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Car Guide: How to Take Care of a Car You Want to Last Forever June 10, 2019

Your car is like your best friend; it takes you wherever you want to go without complaints. This friendship could last forever, but only if there's mutual care.

Unfortunately, many people don't care about their cars enough. They only wait until something is wrong to rush to the mechanic for repairs. If you want your car to serve you forever, you need to maintain it.

Here are tips on how to take care of a car and make it run when you need it.

Buy a Reliable Model

The longer your car lasts depends on its resilience. The model you choose has to be reliable and possess a good track record on the road. If you do more off-road driving, a four-wheel drive is the best choice. If purchasing a used car, check if it has rusts, dents, or mismatched body panels.

It’s very important to choose a car that you’ll want to keep for a long time. Again, if it has all the features you want, you’ll treat it with much care. However, you should only buy a car you can afford to maintain.

Strictly Observe the Maintenance Procedures in the User Manual

When rotating tires, changing oil and replacing transmission fluid, follow the owner’s manual. The manual contains all the maintenance procedure for your vehicle. Dealers and mechanics may use the wrong type of oil or even suggest you come in more frequently for maintenance you don’t need.

When you read and understand your manual, you can DIY most of the maintenance. When you do it yourself, the car gets all the attention it deserves. Thus, use the owner manual to prevent costly repairs.

Check Fluid Often

Checking fluid regularly and replacing it where necessary will make your car run smoothly for many years. Your car owner manual has all you need to know about the fluid change.

Your transmission fluid color should be pink; if it’s dark, you need to change it. If the dipstick is showing low brake fluid level, have a professional change it. Top up the reservoir whenever coolant is low.

Listen to Your Car Engine

You can learn a lot by listening to your car engine as you drive. If it sounds odd or different, it probably has issues. Investigate any unusual engine sound to identify the problem.

A hissing sound can signify a problem in the cooling system. If the engine is whirring or whining, there's a problem with the alternator bearing,  power steering fluid, power steering pump, water pump, or air conditioning compressor.

Detecting problems earlier can prevent further damages and make your car last longer. If you don't have the money to do the repairs, find trusted direct payday lenders for a short-term loan you can pay later. The amount of interest is less compared to the cost you'd incur to repair extensive damages.

Reduce the Number of Short Trips

You should avoid those unnecessary short trips to the grocery stores or your friend's place next door. Instead, use public transport or walk. With short trips, the oil flow isn’t sufficient to lubricate the engine properly.

With short trips, you make more cold starts which will relate to more wear on your car engine. This means your engine doesn’t get hot enough to boil off condensation accumulating in the system.

The short trips don’t allow your battery to charge properly, and this can cause a malfunction.

Learn How to Take Care of a Car While Driving 

Bad driving habits contribute to car damage and a shorter lifespan. Are you always too impatient to slow down at speed bumps and potholes? Well, you’re throwing your car's suspension out of alignment, which will lead to uneven tire wear.

Learn how to care for your car by avoiding these bad driving habits:

  • Revving before engine warm-up
  • Carrying excess weight load
  • Sudden shifting from gas to drive
  • Stick shift driving

Adopt good and safe driving habits to extend your car's durability.

Keep It Clean

Washing your car makes it last longer by getting rid of the contaminants that cause corrosion. The underside should be washed to clean off the dirt and grime that form rust responsible for wearing it out.

During winter, clean your car to remove the road salt that can corrode the metal parts of your car.  

Replace the Worn Out Parts

With time, some parts of your car start to age or wear out. Replace them to keep the vehicle at good health and extend its lifespan.

Slow acceleration, difficulty starting the vehicle, and misfiring are signs that you should buy new spark plugs. Replace blown fuses that can cause failure in flashers, heaters, or windshield wipers. Any crack or rot in the drive belt means it's time to buy a new one.

Keep Your Wheels Aligned

Driving down the poorly maintained roads can affect your wheel alignment. A tiny alignment issue can cause uneven tire wear and damage to the suspension system.

Again, misaligned wheels make your vehicle to pull to one side or another while you’re driving, which can cause an accident. Readjust your wheels for smooth driving and long-lasting tires.

Drive on Your Own

If you share your car with other drivers, there's a  chance it won’t last long enough. Other handlers may drive recklessly or fail to follow all the maintenance procedures.

They'll probably return your car with dents and scratches. If you have to lend your car to someone, make sure they stick to your driving and maintenance rules.

Get a Good Mechanic

You shouldn’t see a mechanic only when your car has a problem. You may think it's fine, but it may have hidden issues that only professional mechanics can detect.

To keep the car running well, find a good mechanic to help you identify underlying problems. A good mechanic may charge more for the services, but you'll appreciate it when your car serves you for a long period. 

When looking for a mechanic, go for one whom:

  • Has been in the community for many years
  • Is approved by AAA
  • Has good ratings from previous customers

Love Your Car and It'll Love You Back

Would you want your car to serve you forever? It loves you by availing a convenient mode of transport when you need it the most. Love it back by giving it love and care.

With these tips, you've now learned how to take care of a car and extend its lifespan. Adhere to monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, and annual tune-ups to identify problems before they cause extensive damage.

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