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How to make your new car last longer

Ensuring proper car maintenance won’t only guarantee an exciting driving experience but can save you a lot in costly repairs.

autocar's imagining of the rumored tesla hatchback
Image: Autocar

Besides a house, buying a car is yet another significant investment- especially when it’s new. This is no surprise that a survey indicated an increasing demand for new cars in 2021.

Like any other investment, you want your new car to be in good shape for a long time. To do so, you must carry out the right maintenance processes and routine checks.

So, how can you ensure you get the most out of your new car? How can you make it last longer and age gracefully? Here are 13 essential car care and maintenance tips to make your new car last longer.

  1. Drive with care

The way you drive affects the health of your car. It is essential to avoid excessive acceleration when on the road. Constant speed causes your engine to experience wear and tear fast. Instead, stay within speed limits and try not to push your car’s speed regularly.

You should ensure that your behaviors and decisions on the road are made with the safety of your vehicle and other road users in mind. This means you should not drive under the influence or texting or talk on the phone while driving, as these actions slow your response time and put yourself, your car, and others in danger.

  1. Oil change

Regularly checking and changing the oil in your car is essential to keep your engine healthy. Usually, your car’s manual would indicate the frequency of oil changes required. However, it is also advisable to check it monthly. You can change your oil on your own.

This can be a little technical as you need knowledge on draining the fluid, setting the precise oil level, and disposing of the used oil. You would also need to be certain about the type of oil your vehicle uses, but you should know this information.

You should also know, for a fact, your car’s oil viscosity and whether to use synthetic or non-synthetic oil. However, taking your car to professionals for an oil change is always the better and safer option.

  1. Check your fluids

Like you need water to stay fit and healthy, your car needs various liquids to ensure it performs at optimal levels. According to experts, your car’s engine oil, power steering fluid, coolant, transmission, and brake fluid are fluids that require regular checks.

An insufficient amount or a leak in these fluids could adversely affect your car’s performance. You can identify possible leakages, quickly trace the source, and fix it to avoid significant damage by performing regular checks.

apple carkey
Image: MacRumors
  1. Check your brakes

Your car brake is an essential part of the vehicle and needs regular inspection. It is vital to pay attention to any noise, vibrations, and shuddering you hear in your car braking system.

It could be a sign of damage to your brakes, and failure to have it checked can lead to extensive damage and risks to you and your car safety. Your brakes are arguably the most vital safety feature on your car as it helps you stop or slow down to prevent a crash or accident.

It is therefore essential to keep it well maintained to avert any potential tragedy.

  1. Clean your radiator

Your radiator quickly accumulates dirt, pebbles, and other road objects, which can clog your radiator fin and lead to overheating. The radiator is vital to your engine’s cooling system, allowing coolant or water to circulate your hot engine.

Using a soft brush, you can prevent your car from overheating by removing dirt and debris from your radiator fan. Additionally, ensure to wash the exterior of your radiator using a detergent solution. 

  1. Replace your windshield wipers

Your windshield wipers are vital as they allow you to ensure your visibility on the road, especially in bad weather conditions. If your windshield wiper blades are worn-out or damaged, your visibility would be affected, causing collisions and other damages that can prevent you from getting the most out of your car.

Therefore, it is vital to inspect your wipers and check whether they need replacing regularly. The windshield wipers are essential for enjoying safe and peaceful car life.

But how do you know when to change your wiper blades? Here are five signs you need to replace your wipers:

  • Cracked or failing rubber on the blades
  • When wipers are streaking your windshields
  • Too much squeaking and chattering when you turn on wipers
  • Bent or damaged frame blade
  1. Test your lights 

Your broken or burned-out light is a safety hazard that can devalue your car, cause some trouble with the law, and prevent your car from staying around longer. Your headlights and taillights are essential as they offer visibility of cars and objects in front and behind you.

Check your various lights often to detect dimness and have them replaced immediately. If it’s broken or burned, you should consider taking your car to a professional to detect the problem of whether the fuse or the bulb needs to be changed. You should also consider cleaning your head and tail lights to add some extra shine.

  1. Car battery maintenance

An essential component that keeps your car moving is its battery. Practicing effective car battery maintenance would ensure that you get to use it longer and keep your car performing well even over a period. For starters, always ensure your battery terminals are clean.

You can use a detergent and damp rag to wipe the terminals clean. Additionally, inspect the battery case. Damages such as cracks and dings are indicators that your battery requires immediate replacement. If you live in a warmer area, be sure to check your batteries regularly.

The hot temperatures can cause your battery acid to evaporate. This reduces the amount of acid in your battery and affects its energy production levels.

  1. Check your car belt and hoses

When your car belts and hoses are in good shape, it reduces any risks of potential breakdowns on the road. For instance, several of your car systems can fail when the serpentine belt breaks.

Anytime you change your oil, ensure to have your belts and hoses checked to make sure everything is in a good state and doesn’t require any replacement.

Look out for cracks and any exposed threads. However, older cars use v-belts, so you might want to turn them over to check for excessive wear, damages, or glazing.

  1. Perform tire air pressure checks

Check your tire air pressure regularly and keep them inflated as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Properly maintaining your car’s tire pressure will help you manage uneven wear.

Uneven wear can be an indication of worn-out shock absorbers, brakes, or bent wheels. It would also ensure that you use less gas in moving than you would if the tires were under or over-inflated.

Be sure to get the recommended tire pressure for the car’s make and model, check the PSI, and inflate and deflate your tires accordingly.

Issues with your tires may also be shown through your regular air pressure checks. When you experience a flat tire often, it may indicate that those tires are defective and need to be replaced. This may also be the case if your tires are old- experts recommend replacing your car tires every six years.

To ensure you get the best tires for you, you can look through online stores like https://www.ozzytyres.com.au/ to select the right tires for your car. You can also read through reviews and easily compare prices to make the best choice. 

  1. Park in the shade

Parking your car in well-shaded areas preserves your car’s paint job. While you try to avoid sunburn during the warmer months, your car would also like to keep its color.

Too much exposure to high temperatures will cause your vehicle to break faster and become more problematic. If there is no shaded area to park your car, you can use an artificial car shade to reduce the sun’s impact.

  1. Wash your car

Regularly washing your car will keep it shiny, clean, and rust-free. However, don’t focus on only the exterior as the interior also needs some cleaning.

Spilled liquids can cause corrosion, while other dirty particles and components can create stains, attract pests, or create an unappealing smell in your car. Be sure to use clean cloths and non-harsh detergents to keep the car’s interior. You can remove your rugs and brush them or use a hose to clean them.

This will eliminate all the dirt to prevent dirt accumulation and wear down your mat. Ensure your car mats are correctly dry before returning to the car. If possible, dry them in the sun.

  1. Review your car insurance

As with regular car checks, it’s a good idea to check your car insurance now and then. Accidents and car damages are inevitable even for the most careful drivers. As a result, you need a dependable auto insurer.

There is no point in signing up for a car insurance policy if you cannot keep coverages and deductibles updated and ideal for your current circumstance. If your car is in good shape, your car occupants can be safe. And don’t forget to check for bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Yet, having car insurance isn’t an excuse to forgo regular car inspection and necessary part replacement. You might want to contact your local mechanic for this job.

Ensuring proper car maintenance won’t only guarantee an exciting driving experience but can save you a lot in costly repairs. These tips should not only enhance your car reliability but manage the unfortunate aging hazards and keep your car performing at its peak for years.

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