Owning a new car usually means keeping up with basic maintenance. As time goes on, though, you’re going to have to do more to keep the car on the road. Sometimes this will depend on the make and model of your car, but many items on the maintenance checklist are applicable to any kind of car. Below are five tips you can follow to take better care of your car over time.
1. Read the Manual
The older your car gets, the more attention you’ll need to pay to the manual. Don’t just memorize when your car needs to go in for basic maintenance – learn when the big jobs need to be done as well. This will include things like water pumps, timing belts, oil changes, and tire rotations. The older your car gets, the more important that major maintenance will become to keep it on the road.
2. Pay Attention to the Interior
You’d be amazed at how a car’s interior can fall apart over time. There are plenty of little steps you can take to keep the interior pristine, but one of the best involves investing in car window tinting. Doing so will help to reduce the amount of damage that the sun can do to the car’s seats and dash, which keeps it looking newer for longer.
3. Make Small Adjustments
Little adjustments can mean a lot when driving an older car. This might mean more frequent oil changes or ensuring that you buy higher-quality tires, but these changes can be quite effective. Even making sure that you’re a little more cautious with the accelerator can end up paying huge dividends later down the road. Talk to your mechanic, especially a specialty mechanic, about what you can do to take better care of your specific car and make it last longer through the years.
4. Don’t Ignore Anything
One of the best ways to take better care of your car and keep it moving is to pay attention to all of its little problems. Once you’re out of the warranty zone, you’ve got to treat every check engine light or strange noise like it’s a real problem. Get these issues checked out as soon as you can and don’t drive your car until you can get a professional to take a look at the vehicle. It might be overkill in most cases, but it will help you to avoid disasters.
5. Pay Attention to Storage
Finally, make sure you pay attention to how you store your older car. Keeping it out of the elements can prevent environmental damage, so park it in a garage if you can or keep it covered when you cannot. Give your car extra time to warm up in the winter as well, as letting it shake off the cold can help you to avoid some common problems.
Caring for an older car is really just a matter of making smart choices. Play it safe, pay attention, and don’t be afraid to make changes when they make sense. With any luck, you’ll be able to keep your car on the road for years to come.
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