How To Boost Your Car’s Lifespan
- Keep It Clean
Although you might not know this, keeping your car clean is, by far, more beneficial than the beauty and aesthetics. Washing your car helps remove dirt and other foreign materials that would build up, causing your paint job to crack or, worse, start chipping off. By protecting the paint job, the risk of corrosion and rusting is significantly reduced. However, it is worth noting that several other factors, such as where you park, the weather, where you live, and how long you drive every day, will still play a role in the condition of the car in the long run. Some of these factors, such as parking out in the sun and long commutes, can accelerate how fast your car ages. However, keeping the car free of dirt and grime minimizes these risks.
- Make Frequent Oil Changes
Most people have their engine oil changed every 3,000 miles. On the other hand, some drivers try to milk every mile they can get from their car until it is too late. While the former might help your engine run smoothly for some time, following what your car manufacturer recommends is the correct way to do it. All you need is to check with your dealership or the car’s manual to know exactly how your vehicle should behave and when to change the oil. Some manufacturers may recommend an oil change every 5,000 miles or less for others. Running on the oil for far too long will result in undesired and reduced performance due to increased engine friction and dirt/metal. Your engine will start getting hotter than usual, even during small runs, which could affect its lifespan significantly.
- Be Gentle on The Engine
Although it might seem fun to drive like a rally driver (braking hard, driving too fast, and hard accelerations), this only comes at an expense to the engine and the vehicle in general. Braking hard causes your brake pads to deteriorate quickly, and so are the tires. Accelerating hard and taking sharp turns at high speeds wears the tires down and puts unnecessary stress on the engine and other components. That 100-mile run at the highest speeds will probably take a year or two off your car’s lifespan.
The worst thing you can do to your engine is to accelerate hard, especially when/if the engine is still cold. Manufacturers and mechanics recommend letting your car warm up for some time before driving off. It would help if you also didn’t accelerate hard but rather let the car pick up speed slowly. Doing so allows for engine oil to distribute well and doesn’t stress the engine either. This alone can see your car run for many more years, longer than the manufacturer suggested. If however your car is costing more in repairs than it is worth it may be worth considering your options. When you scrap a car in Norfolk you will be pleasantly surprised that your old vehicle is worth something.
- Take Proper Care of Your Tires
The tires are the car's only point of contact with the road. It is thus advisable to ensure your tires are in tip-top condition before driving off every day. Check to see if they are correctly inflated – overinflated tires can burst easily, causing an accident, while underinflated ones lead to uneven wear and even worse mileage. Get yourself a tire kit to monitor your tire pressure every day.
Although your mechanic might have told you already, make an effort to rotate your tires as recommended by the manufacturer. This helps get the most out of the tires and allows them to wear off evenly. Uneven wear can be particularly risky, especially when driving at highway speeds.
Running on the right tires, tire pressure, and rotating your tires frequently can thus go a long way in improving its lifespan. It would also be advisable to have your spare tire checked whenever you visit the garage – you never know when you’ll need it. Although most car owners are quite comfortable changing and rotating their tires, it still wouldn’t hurt to have a professional do it for you. These experts can catch a problem with the tire/rim before it can turn risky for you.
- Be Especially Careful with the ‘Small’ Problems
The smallest issues, such as a distant rattle, can be the root of a much bigger problem down the road. Many people that ignored the minor issues and problems with their cars have had to pay more than they would have had they checked it out. For this reason, do not ignore anything that seems out of the ordinary with your car. Although the engine might be running fine, the ‘Check engine light on the dashboard should be checked as soon as possible. Having the car/engine checked by a professional soonest can prevent further damage, thus allowing it to run for longer. A slight rattle today could lead to a much bigger problem tomorrow, such as a snapped timing belt or drive shaft.
- Change That Dirty Air Filter
A dirty air filter can have a detrimental impact on the engine, a reason it should be checked/changed as soon as possible. Many people have their air filters changed when getting an oil change and with a good reason. A clogged air filter could allow dirt and particles into the engine, causing extensive damage. In addition to this, any vehicle with a dirty air filter will have a reduced performance, which only improves once new filters are installed. Another advantage of changing your air filters regularly is it enables the engine to ‘breathe’ as it should, allowing it to function normally. Most manufacturers recommend changing your air filter at least after every 15,000 miles. This, however, depends on where you drive/live. Those in dusty regions may need to change it as required.