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Keep Your Car Running Forever

Friday, August 10, 2012
Image Courtesy of Flickr

Cars are one of the most expensive possessions you will ever need to purchase. It is in the best interest of your finances to keep your car running for as long as possible. While no car will stay running forever, by following a few simple tips your car will have a much longer lifespan.

1. Steady Driving Habits

One of the best ways to keep your car running for a long time is to practice good driving habits. Steady acceleration, braking and gear shifts will reduce unnecessary wear and tear on your car’s engine, tires and other important components. Steady driving habits will also improve gas mileage which can save you a substantial amount of money over time.

2. Regular Maintenance

Your car’s owner’s manual will have a suggested schedule for regular maintenance, such as oil changes. Newer cars will also have dashboard warning lights that indicate when certain maintenance needs to be done. By neglecting these simple checks and repairs you will dramatically shorten your car’s running life.

3. Proper Starting

When you start your car after it has been sitting for several hours you should wait at least thirty seconds before accelerating. Overnight, the oil which lubricates your car’s moving parts moves back into the oil pan. By waiting for the oil to move back into the engine, you reduce the amount of friction created.

4. Air Pressure and Fluid Levels

A simple part of keeping your car running forever is periodically checking air pressure in the tires and fluid levels. Keep a tire pressure gauge in the glove compartment or console for checking tire pressure. Gauge’s with a digital screen are often more accurate and simple to use but the analog variety will work as well.

There are several engine fluids you should check regularly, as well. The oil level is the most important engine fluid to check. You should also make sure the wiper, antifreeze, power steering and brake fluids are at the appropriate levels.

5. Pay Attention

When there is something wrong with your engine, your car often gives off noticeable warning signs. If you pay attention to the sounds, sights, and smells of your car you are more likely to catch a small issue before it becomes more serious.

Attentive maintenance and careful driving habits can help keep your car in working order for several hundred thousand driving miles.