Car owners are keeping their vehicles longer than ever with the average age of a car on the road now exceeding 11 years. With proper maintenance, almost any car can last for more than 200,000 miles, potentially saving you tens of thousands of dollars over the next few decades. The staff at American Tri-Star, a leading provider of auto insurance in San Diego, has some practical tips for increasing the life span of your car.
Follow the Severe Use Maintenance Schedule
It’s always a good idea to follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. You may notice your manufacturer has two maintenance schedules: one for normal use and one for severe use. While it will require a little more effort, consider using the severe use schedule, which calls for more frequent oil changes and other forms of service. This maintenance schedule is designed for people who do a lot of city driving, short trips, and towing and those who live in very cold, hot, dusty, or mountainous regions or near the ocean.
Tend to Repairs Quickly
Whenever you notice small issues with your car, such as a strange noise when driving, a hum when you turn on the AC, or an odd smell, take it to your mechanic as soon as possible. Addressing these issues quickly can reduce further damage to the car. It’s also a good idea to schedule regular checkups to look for issues that don’t produce any noticeable signs yet.
Stay on Top of Fluid Changes
Always follow your manufacturer’s recommendation and change your oil every 3,000 to 10,000 miles. Oil cools and lubricates the moving parts inside an engine. Skipping regular oil changes can lead to sludge in the engine that reduces efficiency, damages components, and causes engine failure. You should also stay on top of other fluid changes, including brake, transmission, and power steering fluid. Sometimes these fluids will need to be topped off or flushed and replaced to keep your car working efficiently.
Drive with Care
Maintenance is essential, but the way you drive can also contribute to premature wear and damage to your car. Hard acceleration and stops cause wear to the drivetrain and engine. At red lights, put your car into neutral to reduce the strain on your engine and transmission, which would otherwise keep working to push the car forward. High speeds and making sharp turns can also put excessive stress on a car.
Keep the Car Clean
It’s not just the motor you should worry about. You also want your paint job and interior to last. If you allow dust and dirt to accumulate inside the car, it can contribute to premature wear, holes, and tears in the interior. To keep your paint job pristine, wash and wax your car regularly. You should also park in the shade whenever possible to reduce the effects of the sun on the paint.
Every driver should make sure to have reliable auto insurance to protect their vehicle in the event of damage. American Tri-Star offers free online car insurance quotes. San Diego drivers can also call 619-272-2100 to receive a complimentary quote from one of our trusted agents.