Shiny paint, shiny rims, new car smell. Cars represent freedom, independence and youth. A car is a representation of you. You take care of your car because it represents you and how valued you are. It is a representation of you and the journey of your life. So when a car breaks down, it can cause emotional distress and anxiety. As you can imagine, people don’t look forward to taking their vehicle to a mechanic for maintenance. It is costly, stressful and emotional for people that have built a deep bond with their vehicle. Even with proper maintenance and care, your car will break down. It is inevitable. But there are ways to lessen the impact of auto troubles on your life.
- Treat your car like you would a home appliance.
When you get your new washing machine or refrigerator, you read the manual and know how to use it to make it last longer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance for your car, with regular tune-ups, proper tire air pressure and a good cleaning. You can make your automobile last longer and run smoother.
For example, tune-ups are one of the most important parts of maintenance on your car. They should be done annually or every 20,000 miles. There’s not much mystery here: The engine needs oil, filters and belts to function correctly. A good mechanic should also inspect the rest of your car to ensure no problems.
- Don’t Let Your Car Ride Your Brakes.
Sounds obvious, right? But many drivers do this all the time. You see it often on the highway when a car is tailgating you. It’s called brake riding. And it’s not good because your brakes are built to withstand pressure only when you’re slowing down or stopping. When you’re constantly putting pressure on them, they wear out faster. And this can lead to uneven braking and a need for expensive repairs.
- Consider getting a new timing belt.
A timing belt is a part of your car’s engine that keeps the camshaft and crankshaft rotating in sync. If the belt breaks or wears down, the engine components can move out of sync, which will damage it. In some cars, this can even cause the engine to stop running. Timing belts can last anywhere from 50,000 to 120,000 miles (though many are covered for longer), so if you haven’t had yours replaced recently, consider doing it soon. The cost to replace a timing belt varies greatly by vehicle model and is often included in your car’s maintenance schedule. A mechanic will probably be able to tell you when it is due for a replacement based on the last time it was done. If you are unsure, contact your local mechanic, and they should be able to help you figure out if it is time for a replacement.
- Brake hard, slowly and often.
Whether it’s the brake pads or brake shoes worn, the only way to find out is to keep applying pressure and listen for a change in the sound of screeching metal on metal. If it’s time for new brakes, have a professional mechanic inspect them and ensure they’re not on their last legs. That goes double if you have carbon brakes that are much more sensitive to heat than standard steel brakes.
- Research the value of your car parts.
Not all parts that fit your car will restore it to its original glory. It may be tempting to pop for that $15 part that says it fits your car, but do your research first if you are going out of pocket to fix what’s broken.
Shop around and do a little research online to see if people who installed the part had good things to say about it. As the product description says, some of these counterfeits don’t even free up the check engine light. It would help if you also kept in mind that not all auto repair shops are created equal, and some auto repair shops will even rip you off to make a quick buck. If you have not heard of a shop before or do not have any references for them, go somewhere else. The best place to start is with your local dealership, as they can only install manufacturer certified parts such as DPF Weld Bungs, which will be the least expensive and most effective parts for your car.
- Get New Tires
A new set of tires can significantly improve the performance of your vehicle. You will feel a big difference when taking turns or accelerating, but it can also be the difference between a safe trip and a potential accident. So when was the last time you checked the tread on your tires? If you don’t know, it’s probably a good idea to check it now and then, or you can get a notification on your phone every time you need to check it.
- Make sure you have a fresh air filter.
Driving a car that has in-cabin fresh air is the best way to have fresh air flowing in your vehicle. Your car will have better performance and better fuel economy.
The most crucial component of a fresh air system is a clean, fresh air filter. It’s like the window of your car, and you want to keep it clean and clear. Once you have a clean, fresh air filter, check with the manufacturer on how often you should change those filters.
- Change the Oil
Your car engine doesn’t last forever. It needs routine maintenance. Bring your car to an automotive shop to have a qualified mechanic do it for you. The good news is that it can cost just a few hundred dollars. That also allows you to ask them any questions you may have. Find a shop that offers free inspections and estimates to help you determine when and how much your vehicle needs to be serviced next.
- Keep a log of repairs and maintenance.
Scrutinize your car’s maintenance history to identify any patterns. If you’ve had to replace a specific part multiple times, it could indicate that something is wrong with the car. The next time you visit your mechanic, bring your log with you. You can also use a smartphone app that tracks your engine’s performance or take some video of your car when you notice any strange noises or issues arising after driving for a while.
Water, salt, and snow can all corrode a vehicle, so park in the shade as often as possible or use a sunshade for mainly sunny regions like Arizona and Florida.
If you live in a cold climate, bring your car inside when temperatures go below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Ventilation is essential when it comes to maintaining your car’s rust-free exterior. Ensure that the air can flow freely in and out of your vents to keep moisture and debris away from sensitive parts.