If commercials are to be trusted, then all you need to make your car last longer is a bottle of miracle liquid, some ionized wonder water, and a handful of magic dust. Unfortunately, it is far from truth. Regular and proper car maintenance is the only thing that can help you keep your car on the road.
A good path to keep your vehicle looking good and running great involves regularly maintenance and lubrication, timely replacement of wear-and-tear parts and taking proper care of your car. Check the top 11 tips that will prevent your car from becoming a rusty jalopy.
1. Be aware of the vehicle history
Knowing a history of your car will help you to get a better idea on how the vehicle should be maintained, what you should focus on, what potential problems can occur with the car and so on. You can find out a history for your vehicle here.
2. Check the oil regularly
The best way to make an engine last longer is regular oil checks and changes. Although it is the easiest step which does not require some technical knowledge, there are drivers who still neglect this advice. And they destroy their car’s engine with their own hands.
Remember, that other filters and fluids also require regular checkups. Change your air filters to help your vehicle breathe easier and improve fuel economy.
3. Maintain the cooling system
Maintaining the proper coolant level is essential for keeping the engine lubed. Completely flush the cooling system once a year to eliminate deposits and dirt. To keep it in good condition and prevent corrosion, use a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water. This simple step will help you save thousands of money on repairs.
4. Change transmission and differential oils
These oils do not require frequent service, but they still must be changed on a regular basis. It is important to use fluids recommended for your particular car. Most manufacturers recommend changing manual transmission fluid every 30,000 - 60,000 miles, while service intervals for automatics vary from 60,000 to 100,000 miles. If you neglect changing the transmission oil, this will shorten the transmission's life.
5. Wash your car outside and inside
Washing and waxing your car regularly can protect it from oxidation, pollution and droppings. It also adds the car extra shine, thereby making it look good. While taking care of the exterior of your car, don’t forget about its interior. Keep your car clean-smelling by vacuuming the carpet, getting spills out immediately and hosing off road grime.
6. Grease moving parts
Your vehicle’s moving parts need regular lubrication to work effectively. Oil and grease moving parts, such as ball joints, shafts, gears, and bearings. Poor lubrication will lead to early retirement of these parts.
7. Apply wax to your car
All major brands of car waxes and washes are ideal for removing dirt, eliminating swirls and other imperfections. A coat of quality wax will keep car’s paint good look and protected from sun and rust, and leave a high-gloss shine. Apply wax at least two times a year.
8. Lubricate driveline components
The drive line is essential to make your car run, for that reason, u-joints and other driveline components must be lubricated regularly. You may need to remove the driveline to access some components.
9. Park your vehicle in the shade
Park your vehicle in a cool, shady place to prevent interior damage by UV rays. Use other ways to minimize the UV rays impact, e.g. apply a UV protectant or use a window deflector screen. This will prevent the vinyl and plastic from drying out.
10. Check wheel bearings
Regularly examine your car's wheel bearings to see if they need to be repacked. Wheel bearings allow your wheels to turn freely; however, its grease picks up dust and dirt, and needs to be cleaned. Wheel bearings repack will cost you less than hub and spindle replacement.
11. Replace brake fluid once a year
The brake fluid flush is one of the most frequently neglected car maintenance services. The primary reason why brake fluid should be flushed on a regular basis is because it attracts moisture which leads to corrosion and failure of the components. While brake fluid and bleed system are cheap to maintain, it can be expensive to replace hoses, calipers, and sensors. Replace brake fluid once a year to save on repairs.
Why maintenance matters
Follow these tips if you want to become one of those drivers, whose vehicles just keep running and stay in good shape years after years. Remember that the only secret of the cars’ long-lasting life is in regular and proper maintenance. Scheduled fluids checks and components lubrications will make your car run longer. Always use oils, fluids and grease that are recommended for your particular car. However, even the best fluids will do your car no good if you won’t change them on a regular basis. To keep the car looking good, clean and protect its exterior and interior. Utilize these tips to enjoy happy and long-lasting driving experience.
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