Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.

Subscribe To The Blog:

Follow Us

The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

How To Make Your Car Last Forever (Or Close To It)

Comments: Leave | View
On: Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 11:02AM | By: Peter C Sessler

How To Make Your Car Last Forever (Or Close To It)

Some cars have a reputation for running forever, Hondas, for one, or some of those old Dodge Darts with the Slant Six engine. Even those cars, though, eventually make it to the junk heap. But don't get depressed; you can extend your car's life by following some rather simple procedures. Most of them seem very commonsensical, but the key is how often you do them. The following applies to all vehicles.

First, follow the service schedule. This seems pretty simple, but you'd be surprised how many car owners don't follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. Maintenance intervals are getting longer and longer, so it is, therefore, much more critical that they followed. A lot of cars today have warning lights to remind you, should you forget. Considering the investment most people make to own a car, it is inexcusable not to take care of it properly.

Second, get in the habit of checking all fluid levels and tire pressures regularly.

I don't think there's a car owner who hasn't let the time between these checks slide. How long can it take, ten minutes or so? Ideally, you should check fluid levels once a week. With the engine cold and on level ground, check the oil level by pulling the oil dipstick and wiping it clean with a rag or paper towel. Reinsert it to get a correct reading and add oil if necessary. Check the radiator overflow tank and also check the radiator itself. Then check the power steering fluid level and the brake master cylinder. While you're at it, add windshield washer fluid (it's bound to be low). Then check your tires' air pressure with a gauge, even if the tires look "OK." Take the extra time to check the pressure of the spare, too.

Finally, warm the car up, and check the transmission fluid level. While the hood is up, take a look at the condition of the drive belts and hoses.

Third, take it easy when starting your car. Never, ever, rev it immediately after turning it on. That's the quickest way to wear out an engine. If the car has been sitting for over four hours, the likelihood is that most of the oil has already backed down to the oil pan. The exception is synthetic oil—it adheres to all metal parts. Although it takes only a few seconds for the oil pump to circulate the oil, keep the rpm down until the oil has had a chance to circulate. Conversely, never rev the engine just before shutting it off. There will be an excess of unburned gasoline left in the combustion chamber. This gas eventually gets past the rings, washes off any oil left on the cylinder walls, and dilutes the oil as it finds its way to the oil pan.

Be gentle with your car. Cars are not indestructible, and if you drive them hard, they're bound to break. If you've got a sporty type car with a manual transmission, is it necessary to red-line it from every red light? I've always maintained that each car has only "so many" of anything before it breaks—so many speed shifts before the clutch gives out, so many starts before the starter dies, so many stops before the brakes wear out, etc. Being gentle extends the life of most of these and other components. At the same time, anticipate when you drive. Do you follow too closely to the car in front of you? I guarantee that you probably have to stop suddenly at least once a day. How often haven't you been able to see potholes because you're too close to the car in front of you?

These are all simple tips that are easy to follow. The ticket is to follow them on a regular basis. You and your car will be glad you did.


Be the first to leave a comment.

Leave A Commment

Allowed HTML tags: <a href=""> <abbr title=""> <b> <em> <i>
Please no link dropping, no keywords or domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! rel="nofollow" is in use