Once you purchase a car that you love, you may decide you want to drive it on daily commutes to work, weekend excursions and road trips for years to come. In order for your vehicle to function well and provide an enjoyable driving experience later down the line, it’s important to take good care of its components. Here are some tips on how to properly look after your car so you can prolong its life.
Keep up on routine maintenance
When you buy a new car, you should receive an owner’s manual which details your car’s maintenance schedule. The schedule recommends when to get a tire rotation, oil change and a timing belt replacement, as well as other services. Following this maintenance schedule is an imperative aspect of lengthening your car’s life, according to Consumer Reports. If you don’t receive the necessary service on time, your vehicle could develop problems, which could shorten its life span. For example, neglecting to change your oil could cause engine issues and damage.
If you live by the ocean or on a mountain, drive through a city often, tow with your car or take short drives, Consumer Reports cautions you may want to follow the severe-use maintenance schedule in particular. A severe-use schedule recommends different intervals for services and typically suggests that you get oil changes more often.
Select quality parts
During the time that you own your vehicle, you will likely need to replace a few parts. While it can be tempting to choose less expensive aftermarket parts, Consumer Reports proposes that you pick parts that match the manufacturer’s specifications in your car’s manual to be safe. It’s also a good idea to make sure you purchase the right type of fluids for your car. Many manuals suggest synthetic oil, especially for supercharged or turbocharged engines to withstand high thermal stress, according to David Muhlbaum, Senior Online Editor for Kiplinger.
Regularly inspect your car
Even when staying on top of routine maintenance, Consumer Reports advises that you keep an eye out for other issues that may arise. Identifying a problem early on could potentially save you money and prevent additional damage from occurring. A great time to inspect your car is when you clean it. Not only can cleaning the exterior help conserve the paint, but it can also give you a chance to look for loose parts or scratches.
Muhlbaum says that you should utilize your senses when inspecting your car. If you notice a burning smell when checking your oil or transmission fluid, you may need to head into a service department. In addition, if you hear squeaks or bumps while driving, let the service technician know. John M. Vincent, a senior reporter for U.S. News & World Report, also says that you should inspect your fluids and ensure that they are at the correct levels.
By following these tips, you can attempt to get more miles out of your car and enjoy your drives for years to come. View the owner’s manual for your car to learn more about caring for your specific vehicle.