If you are looking to keep your car around a long time, consider preventative maintenance for your vehicle. Car manufacturers provide recommendations on when to complete maintenance tasks. For instance, most experts recommend checking battery fluid levels four times a year. Find out what your car’s manufacturer recommends and stick to it. Spending a little now can save you from a big expense, and hassle, later on.
Check and replace fluids
No fluid was meant to last forever. Checking and replacing fluids can help keep your vehicle on the road longer. Consider that engine oil usually needs to be changed every 5,000 miles, or every six months; engine coolant needs to be checked twice a year and flushed and replaced as necessary; and transmission fluid needs to be flushed every two years or 30,000 miles.
One that is most consistently overlooked is brake fluid. Brake fluid attracts and absorbs moisture, and over time, it can do a lot of damage to the internal parts of your anti-lock braking system. It should be flushed every two years regardless of mileage. And, don’t forget to flush the power steering and change the differential lubricant, as well.
Slow down, lead foot!
It’s pretty obvious that driving recklessly will take its toll on your vehicle. Slow down for potholes, take corners at a reasonable speed, and avoiding putting your foot to the floor. According to the US Department of Energy, it takes 73 percent more horsepower to cruise at 60 mph, and a whopping 159 percent more at 70 mph, than it does at 50 mph. Maintenance costs can increase 38 percent by driving 10 mph faster on average! Each mile per hour you travel over 50 mph will cause a 1.5 percent increase on fuel consumption, the Department of Energy says.
Buy a reliable car
Overall, cars are getting more reliable, but there is still a wide range of reliability from company to company, model to model, and even between different model years of the same vehicle. When you’re shopping for a new or previously owned car, choose one with a proven track record of reliability. Also, be sure to choose a car company that’s going to be around for a while, with a good reputation for supplying parts.
There are many sources that provide this information, such as Kelley Blue Book. So if you’re really interested in getting the most out of your car, choose a reliable model to begin with–not just one that looks good.
Consider an extended warranty
Even following these steps perfectly, no car is built to last forever. Parts break or wear out and it’s never a convenient time! One way to protect yourself from this inevitable circumstance is to invest in an extended warranty for your vehicle. An extended warranty can help ensure that your vehicle is always in the best mechanical condition and can help you avoid expensive repair bills.
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