How To Keep Your Old Vehicle In Good Condition For Longer

If you’re sick and tired of having to buy a different used car every year, but you can’t afford anything brand new; the information in this article should help you to keep your current automobile in decent condition for longer than you otherwise would have done. Regardless of the make and model you drive at the moment, the advice and tips on this page will point you in the right direction and ensure you leave no stone unturned when it comes to completing regular maintenance jobs that ensuring the vehicle remains in working order. Of course, you never know when something will break, and you need to purchase replacement parts. So, there are no guarantees you won’t have to pay for repairs at some point. However, these suggestions should tip the scales of balance in your favor.

Change the oil and oil filter regularly

Changing the oil every few months is essential if you want to make sure your engine always works correctly. The process of doing that is not complicated, and you can find lots of detailed written guides and videos online if you get stuck. However, you will benefit from investing in your car’s manual. That book will tell you everything you need to know about changing the oil and how often you need to undertake that job.

oil change bottle
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Of course, there are professional mechanics out there who will perform the task on your behalf for a small fee. Still, there is no need to employ their services in most instances for something as straightforward as an oil change. Make sure you wear some overalls if you change the oil in the morning before you go to work. You don’t want to get it all over your suit!

Replace the transmission fluid and differential oil

When it comes to replacing the transmission fluid and the differential oil, it is sensible for you to follow the same strategy. Either search online for guides and videos, read your manual or take the vehicle to a reputable mechanic. There are lots of different types of differential oil and transmission fluid available on the market today, and some brands are more suitable than others. Hopefully, you will discover all the information you require when checking your car’s manual. However, if you have any doubts about the right fluids and oils for your engine, be sure to consult an expert at your local garage. Using the wrong fluid and oil in your automobile could ruin the engine, and you might have to pay a small fortune to put things right.

Make sure you use engine coolant

The last thing anyone wants is for their engine to overheat during a long drive around the country. If that happens, you might break down at the side of the road and have to wait for a recovery vehicle to come and assist. That will ruin your plans, and it could mean you have to go home instead of reaching your chosen destination. Most recovery firms will pick your car up from the side of the road, but the only place they will take it is straight back to your house. So, if the problem occurs while you’re driving your family to the countryside for a weekend away, there is a reasonable chance you won’t get to enjoy your vacation. Again, adding engine coolant is not a difficult task, and you only need to follow the guidance in your manual or search for the right info and instructions online.

Keep the car clean inside and out

Cleaning your car at least once each month is sensible if you want it to remain in the best condition possible for the foreseeable future. People who don’t clean their vehicles could encourage rust and other unwanted elements to appear. Thankfully, there are car washing facilities in every town and city these days.

man washing car
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Some gas stations even offer a hand wash service for a few dollars. Whether you clean the vehicle at home or take it to the professionals, make sure you never leave dirt and grime to build for more than a couple of months. You also need to clean the interior of the car if you want to avoid mold and other problems that could ruin the material and cause your vehicle to deteriorate. Professional valeting tends to cost around $30 to $50 in most instances.

Use air fresheners to mask stale smells

Old cars can start to exhibit strange and unusual smells. That tends to happen due to damp and other issues inside the vehicle. Nobody wants to sit in a stale smell all morning while they drive to work. So, it’s sensible to ensure you always keep some strong air fresheners inside the automobile. It doesn’t matter which brand of car air freshener you select so long as it does the job and keeps your vehicle smelling fresh and inviting. That will also help when you finally come to sell the car at some point in the future. Your use of air fresheners should mean you never have to stress about someone commenting on a stale scent when they come to view, and potentially buy the automobile.

Change your brake fluid

Next up, you need to think about making sure you change your brake fluid at the appropriate times. Again, check your manual for more information about your particular model because all vehicles are different. Those who don’t change their brake fluid often enough could encourage corrosion to occur, and that can lead to many expensive issues and repairs.

brake fluid
Photo by Alex

Also, there is a chance your car will become unsafe on the roads if your brakes do not function as they should. Nobody wants to become involved in an accident, and so now is the best time to brush up on the process of replacing the fluid. Brake fluid is not going to break the bank, and one bottle should last for quite a while. So, don’t stress too much about the expense.

Keep the interior out of direct sunlight

The material used on the interior of your vehicle will fade and lose it’s charm if you leave the car in direct sunlight. While it’s not always possible to park in a place where the sun doesn’t shine directly on your vehicle; you should aim to do that as much as possible. You will struggle to keep your car in excellent condition and get a reasonable price when you decide to sell if the interior has seen better days. The last thing you want to do is pay professionals to re-cover the seats because that costs a lot of money. It doesn’t make sense to spend too much on an old automobile because you could put that cash towards getting something new. Keeping the car out of direct sunlight as much as possible will also help to keep your paintwork in excellent condition.

Check and replace your tires

If you fail to check and replace your tires at the right times, there are lots of issues that could affect your car. For instance, there is a chance the vehicle could become unsafe, and you might end up involved in an avoidable crash. Your engine will also have to work harder to reach the required speeds if your tires are not inflated correctly. That means you will end up using a lot more fuel than you should, and you will decrease the working life of your automobile. So, the next time you stop at the gas station, drive over to the air pump and fill your tires to the recommended level. You can then check the tread when you get some and see whether or not you need to pay for replacements. All the information you need to perform that assessment is available online or in your manual.

Take the vehicle for regular services

Professional servicing by the company that produced the vehicle is the best way to ensure you keep the car running correctly. While you might have to pay slightly more to take your automobile to a manufacturer-run garage rather than the mechanic down the road, it is worth the expense. You will benefit from the knowledge and experience of people who spend their entire day working with vehicles made by that particular brand. You will get the best replacement parts, and you can use the service history to increase the asking price for your car in the future when you decide to sell.

From the information and tips on this page; you should now have a reasonable idea of what it takes to keep your old car in good condition for longer than you otherwise would have done. Hopefully, people who take the suggestions from this article and put them into action will manage to avoid buying a new vehicle for a few years yet. When all’s said and done, performing regular maintenance checks should help you to get better value for money on the automobile you drive at the moment. You won’t have to look for something else for at least a couple of years with a bit of luck. So, start using this guide to your advantage today!

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Adam

What can I say? I've got a passion for beards. The ladies love it, and I plan to maintain this masterpiece until the day I die. It may not surprise you to hear that I run our grooming section.

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