Your car is more than just a tool to get you from point A to point B. It’s an essential part of your life and an investment that deserves protecting. To optimize your car’s performance, appearance, and durability to ensure a long life and seamless handling for years to come, follow these six tips for extending your car’s lifespan through proper care.
1. Keep It Clean
At least once a month, thoroughly clean your car’s interiors and exteriors. Clean interiors not only reduce clutter but also prevent stains, cracks, and tears in the upholstery. You can also prevent further damage through diligent exterior cleaning. You don’t think about that twig caught in the windshield wiper until it’s scratching the finish on your hood every time the wipers sweep down. Exterior cleaning is essential to maintaining an excellent shine and removing materials that may fade, lift, chip, crack, or scratch your paint.
2. Check Your Tire Pressure
Even if your dash indicator isn’t lit, you should check your tire pressure every 7,500 miles. Dash indicators might not always be reliable, though usually they’re a good way to pick up a major problem. Slowly deflating tire pressure can cause problems with steering and shock absorption even before it hits the critical level. For good maintenance practices, it’s best to make that 7,500-mile check a routine habit.
3. Rotate Your Tires
You might think of tire rotation and wonder why it’s necessary when your tires already rotate while you drive. A tire rotation performed at an auto repair and maintenance center, however, is an entirely different procedure – and involves actually rotating the position of your tires on your vehicle to ensure even wear. Tires on the front and back axles experience different levels of force, which means they experience different levels of wear. Rotating your tires, such as swapping the front and back tires, can let you get more life and durability out of a single set of tires. It can also ensure a smoother, safer drive with tires that perform equivalently as wear and tear even out.
4. Perform Routine Oil Changes and Fluid Flushes
The old “three months or 3,000 miles” used to be the gold standard for oil changes, but with new engine designs and oil quality, you can often go anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 miles without changing your oil. A routine checkup at 5,000 miles is advised, just to ensure everything’s running smoothly.
You have a bit longer with critical fluids, such as brake fluids. The fluids in your car are part of what keeps every part lubricated and running smoothly, but dirt, heating, and other factors over time cause them to lose effectiveness. However, you have up to two years or 20,000 miles with brake fluid alone. Depending on other fluids and your make and model, a service consultant can recommend a good interval to flush transmission and other fluids.
5. Clean Your Mirrors and Replace Your Bulbs
Driving with dirty mirrors is like driving through dense fog; you just won’t have very good visibility, which severely threatens your safety. Keep your mirrors clean of streaks, smudges, and grime so you can drive with crystal-clear visibility and a clean line of sight to the sides and rear of your vehicle.
Interior and exterior bulbs should be replaced routinely, particularly your head lights and tail lights. You can even receive a traffic violation for endangering yourself and other drivers with dysfunctional head lights, signal lights, or brake lights.
6. Made in the Shade
Although driving under the sun may be an enjoyable experience, the sun is actually one of your greatest enemies in keeping your car looking brand new. Excessive exposure can fade both your finish and your interiors, often in interesting patterns if your car is only partially shaded during the majority of its time under the sun. Prevent this by parking in an enclosed garage, under an awning, or in the shade. You can also use a car cover to keep your car snugly wrapped.
For professional help with any of these car maintenance tips, bring your vehicle to Sun Auto Service. Our technicians will skillfully care for your automobile at every maintenance milestone.