The price of used cars went up by 31% in the past year according to Consumer Reports. This rise reflects the general price trend of most goods within the last 12 months. If you are thinking of buying a car, expect that you'll have to pay a lot for it. Your old car, on the other hand, will see its value continue to rise as long as inflation rates remain high .
Under the current market conditions, it's only natural to want to extend the life of your car. Buying a new or used car is expensive, while regular trips to the mechanic due to wear and tear on your old car will hurt your wallet just the same. However, just because a car is old shouldn't mean it should always break down.
Would you like to learn how to extend the life of your car? If yes, read on and we will give you ten tips on how to extend life of old car to keep it from becoming a junk car.
Read the Owner's Manual
Everything you need to know about your car is in your manual. Assuming that your vehicle is the same as your previous one or as a friend's car is a recipe for disaster. Take your time to read your owner's manual comprehensively.
You'll find all kinds of essential information on it, like your car's recommended maintenance schedule. Car manufacturers put in a lot of time to come up with specialized maintenance timelines. Following their laid-out guidelines can help you avoid costly repair problems.
Observe Proper Fluid Maintenance
The fluids in your car are like the blood in your veins and arteries. They are the lifeline of a vehicle, and checking them will increase the lifespan of your car. Engine oil and other important fluids keep your car systems running. These fluids include:
- Motor oil - This lubricates the moving parts of an engine. Your car's specific owner's handbook will tell you how much oil to use and how often to change it. Regular oil changes prevent engine damage.
- Transmission fluid - This fluid is responsible for making gear shifts as smooth as possible.
- Radiator coolant - Your engine can either overheat or freeze in severe temperatures. The radiator coolant stops your engine from overheating and damaging your radiator.
- Brake fluid - It is entirely located within your car's braking system. At no point should it leak or run low. Leaking brake fluid can cause brake failure, which can be catastrophic when driving.
- Power steering fluid- The mechanisms that enable power steering are kept operating by power steering fluid. To prevent your power steering fluid from leaking, ensure your power steering belt is in good working order.
As a preventative measure, check your fluids every couple of weeks. Moreover, top up on fluids if you notice they are running low . If the fluid is leaking, tow your car to the nearest automotive shop. Keeping up on your fluid changes and maintenance will help your old car running like as much as newer ones.
Use High-Quality Fuel
The quality of fuel that you use on your car has a direct effect on the engine components. When you fill up, always inquire whether the station filters oil at the pump. Some stations have faulty filters, leaving you vulnerable to contaminated fuel. Choose a station that you can trust and stick with it.
If your car requires premium fuel, then use premium fuel only. Using regular fuel will make it less powerful and less fuel-efficient. Older vehicles that require premium fuel are very susceptible to engine knocks when running on regular low-octane fuel.
Use Original, Good-Quality Replacement Parts
If you need to perform repairs to your car, be sure you buy genuine replacement parts. Fake low-quality parts do not fulfill their function as the car's manufacturer intended. Over time, counterfeit parts can cause an increase in wear and tear of related components.
The lifespan of your car will come down as a result of the consistent degradation of parts. When buying cheap parts, you may have saved some money upfront, but over time it'll end up costing you even more because you'll have to replace them more. As a rule of thumb, only buy parts recommended by the manufacturer.
Every 12,000 miles, you should replace your air filters. Dust builds up on the filter over time, lowering your gas mileage and even reducing engine performance. Change your fuel and oil filters every second service.
However, these figures may not apply to all cars. We recommend that you read your owner's manual to confirm the intervals.
Inspect Your Tires
Your tires connect your car to the road. It's critical to check the air pressure and the tires' condition frequently. Maintaining your tires will ensure your tires last longer. Good tires ensure your car's fuel efficiency and safety.
Stay on Top of Repairs To Keep The Car From Becoming Junk
It is easy to ignore small changes in your car, but word of advice: do not wait for small problems to become big problems. Don't ignore the check engine light and other warning lights whenever they come on. As soon as a warning light comes up, schedule a visit to the repair station. Check for odd noises or any new changes to your driving experience, and fix minor problems before they become serious. Staying on top of your repairs keeps your car in one piece. The alternative is finding out what happens to cars at the end of their life.
Keep the Car Clean
Clean your vehicle on the outside as well as the inside! It will help preserve its worth and appeal. This is especially crucial to do during winter because of road salts and the potential damages it could cause to the undercarriage. Sap, sludge, and road tar can also collect and cause your car paint to deteriorate.
Washing and waxing will prevent this buildup. Consider waxing at least three times a year to keep the shine and color of your vehicle, as well as to avoid minor scratches. A good wash of the vehicle's interior will also keep pollutants and dirt from accumulating.
Be meticulous about your car's cleanliness. You're less likely to be mindful of car maintenance when it visually looks unmaintained.
Store the Vehicle in a Garage
UV rays from the sun damage the interior of a car. To protect car paint and interior from sun damage, store the vehicle properly in a garage.
Practice Good Driving Habits To Keep Your Car From Getting Old
Driving your car like a demolition derby driver is not going to do your old car any favors. Bad driving habits like jerky acceleration and braking can take a toll on your car parts, causing increased wear and tear. To add more years to the life of your old car, it also helps to avoid short journeys and to drive the car at least once a week so as to keep your car's moving parts well-lubricated.
However when you do use it, allow your old car to warm up to its operating temperature before hitting the streets. Overworking a cold car wears out the cylinder and piston faster.
If you practice good driving habits, your car will last longer, and you will be a lot safer on the road. Driving a junk car is dangerous so keep your car from becoming junk.
If you aim to drive your vehicle for a long time, I hope this article has been a great resource.
A vehicle needs care to last for several years. Filling up your tank from time to time is not enough. It's best to implement these maintenance tips to to make the most use out of your old car. With these practices, your car will not only drive efficiently, it will hit many more mileage milestones for years to come.
We hope to have helped you learn how to extend car life after 15 years or even more.