It’s taken a while, but you’ve finally bought your dream car. Whether it’s your first brand-new car, or your fifth, doesn’t matter. The vehicle user guide will tell you that about the basics to keep your car in good shape, including keeping your tires inflated, checking and changing the fluids, and avoiding delaying repairs. But if you want to truly extend the life of your car, there are many ways to do so. Read this guide before you buy your new car.
Cars are costly investments, so it’s in your interest to keep it running well for as long as possible – both to prevent unnecessary repairs and to extend its life.
How to Extend the Life of Your Car
The first step to extending the life of your car is to read the owner’s manual. You may not want to waste any time that you could be driving your new car, but this is an important part of enjoying countless happy miles.
- Keep your car clean inside and out.
- If possible, store your car in a garage to protect if from the elements and vandals.
- Inspect the condition of your tires and check the air pressure. It has been shown to improve safety and fuel efficiency.
- Change your car’s oil as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, or at least at every 3,000 miles.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing radiator coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid every few weeks between services. If you have a all-wheel or four-wheel drive, your transfer case fluid and differential fluid must be checked and changed too.
- Change out your air, fuel, oil filters.
- Keep an eye on your engine light and stay on top of repairs to avoid bigger, more costly repairs.
Extend the Life of Your Car: Tips Nobody Told You Before
The above tips are standard across most vehicle owner’s manuals, but there are some things nobody has ever told you about caring for and extending the life of your car. Well, here you go!
- Instead of driving your new car from out of state, invest in car shipping.
- Limit your speed to 55 mph during the first 1,000 miles – unless otherwise recommended by your car manufacturer.
- Don’t let your car idle too long. In the old days, cars needed to “warm up” but not any more. When your car idles too long – especially during break-in – it generates oil pressure and may not transmit oil to all the important parts of your engine.
- Avoid racing the engine when you start up, and accelerate slowly for the first ten or twenty minutes of operation.
- Keep the engine rpms below 3,000 (light to medium acceleration) for the first few hours of driving.
- Shift your automatic transmission to neutral at red lights to avoid making the engine work too hard unnecessarily.
- Avoid fast acceleration and driving at high speed in extreme temperatures.
- Keep the load on your drive train low by avoiding transporting heavy construction materials, roof racks and towing trailers.
- Avoid curbs, potholes and objects in the road to extend the life of your tires.
- Prevent wear and tear on your car by consolidating short driving trips.