Everyone knows the basics, right? Keep up with your oil changes, rotate your tires and be mindful of any indicator lights on the dashboard that may require attention. However, it’s important to remember that not all potential issues have their own indicator light, and you may be unknowingly doing things to reduce the lifespan of your vehicle.
In addition to regular maintenance, here are just a few things you should be doing to ensure your vehicle remains in good condition for many, many years.
Regular Interior and Exterior Cleanings
Not only does keeping your car clean inside and out make it look better, but it can help to keep it running better overall. The underside of your vehicle is virtually unprotected, taking hit after hit as you drive through dirt, rain and snow. In those areas in particular that experience heavy snowfall, the road salt used to provide more traction can be the most damaging of all, leaving holes where left untended. Regular visits to the car wash can help to reach even the most hard-to-reach places on your vehicle, ensuring that the body continues to hold up.
As for the interior, make sure you clear out your trunk after each season. The more weight you’re carrying around in your car, the more fuel you’re using. While those fold-up beach chairs were useful during the summer, it’ll be a while before you need them again.
Calm Your Road Rage
We’re all guilty of it. But the quick acceleration to stop someone from merging in front of you just before the exit, followed by the squealing of your tires as you’re forced to let them in anyway isn’t helping anything – least of all your vehicle. Aggressive driving can ultimately lead to your car wearing down sooner than it really should. Take a deep breath and remember that you’re doing it for the longevity of your car.
Give it a Minute
No one expects you to wake up and immediately be at your peak performance, right? Well your car works the same way. Rather than hoping in and shifting into “drive” as soon as your engine purrs to life, give it 60 seconds. Letting it sit for one minute before driving allows the oil to reach a temperature where it can properly lubricate the engine and extend its lifespan.
Finally, make sure that you don’t ignore the warning signs. If a light comes on in the dashboard, make sure it gets your full attention. Even if a light doesn’t come on, if you drive your car every day, you know when something seems off. Remember that it’s always better to check it out than write it off as nothing and pay for it in the long run when your vehicle gives out much sooner than expected.