Car purchases are the second most expensive purchases we make, the first being one's home. This means that any steps you can take to prolong your car's lifespan save you thousands of dollars a year by letting you delay costly repairs or the purchase of a new car. Let's look at six ways to prolong your car's lifespan.
Drive Less Aggressively
Not accelerating as hard as possible when the light turns green before slamming on the brakes at the next red light will reduce the wear and tear on the engine and brakes, as well as reduce the amount of gas wasted during these inefficient phases of combustion. Don't drive twenty miles over the speed limit; driving closer to the speed limit reduces your odds of getting in an accident or receiving a ticket, eliminates the risk of getting a ticket, and you'll reduce the strain on the car.
If you put the car in neutral when stopped at a red light or traffic jams, you'll decrease the strain on the engine, though this may add another second before you can accelerate.
Don't try to "hyper-mile"
and ride right behind a big 18 wheeler. Your odds of hitting that vehicle are too great, and the constant acceleration and braking to stay in their tailwind more than offsets the slight fuel savings. Another variation of this maxim is when you drive slow and easy the first few miles after the car has been started up, letting the fluids warm up inside the car, reducing the strain and stress the car can experience when you have ice crystals in any fluids and then try to gun it out of the driveway.
Use the Right Gasoline
Let's be honest - not all cars need premium gasoline, and in most cases, premium gasoline with extra detergents in it is a waste of money. The exceptions are the luxury cars and sports cars that need premium gasoline
to run properly. If you filled up your car from a fuel pump while the gas storage tank is almost down to its dregs, there is now a risk the car has picked up sludge. In this case, running the fuel tank down to the minimum and then filling up with premium gas may be worth it.
Don't forget to always be careful not to put diesel fuel or E85 ethanol in your car. Unless you have a diesel or flex fuel vehicle, putting these fuels in your car will ruin it.
If You Take Mostly Local Trips, Take a Longer One
If you drive thirty minutes on the highway to work, this tip isn't for you. If you mostly drive your car through local bumper to bumper traffic or constantly stop and go due to errands, you need to take a longer trip at least once a month. Driving at least twenty minutes at 50 miles an hour or faster once a month or more often is actually good for your car. It gets the engine warmed up and burns off condensation in the vehicle's systems that otherwise could rust connections. There are even people who've had their mufflers and other components rust through because it never travels more than five miles at a time.
Put Your Car on a Diet
Your car's engine and frame strain under an unnecessary load, whether it is several heavy toolboxes in the trunk, the storage pod never taken off the roof or the trailer you keep pulling around. If you take everything you can out of the trunk and off the top of the car, you'll reduce the strain on the struts and improve your fuel efficiency.
Another variation of this maxim is not to pull more weight than your car is designed to pull. Just because you can attach something to the bumper doesn't mean you should – you risk ripping off the bumper and bending the connected struts.
Use Car Covers
NASCAR car covers
and similar car covers protect your car in a number of ways. They help protect the paint from ultraviolet light, so that the paint job doesn't fade. It helps protect the car from scratches, dings and dents. Bird droppings and acid rain can't eat at the paint of your car if the car is covered. The small spray of pebbles as a construction truck rumbles down the street is unlikely to crack your windshield if it hits a car cover first. Note that the car cover has to fit well because if it rubs against the paint job, instead, it will destroy the finish instead of defend it.
Take Care of Your Tires
It is cheaper to replace your tires when the tread is wearing out than deal with a blowout on the side of the road. It is less effort to check the tire pressure and inflate them than get stuck on the side of the road with a flat. Take care of the tires to save money over the long run and reduce the risk of an accident because your tires blew out.
Take care of your tires and be careful to use the right fuel to minimize the chance of damage to the car. Use a car cover to protect the car's finish. Don't drive aggressively, and if you only drive locally, take at least one long fast drive per month. And, minimize the weight in the car and the loads that you pull to improve fuel efficiency and your car's wear and tear.