The purchase of a car is often the second largest purchase you will make. You have spent time looking, comparing features, and even test driving for the perfect fit. Protecting your investment should be a top priority.
In the beginning, this is easy to do. You “baby” your new “baby”. You take extra measures to keep it clean on the inside and out, you don’t eat or drink in it, you are picky about the parking spot you choose to avoid door dings. Eventually, these protective instincts will fade and you’ll lighten up on the overprotection.
But what about the non-superficial components?
What kind of care do you take when driving? Accelerating and braking? Sharp turns and avoiding curbs? Checking the fluids and paying attention to what gas makes your car run better?
Here are some tips to prolong the life of your car:
- Let your car warm up (especially in colder weather). Giving the oil a chance to warm up means it will circulate more efficiently throughout the engine. When your car sits, the oil doesn’t circulate through the engine. It takes a little time for the running engine to get the oil warm and ready to go.
- Avoid quick accelerations. Slower acceleration is gentler on your car’s overall health. This not only is fuel-efficient; the car doesn’t have to work as hard to get you up to speed. If you have a manual transmission, a slower acceleration is easier on the moving components of your shifting.
- Listen to your engine. It will tell you with ticks and clunks if something is not right. Try to notice any patterns. Does the noise happen when you turn? Which direction? When you accelerate? During braking? Is it coming from the front, back, driver’s side, or passenger side? Does it happen at higher speeds? Does it go away as the car warms up? Despite the fact that the noise may be intermittent, don’t wait to check it out with your mechanic.
- Be sure to check your oil and other fluids regularly. A convenient time to check your oil is when you fill up your gas tank.
- Take care of your wheels and brakes. Check your tires regularly for cracks or flaws. Don’t forget to rotate your tires to extend the life of your tires!
- Plan your driving route. Short trips are harder on a car since the engine takes an average of 10 minutes to fully warm up. Avoid small trips when possible.
- Reduce extra weight. Having extra weight in your car will place extra demands on the engine, increase wear on your tires, and make your brakes work harder to stop.
- Get regular maintenance! Your trusted mechanic will give you information about upcoming repairs on your car so you can plan accordingly.
Keeping up on these basics of car care should lead you on the path for a long and happy life with your purchase. Contact your experts at Stroebel Automotive for your car’s life-extending maintenance.