By Madeline Klein on March 29, 2019.
Cars are expensive, and I don’t think you’ll find anyone who will deny that. Whether you’re buying a used Honda or a top-of-the-line Lexus, a car is a big investment that you’ll want to take good care of.
If you’re like us and want to get the most out of your ride, we’ve got just the info for you. We’ve gathered some car maintenance tips to help extend the life of your car from Reader’s Digest. Here’s what we found most helpful.
1. Take it easy during the break-in period
The break-in period is usually around the first 1,000 miles. During this time, the different pieces of your car are learning to work together smoothly. Follow simple break-in tips, like don’t accelerate quickly and keep that lead foot under control. With a smooth break-in period, your car will hopefully have a nice, long lifespan.
2. Consolidate short trips
There’s a lot of wear and tear that happens in your car during the first few minutes of driving. That’s when you’re doing the most damage to the environment as well. If you can consolidate short trips and do them at once instead of at different times or days. That should help keep your car running stronger, longer.
3. Don’t force it when you’re stuck
If you’re stuck in the mud, snow, or any other kind of situation, don’t keep your tires spinning at high speeds. Yes, it’s frustrating to be stuck, and yes, it feels like if you could just go fast enough, you might break free. But, spinning your tires is hard on your car and can hurt your transmission, clutches, and more. Keep some sand or an old towel stocked in your car emergency kit, and you’ll hopefully be out of sticky situations in no time.
4. Use floor mats
Floor mats are a lifesaver for a clean car, but they also play an important role in keeping water from seeping through the floor of your ride. They are easy to clean and will help keep that new car feeling for years. And if you're really feeling motivated, do a deep clean of your interior every once in a while. Keeping those floor mats in good condition can do wonders.
5. Keep your tires healthy
Healthy tires make for a happy car. Check on your tire's inflation at least once a month, and make sure you’re driving at the proper inflation. Not only will that help your gas mileage, but it will help keep them running smoothly for as long as possible. You should also check your tread every once in a while, and rotate them to make sure that tread wears evenly.
6. Check your oil often
It may seem like a lot, but check your oil every other fill-up. Your dipstick should have marks on it where the oil should be. If it doesn’t fall within that level, it’s time to do an oil change. Every car is different, so check out your owner’s manual to see how often your car’s oil should really be changed.
7. Crank the AC in the winter too
Turn on your AC a few times throughout the winter. It seems a little odd, but this will keep the moving parts from seizing and will circulate the refrigerant. That means your AC should be in tip-top shape come summer. You’ll be thanking us on those dreadfully hot summer afternoons!
8. Don’t idle for long
When you idle your car, you’re still using oil and taking it from important areas to help your engine run. And when you have less oil, you’ve got more friction and wear and tear that could shorten the lifespan of your car. Plus, idling is also wasting gas and hurting the environment. Less idling is a win-win for everyone.
A long, happy car life
At the end of the day, we all want a car that lasts a long time. These tips can help make that dream a reality and will keep your car (and wallet) happy for years.