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8 Ways to Ensure your Car Lasts a Lifetime

As modern cars get more and more sophisticated, each equipped with tons of wiring and state-of-the-art computers, maintenance is becoming less dependent on the driver and more so on sensors and algorithms. If your car is exhibiting symptoms of larger issues, you’re more than likely going to have to take it to an authorized service center, but there are still a few things you can do to make sure your car’s life is not cut short while simultaneously increasing the time between each service or breakdown. Here are the top eight things to consider to keep your car on the road for decades to come.

Letting your Car Breathe
Changing the oil and the oil filter in their car is something most people feel comfortable with doing. The oil filter isn’t the only thing that needs periodic changing, however. Your air filter is just as important. A clogged air filter will limit the amount of air entering the engine, causing it to run way below its maximum efficiency. You might not notice the effects of this issue straight away, but it will result in poor fuel economy and long-term issues for the engine itself. A simple replacement air filter will see you set.

Heat Management
Changing the oil and topping it up will make sure the internals of your car’s engine doesn’t rattle themselves to pieces, but if you don’t maintain the proper coolant level they might just weld themselves together from all the excess heat not escaping the block. Failure to service the cooling system can result in major problems, which in the worst case is an overheated, and shot engine.

Pump Your Tires
Tires not inflated to the recommended pressure will not only cause excessive wear and increase fuel economy, but hurt the car in the long run as well. Because they won’t be absorbing road imperfections like they’re supposed to, you’ll be putting a lot more stress on suspension components. Inflating your tires is free and it costs just minutes, so why not take advantage of it?

See also: When should you check your tire pressure?

Befriend a Good Mechanic
Generally, you want to try and take your car to the same mechanic each time. Okay, there might come a time when you’re in a different state and in need of emergency services, but whenever possible, visit the same shop. Think of it this way: you don’t go to a different doctor each time you get sick, so why should you do things differently with your car? Over time, your mechanic will know what might be wrong with your car just based on previous experiences, not to mention that he’ll recognize most of the previous work done to it because it will be his!

Inspect It
Cars require much more than just a driver who will get in and go. From time to time, they need to be thoroughly checked, at which point you take them to a mechanic. However, it won’t hurt you or your wallet to occasionally stop and do a quick walk-around just to make sure everything works (even tire wear, headlights, taillights, indicators, etc.)

Consider your Driving Habits
Accelerating for no reason before braking abruptly is the perfect example of how not to drive a vehicle. You’re not on a race track - it’s a public road. We’re not suggesting everyone should start eco-driving all of a sudden, but habits such as coasting in gear and smooth throttle application go a long way in making your car more efficient and reliable.

Taking Care of the Exterior
The exterior is arguably just as important as the mechanical stuff. Although you might think it’s purely visual and doesn’t matter as much to long term use of a car, we can guarantee you won’t be saying that should your car rust or corrode due to improper care. Not to mention a decent exterior boosts the car’s resale value tremendously compared to one which hasn’t been maintained at all. A good wash, some wax, and polish here and there will ensure the exterior stays gorgeous and protected.

Cover It
To protect the car’s paint, as well as its components, make sure to cover it with a carport or a cover if you don’t already store it in a garage. Even if you do already have a garage, a car cover works wonders against dust, stopping it from getting into every nook and cranny. If it rains a lot in your area, get a waterproof car cover if you intend on leaving your car out in the open.

Take care of your car and it will more than return the favor. It’s not uncommon for cars to pass the 200,000-mile mark with just regular maintenance and nothing else. Every car is different, so you have to find its weaknesses and what works for you the most, but these general rules apply to just about every vehicle out there.

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