow demise of the manual transmission, many have assumed the parking brake is an antiquated feature, a stick that’s the evolutionary equivalent of a human tailbone. This isn’t the case. When you put your transmission in park, a parking pawl in your engine locks the transmission. That’s all fine and good but it’s an item that’s going to be stressed when you park on any sort of incline, and there are very few perfectly flat surfaces. While rare, it can break and/or become dislodged. A parking brake is a far more secure option, and it’s one that will keep your car from rolling away if the pawl fails or if your car is hit. Also, if you don’t use the parking brake, the cables associated with it can age poorly and snap when you need them most. Just make sure to disengage it when you start driving or you’ll end up with more problems to deal with.

 #9. Keep it clean - Inside Out

Guess what? Washing your car and keeping it cleaning, isn’t just about looking good. A good scrubbing can help protect your car for the long haul. Dirt build-up is detrimental to your car’s paint job, cloth, vinyl, and leather interior. Dirt = Deterioration which leads to the slow destruction of the body components are underneath. Allowing the body to rust, corrode, or erode is like releasing termites in a house, and slowly allowing the spread of damage. How often should you wash it depends on: Do you park outside? How’s the weather where you live? Do you have a long commute, during which pollen, bugs, and more are rocketed at your car? Figure out if your car is more at risk and go from there.

 #10. Be proactive in getting repairs

Prolonging car repairs could result in serious problems, not to mention, an incredibly high service bill. Don’t ignore the warning signs, the payoff will be thousands of dollars saved. 






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