A car that stays in pristine condition forever and never needs a tune-up… A common fantasy among new car owners across the globe. Just don’t mistake your wishes for reality. Vehicles do need maintenance. And after all the hard work of selecting a car, finding insurance, and working out bank payments… Do you want to go through all of that in only a couple years’ time due to neglect?
Serious about keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape and driving it for 10 years (at least)? Then you might need to find out how you could be unintentionally shortening your vehicle’s lifespan. Consider whether any of the below statements ring true for you:
You don’t know that cars can feel summer time heat.
Guess what? It is not just you that abhors sweltering weather. Your engine and car brain does not like it either. When your car overheats, you might get several malfunction signals in your dashboard.
Things can get heated down there and summertime only exacerbates this condition. You should always have enough coolant and antifreeze in your radiator. Other ways to keep your car from overheating during the summer include turning off your air conditioner. That might seem counter intuitive, but doing so will help ease the burden on your engine.
You forget about the oil.
Can’t remember when you last changed the oil in your car? It is probably time for an oil change. Oil in your oil tank plays the important role of lubricating your engine and carrying heat away from the engine’s components. However, as oil moves about the engine, it gathers dirt and debris on its journey. With time, the oil becomes too clogged with debris to do its job effectively, which is why it must be changed.
Oil and engine tech has improved greatly since the advice to change one’s oil every 3,000 miles. But oil changes are still necessary. Research the recommended time for the model you drive.
You are wearing out your brakes.
Do you hear a squeal or a screech when pumping the brakes? You might want to take a look at your disc brake pads. Brake pads wear down with time, and when that happens, the metal rubs against the rotor and makes that screeching sound.
It may be tricky to estimate how often you should be changing your brake pads. This is because each driver has a different driving style. However, a good rule of thumb is to check the condition of your brake pads around the same time that you rotate your car’s wheels. Having brakes that work as they should will go far in extending the life of your vehicle. Not to mention preventing serious injury to your car, yourself, and others.
You forget that your car has an air filter.
Maybe you knew your car has an air filter… But did you know that it needs regular replacement? A car’s air filters prevent debris and dirt from getting near your engine. When the air filter is not changed every 12 months or so, then its ability to perform its function is impaired. A dirty air filter will cause the engine to work harder, reducing fuel economy and creating higher emissions. All of this can lead to overheating and engine malfunctions.
Replacing air filters regularly will prevent placing undue stress on other car parts. How to tell if your air filter needs replacement? Aside from a regular replacement schedule, also keep an eye out for unusual sounds, a misfiring engine, or poor gas mileage.
A car that never needs a tune-up is a unicorn, something that we most probably will not see in our lifetimes. But a car that stays in pristine condition is within your grasp by keeping on top of your car’s maintenance. Pull up your Google calendar and set yourself reminders that repeat yearly and give your car every chance at a long and happy life.