These days, with quality standards on the decline, it’s really hard to hang on to any new purchase for more than a few years. You might not mind having to buy a new pair of shoes or jeans each year, but when you’re forced to replace an entire car due to damages that could have been prevented? You’ll probably be a lot less happy about parting with those hard-earned dollars.
Simply knowing which of your car’s components should be inspected (or changed) regularly, will not only prolong its life, but will also protect its resale value. Here’s what you should be doing to ensure your vehicle leads a long, happy, and healthy life:
1. Regular Oil Changes Make for a Happy Engine
You don’t have to have auto technician training to understand the importance of a vehicle’s engine—it’s truly the heart of the machine. However, what you may not know is that your car’s engine requires regular oil changes in order to continue to function efficiently. A professional who has completed auto mechanic courses would recommend that you have an oil change performed at least once every 5,000 km.
2. Don’t Let Down What Holds Your Car Up
You wouldn’t expect a single pair of shoes to hold up for 300,000 km of walking – and you shouldn’t presume that one set of tires can last through that much mileage either. If you’re looking to extend the life of your car, it’s important that you take care of the very parts that hold it up—literally. The condition of your tires can directly affect many other essential components of your vehicle, including fuel economy and the suspension system. Show your car that you care by replacing your tires every 80,000 km or so—this will allow your car to regain some grip, and it will also help with balance and acceleration.
3. The Body Needs TLC Too
Let’s face it – the Canadian climate is not exactly car-friendly, and our motorized companions suffer through the same dire conditions that we do, one winter after another. The least we can do is have them cleaned and detailed every so often. The winter salt, snow and slush—along with the incredibly cold weather of course—can become corrosive to your car’s body over time. While in the summer, calcium from pesky bird droppings can damage your ride’s gorgeous jet black, candy apple red or cobalt blue paint job. Visit your local car wash at least twice a month—your car deserves some pampering after all it’s been through!
4. It May be Exhausting, But It’s Necessary
Carbon residue build-up and corrosion are only a few of the factors that contribute to the damage of your exhaust system. Your fuel consumption and top notch acceleration depend on a well-functioning exhaust, so you’ll want to avoid any and all problems that will come from damage to this area. It’s important to have your automotive service technician perform an inspection every few years—or, as soon as you begin to notice any tell-tale signs of exhaust decline.
5. Don’t Let Your Brakes Break
Aside from the obvious dangers that can come from overused brakes—like not being able to bring your car to a stop while you’re driving—the accumulation of dust within their vicinity can also be damaging to your car. As the brake pads and discs continuously rub against each other to ensure your car stops, tons of dust will inevitably build up. This can damage the brake cylinder, and you’ll need to have your brakes changed. However, the cost of new brakes can be quite steep, so simply using brake cleaner will work well to extend their life (and yours!).
What is your number one maintenance tip for extending the life of your car?