A car is a major investment and regular preventive maintenance will allow you to keep it on the road for ten years and more.
If you want to keep your car on the road and out of the shop, consider the following six tips:
1. Change your filter regularly
Checking fluid levels regularly and changing the fluids and filters periodically can minimize the risks of breakdowns and prolong the life of the engine, transmission, cooling system and brakes.
You need to change air filters, fuel filters and oil filters on a regular basis to keep your engine performing well. In countries with high sulfur fuel, you need to change your fuel and oil filter in half the recommended time. Air filter needs to be changed every two months in rural areas and deserts, and windy and dusty countries. Most folks change their oil filter when they are draining and replacing their engine oil and fuel filter every six months.
2. Check and replace Fluids
A car is a machine and like any machine it needs oil replaced on a regular basis. Engine oil needs to be changed every 5000 miles, engine coolant flushed and replace every six months and transmission fluid every two years or every 30,000 miles whichever comes first. Flush and replace your brake fluid and power steering every two years.
Engine oil is the one that needs to be looked at regularly. A few years ago you were asked to check the oil level every time you went to the petrol pump but now it is fine if you check the engine oil level every month and fill it if it is below the safe level.
3. Drive safely
Nothing reduces a car's value and longevity than an accident so safe driving habits are essential. Follow all traffic rules and avoid speeding. Don't drive drunk and avoid texting and talking on mobile phone while driving. Avoid driving when you are tired and drowsy.
4. Don't drive as much and avoid short trips
The more you drive your car, the more wear and tear it gets. If you walk as much as possible to nearby destinations, you not only improve your health, you also increase your car's life.
A large numbers of short trips of 10 minutes and less cause a lot of wear and tear as cars don't have the time to reach optimum operating temperature. Walk if possible or combine a number of errands for a longer trip.
5. Get annual checkup done
Find a good honest mechanic and get a thorough maintenance done at least once a year. The mechanic will check your battery, check and change your fluids and filters, check air-conditioner refrigerant, get your tires rotated and balanced and your alignment checked, change your spark plugs and replace your wipers if necessary, He will thoroughly clean up your vehicle innards and ferret out any possible problem with the car and recondition it as new.
6. Choose a good car
If you want your car, pickup truck or SUV to last then research the model and its track record. Stick with major brands as Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz and you cannot go wrong. If you want a pickup go for the Indestructible Toyota Hilux, if you are looking for a Sport Utility Vehicle then Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Prado or Toyota Land Cruiser are good options. If you are looking for luxury vehicles then a BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche will work best.