5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Car
#1. Change your oil and oil filter frequently
The #1 thing you can do to extend the life of your car is change the oil (and filter) frequently. Brad likes to call oil changes “the cheapest insurance you’ll ever buy.” A recent survey by the Car Care Council showed 38% of vehicles inspected had low or dirty engine oil.
How it works: Oil works in your engine by keeping everything lubricated. In addition oil catches the dirt, acids and carbon particles that naturally occur every time you drive your car. When oil gets dirty it begins to act like sandpaper, roughing up and wearing down weak points in the engine. As it gets dirtier the oil can’t hold the byproducts in suspension and they start to build up at the same weak points, degrading the seals in your engine and plugging oil passageways.
How often? We recommend every 3 months or 3000-5000 miles. Recently many articles have appeared in the media questioning the necessity of replacing oil this often. At Pellman’s we believe most cars, if taken care of properly, should take you 200,000 miles or more. Frequent oil changes are key to maximizing your car investment. You can learn more about the benefits of regular oil changes here.
#2. Regularly check your car’s other fluids
Transmission fluid, brake fluid and coolant are just some of the fluids that keep your car running well. The Car Care survey found 28% of cars had inadequate coolant levels. Do you know what this means? You could be one of those people sitting on the side of the road with your engine overheating if you don’t take care of your car’s fluids. Clean, regularly changed fluids not only extend the life of your car, they keep you from having annoying, needless breakdowns.
#3. Take care of your tires
It’s easy – rotate your tires and keep them at the correct tire pressure. These two simple actions will make your car safer to drive AND save you money. In the car care survey, 58% of cars inspected had low tire pressure. Incorrect tire pressure impacts your wallet every single time you get behind the wheel because:
- you get fewer miles per gallon
- you’ll have to replace your tires sooner
How often? Check your tire pressure once a month, rotate your tires every 12,000 miles.
#4. Wash your car regularly
Keeping the interior and exterior of your car clean helps your car hold its value. The easiest way to do that is to regularly wash and clean your car. Just as dirty oil acts like sandpaper in your engine, dust and dirt build up on the exterior of your car, and starts to slowly scratch your car’s paint, and works its way into the seals around your windows. The easiest way to prevent this is to wash your car regularly.
Coloradans should know that in the winter our transportation departments put magnesium chloride on the road to prevent ice build up. It’s damaging to the paint job on your car, so be sure to give your car a good rinse after snow storms when the plows have been out. Yes, we know it’s irritating (especially after this winter when we had storm after storm after storm) but it’s good for your car.
#5. Have your car regularly serviced by a trusted repair shop
Like everything else in life prevention is the key to avoiding long-term, expensive problems. For your car this means regular inspections and following the service maintenance schedule recommended by your automaker.
Find an auto repair shop you can trust and regularly take your car there. (We hope you have already found this shop in us.) It’s a huge advantage to have all your car maintenance records in one place. Your technician and service manager have the chance to get to know your car and its quirks (they all have them) and can identify problems early.
Putting it all together
Keep your car young and make it easy on yourself at the same time with a quarterly visit to Pellman’s Automotive. Click here to see the wide range of preventative maintenance services offered at Pellmans.