The knights in shining armor of fairy tale fame wouldn’t be so brilliant without their noble steeds. The same can be said for today’s road warriors, whether commuting or vacation-bound.
Motorists are getting the most out of their car buying dollar, when you consider that the average age of cars on the road today is 11.4 years, according to IHS Automotive. This means that drivers are waiting more than a decade before turning their vehicles in for a new ride.
It’s not just that they’re owning them longer; they’re also accumulating more miles. In fact, according to The New York Times, 200,000 miler vehicles are the new normal, replacing the 100,000 milers that were once considered to be the industry standard.
While today’s lineup of vehicles are built more sturdily, thanks to the advances in manufacturing, cars don’t reach these lofty mileage totals without some elbow grease. The following are a few maintenance techniques that can help you keep your car going, and going, and going, as if it were the Energizer Bunny:
Be timely about oil changes
Everyone knows that a car’s oil supply has to be changed regularly, usually between 3,000 and 6,000 miles. However, if you procrastinate and allow overused oil to fester, it can diminish your vehicle’s lifespan. Make a note of the last time you changed the oil so you can know exactly when the next one should be scheduled.
Check the fluids regularly
Cars are a lot like people – as soon as you feel thirsty, you’re dehydrated. Health experts recommend drinking water throughout the day to avoid feeling parched. The same rule applies to your car. Be sure to check the engine’s various fluids every other week so the reservoirs don’t run dry.
Follow advice in owner’s manual
The owner’s manual may be the most infrequently read book out there that ought to be. In the table of contents, you’ll find a comprehensive listing of everything you need to do to keep your car running full steam ahead for as long as possible. Give it a read through and you may be surprised by what you’ll discover.
Take it easy
The late great Glenn Frey of The Eagles fame perhaps said it best: Take it easy when you’re driving, especially if you’ve had your car for several years now. Your ride isn’t exactly a spring chicken anymore, so it deserves some tender loving care. Steer clear of jamming on the brakes and avoid accelerating too rapidly.
Store in enclosed environment
The everyday wear-and-tear of driving is unavoidable, and is the reason why vehicles age the way they do. The weather plays a role as well, as the scorching heat of summer and bone-chilling cold of winter may cause some damage. If available, park your vehicle in a garage to keep it out of the harsh elements.
Looking to get your car ready for warmer spring weather? Check out our helpful tips in our spring tuneup guide.