Ray Wisoky / 2021-10-03 08:39:48 / 0 Comments

Extend Your Vehicle’s Life with These 8 Basic Practices

Keeping your car in good condition is important after many years. If you want your car to last as long as possible, follow these tips from some of the top rated mechanics around:

1. Be cautious during the breaking-in period

Keep your speed under 55 mph (88 kpm) until you exceed your car’s break-in period of 1,000 miles (1,600 km). Start out with light acceleration, ensuring the engine is under 3,000 RPMs for the first few hours. You should take steps to lighten the load on the vehicle's transmission, such as by avoiding towing trailers or loading up the roof canopy or trunk with heavy materials.

Monitor your car speed

One of the worst things you can do to your new car is to leave it idle for long periods of time. In addition to not providing a good environment for keeping it in shape, doing so during break-in can damage the engine. If you're turning the engine off while it's still warm, you may be running the risk of not properly lubricating every component.

2. Gas up only with a trusted and known station

To check for carbon monoxide levels, ask the gas station if the gas they pump into your fuel tank is filtered and if they change their pumps' filters regularly. At most gas stations, you have to go to the pump for fuel. Without a filter on the ground, this can lead to dirtier gasoline that clogs up the engine of your car. You should use a gas station you trust and stick to it. If you want to be sure of the quality of fuel at the pump, you have to check for one with a consistent record for excellent customer service.

Gasing up from a known station

3. Lighten up your keychain

Does your car key have more than 5 keys on it? This could be adding stress to the key's ignition each time you turn it on. The up and down motions in your car that is combined with the weight of your key can wear out the tumblers that work for your ignition and could cause damages. Use a lighter keychain, so you can easily separate your ignition key from the others. Most light keychains are perfect for cars with small compartments, which generally don't have enough space to fit all of your keys.

Light car keys

4. Stuck in snow or mud? Take it easy

The moment you find yourself in a difficult or muddy situation, it’s important not to make the problem worse by risking damaging important car components! This includes not continuing to try and free yourself if you think it might be too risky. The best option is to contact the service department right away. Spinning your tires too fast or combining shifts from 1st to 3rd gear repeatedly can create a lot of friction and lead to problems for transmissions and clutches. The tow truck may provide a more affordable option long-term for many car owners. A traction aid such as sand or gravel should be stored in your trunk.

Car stuck in snow

5. Have the battery levels checked regularly

Manufacturers tend to say that you don't need to change your battery, but it is important to keep in mind that this isn't strictly true! Have the battery levels in your car checked regularly and consider buying a battery with an extended low-level power system, which will allow you to start the car even on cold days.

Simple things like keeping your car battery clean can really be worth it. If the case is dirty, you might end up with some current issues. Just wipe down with a damp rag and if necessary, use some mild detergent.

The next step is to clean the battery posts. Remove the black (-) cable first, then the red (+) cable. Use a wire brush dipped in baking soda and water to do so. Also inspect the battery case for any visible signs of damage. Cracks or bulges may be indicative of a need to replace the battery.

Car battery

6. Keep the engine clean

There are many reasons for you to clean your engine, but they can be quite time-consuming. Luckily there are washing services for this purpose that make it easy to keep your engine in tip-top shape. A clean engine will run cooler than a dirty one and you'll be more likely to check belts and hoses if you don't have to get on your hands and knees. A clean engine will make it much easier to spot leaks and service sensitive parts, such as the air intake or distributor. Be sure to protect these delicate components before getting started by fitting them with plastic bags.

Check car engine

Dishwashing liquid and a brush should be enough to get the grease off your engine and other parts. Be sure you rinse thoroughly. You can easily find heavy duty engine cleaners at auto parts stores. You may also choose to have your engine professionally steam cleaned.

7. Use a car cover to protect it from harsh elements

Those who protect their vehicles from the elements spend a lot of time and money (typically on the vehicle). Car covers are such an investment to make sure that your vehicle is safe and can perform well even if it's exposed to harsh weather. But the good news is that these particular covers are an affordable, low-maintenance way to protect your vehicle's paint job and tires from damage. They also act as a protective layer inside the car.

Car cover

8. Regularly change your oil

Car manuals recommend that you change your oil at very long intervals, but the fact remains that frequent changes mean your engine will be cleaned out much more regularly. This will result in longevity for your engine. The manual often suggests more frequent oil changes for people who drive in tough conditions.

Following the best practices on engine care can extend the life of your engine and save you some time and money so if you drive frequently in stop-and-go traffic, pay extra attention to these recommendations.