How to Extend the Life of Your Vehicle
You want your vehicle to be with you for a long time, right? You didn’t buy it on a whim – it’s something that will fit your lifestyle and be part of your everyday life, for years to come. The longer life you can get out of it, the better an investment it will turn out to be. You want to extend the life of your vehicle as long as you can. Let’s take a look at the best things you can do to extend the life of your vehicle!
Rust and dirt don’t just make your vehicle look bad, but can also do damage to your vehicle. Regular thorough washes that remove dead bugs, dirt, salt, and other debris will help to preserve your sheet metal, tires, and undercarriage over time.
Interior cleaning is also important. Dirt and debris are not just unseemly but can lead to permanent staining, scratching, and other damage. Your dashboard, seats, and carpets all need regular cleaning to extend the life of your vehicle’s interior.
Pay Attention to How You Drive
The best way to extend the life of your vehicle is to take care of it when you’re behind the wheel. The harder you drive a vehicle, the faster it will wear down. On the flip side, driving smoothly and steadily helps parts last, and avoids stresses and damage. Regular erratic or heavy acceleration, heavy and quick braking, and hard maneuvering will all wear down parts of your vehicle faster than expected. Learning to be a smooth driver can extend the life of your vehicle.
Another part of this is looking at the trips you take. Short trips that don’t allow your vehicle to warm up, stop-and-go traffic, and rough roads all hammer on your car, truck, or SUV. Combine trips for efficiency, try and do errands and travel in off-peak hours, and avoid rough roads and construction zones when you can. All of this can minimize the likelihood of a mechanical component failure.
You know, that book that came with your vehicle? It’s more than just a place to store your registration and insurance cards. Every car has particular needs – and almost all of them are right there in the manual! Review and follow the maintenance schedule and recommendations for your vehicle, and get familiar with troubleshooting issues that might be necessary to keep your car, truck, or SUV on the road.
Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. It lubricates and cools, reducing friction between parts. It collects contaminants as it lubricates, carrying them away to be trapped in your oil filter. Without oil, contaminants can get into places and foul up your engine, and the lack of lubrication will cause metals to heat up to the point where they get warm enough to melt into each other and seize up. Of course, there is more than just oil. Other fluids like transmission fluids, brake fluids, and washer fluids all need to be monitored as well. Keep on top of these fluids!
Finally, most of these fluids need to run through a filter to remove particulates. On top of fluid filters, the air used throughout your vehicle also gets filtered, whether it’s headed to the engine or into the cabin. Keeping on top of these filters is important – they can get clogged and reduce effectiveness, failing to continue to filter particulates and also preventing air and liquid flow.
Avoid the Sun
Inside and out, your car can be damaged by the sun. It can fade and damage the paint, and heat and crack weather stripping and windshield wipers. If you have a leather interior, it can cause fading and cracking – plastics and rubbers will also be affected. Your car, truck, or SUV suffers when it’s exposed to UV rays and heat over prolonged periods, so try to park in a sheltered area, in the shade, or even indoors when you can!
Pay Attention to Your Tires
Where the rubber meets the road can have a massive impact on your vehicle over time. Properly inflated tires with full tread allow for great control and handling, as well as optimizing your fuel economy. More importantly, properly-inflated tires reduce wear and tear on wheels, axles, suspension, and more. Uneven inflation and low inflation can lead to unexpected issues and reduce the life of your vehicle.
These six points will help you to extend the life of your vehicle, and not just extend it, but help you get more money should you try and sell it or trade it in as time passes! We hope this helps you get the most life out of your vehicle, and if you want to have your vehicle taken care of by certified pros contact us at Lancaster Toyota. Visit our service center today.