5 Inexpensive Ways to Extend the Life of Your Car – AARP
The car has around 111,000 miles on it, and Fleury’s father is responsible for about 13,000 of those. Fleury has taken responsibility for maintaining the car and keeping this gift on the road. “Treating an old vehicle with respect — not viewing it as a ‘beater’ and simply performing routine maintenance will go a long way in preserving older vehicles,” he says.
Not all of us are driving cars that are more than 30 years old, and Terry acknowledges keeping the Toyota going can be a bit different because of the older technology. “It does help to understand how older vehicles were built and engineered differently than modern vehicles as well,” he says.
You may not want to keep your car on the road for three decades, but here are five inexpensive ways to keep your car running longer.
Let the car warm up
You wouldn’t ask an Olympian to hop right out of bed and run his/her best 20-mile time, so don’t expect the same from your car. Just as an athlete would warm up with some light exercise before a big race, your vehicle needs to do the same.
That means allowing the car to idle a few minutes during the first start of the day. This lets the moving parts begin at a leisurely pace and gets the essential fluids flowing properly.
People who live in colder climates know about “warming up” a car on a winter morning. That often can get mistaken for just getting the interior nice and toasty. But when a heater is working on a cold day, it also means your car’s engine has warmed up enough to be ready to hit the road.
Even if your car is parked in the Florida sun, if it sits overnight or longer, take a few minutes to let it idle and get comfortable. It helps ensure all components are operating at their proper temperature, and less stress equals longer automobile life.
Keep your car clean
A good-looking car is always nice to have, but there are real benefits to keeping it clean. A full wash every few weeks and a full waxing every few months gets rid of debris and protects the paint. This helps prevent corrosion on the body panels.
There’s another benefit here, too. A car that looks good commands more of your time. There’s extra pride and motivation to keep up maintenance for a good-looking vehicle.
Oil is the car’s lifeblood
One of the most important basics in engine maintenance is locating your dipstick and reading your oil level. The owner’s manual can help you with this process and also show you where to add lubricant if necessary. Don’t have your owner’s manual? It would be a smart investment to go online to download it and/or get a used one from an online auction. It’s a great first step to answering “where is that?” on the car.