Cars are a massive part of anyone’s life. People use them to drive their kids to school, drive themselves to work, and run their errands. It would be practically impossible to get everything done without cars and have any time left.
People in the U.S. heavily rely on their vehicles as, according to ABC News, nearly 220 million U.S. citizens average an hour and a half each day in their cars, with about 3.3 million people traveling at least 50 miles to work one way. Plus, when you add in vacations, errands, and other trips, you have to agree that Americans spend a lot of time behind the wheel every single day.
As a result, Americans have become good at keeping their cars in great shape, and that doesn’t only apply to people who collect and maintain older vehicles. Nowadays, everyone is looking to keep their vehicle in the best condition possible to avoid the hefty costs of repairs or having to buy a new car every few years. After all, the average age of vehicles on U.S. roads rose to 12.1 years in 2021, compared to 11.9 years in 2020 and 9.6 years in 2022.
This is tangible evidence that people in the U.S. know how to keep their cars in good shape for as long as possible. The big secret behind this is regular maintenance—as a matter of fact, a lot of it. In this brief article, we’ll provide you with some of the top maintenance tips to keep your old car running for as long as possible.
Don’t Try To DIY Everything
The thing with cars is that they are just like people. They demand more attention from specialists as they age, particularly in the regions most critical to their ongoing survival. For that reason, take your car periodically to an independent repair shop to check its crucial suspension and steering components.
Experienced DIYers can do this by themselves, but even experts might choose to farm it out to someone who does this work each day for some added peace of mind. For example, if your car’s original paint is fading away and you’re thinking about whether you can repaint it on your own or if you should delegate that job to an experienced professional, we advise you to go with the latter choice. Every professional car painter has years of experience under their belt and works with the most advanced automotive paint spray gun, an investment that might be unreasonable if you only repaint your car once.
Regularly Change Your Oil And Oil Filter
Perhaps the single best thing you can do to prolong the life of your car’s engine is to get frequent oil changes because not doing so can cause many costly problems with the engine over time. In addition, although any garage that changes your oil can also take care of your oil filter, you need to make sure that it gets taken care of one way or another. Don’t forget to take down the date and mileage after each oil change so you know when your automobile is due for the next one.
Maintain Your Car’s Tires
What is a car without good tires? Regardless of how old your car is, it certainly can’t run well without them. Ensure to rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles and check the tire pressure and tread routinely. If you can’t switch your tires on your own, go to your nearest tire shop and seek a professional to help.
Engine Timing Belt
See your car’s manual to uncover if you have an interference engine. If you do, and your vehicle reaches 80,000 to 120,000 miles, then you need to have your timing belt replaced, or it could break and cause you more significant problems. And even if you don’t have an interference engine, it’s a good idea to have it inspected when you hit that mileage market.
Your Driving Style Is Also Important
If you want to take adequate care of your old vehicle, you should also drive it properly. Over the years, a pattern of surging and slamming on the brakes, or taking sharp turns, takes its toll on your car’s suspension and drivetrain components. So, if you want your car to last longer, you need to drive it gently and safely.
Give your aging vehicle lots of love and attention, by following the maintaining tips we shared above, and there’s no reason the two of you can’t grow old together. Nevertheless, in addition to our tips, always consult your vehicle’s owner manual for specific instructions and maintenance schedules.