5 Tips to Get Thousands More Miles From Your Car
Many of us are holding on to our cars much longer these days! In fact, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics says car owners are holding onto their cars on average of 13.1 years, and it’s climbing every month.
The cost of a new or used car is over 30% higher than it was in 2021. So if you plan to keep your car longer, like most people, then you need to read these 5 simple tips to keep it running for thousands of more miles.
Oil Changes are #1
If the engine is the “heart” of the car, then oil is like the engine’s blood. Oil cleans, lubricates, and keeps the engine cool. Without oil, an engine will get too hot from the metal-on-metal components rubbing together, and eventually will seize up, costing you thousands of dollars in repairs or a new engine.
By changing the oil in your car regularly, you will drastically increase the life of the engine!
Most cars can go between 3,000 and 5,000 miles between oil changes, but to know for sure, look in your car’s manual for the recommended mileage for your engine.
Quick Tip: Write the mileage down on a post-it note and stick to the front of the manual for quick reference.
At [atc] Auto Center, we place a small sticker in the upper corner of the windshield to give you a suggested date to change the oil as well as the mileage. Keep in mind if you go on a long-distance trip where you drive more miles than normal, that date won’t be accurate, and you will need to come in earlier.
Remember, oil changes are based on mileage, not time!
Good Clean Air!
Just like you, your car’s engine needs good clean air to keep it healthy and running smooth. If dirt and debris from the road were to get sucked into your engine, it would cause a lot of damage. It’s the job of the engine’s air filter to clean the dust from the air before it reaches the engine.
So, when should you change your engines air filter?
It really depends on how dirty it is. If you drive a lot on the highway, chances are you won’t need to change it as often as someone who drives on rural or dirt roads a lot.
Changing the engine filter regularly will add thousands of miles to the life of your car!
[atc] Auto Center always checks the filters when doing our inspection. Our technicians will inspect the filters for dirt as well holes, and then make a recommendation whether they need replacing or not.
There’s another filter in your car that can affect your health, and that’s the cabin filter. The cabin filter removes dust and fine particles before reaching the air conditioner, much like the filter in your home’s air conditioning unit.
Changing the cabin filter will not only help give you and your family good clean air to breath, but it also greatly extends the life of your car’s air conditioner as well.
Top Me Off, Please!
Your car needs all kinds of fluids to operate properly. There’s brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and wiper fluid to name a few. Each of these fluids help different systems work smoothly and need to be maintained at proper levels.
By keeping the fluids at their proper levels, you’re helping each system run smoothly, making your car last longer!
However, when fluid levels get too low, these systems in your car wear out quickly or worse, stop working completely!
For instance, if you let your power steering fluid get too low, you won’t be able to turn your steering wheel easily, which could cause a wreck. Worse yet, if you let your brake fluid get too low, you won’t be able to brake! That will be a very bad day.
The good news is most cars will let you know when fluid is getting too low by putting an indicator light on your dashboard.
The Right Fluids For Your Car
Driving Mrs. Daisy Style!
Sure, we all love that feeling of taking a corner fast and tight or being pushed into our seat as we press down hard on the gas pedal. Though it feels great, the damage it does to your car may not be worth it.
Taking fast corners, hitting the brakes hard, and accelerating very quickly can cause a lot of wear and tear to vital components in your car. Your average car wasn’t designed to be driven like Jeff Gordon or Danica Patrick.
Drive your car like Hoke Colburn drove Mrs. Daisy in the classic movie, and you will get many more miles of life out of your car.
Taking it easy around corners will lengthen the life of your steering components and almost double the life of your tires.
Accelerating gradually and smoothly will help lengthen the life of engine components, and slowly tapping brakes vs slamming them will reduce wear on brake pads and calipers. None of the above are cheap to repair or replace. In fact, tire prices continue to rise as gas and oil prices increase, since synthetic rubber is made from crude oil.
So, take it easy on your car and it will take it easy on your wallet!
Don’t Ignore the Lights!
Wouldn’t it be great if our kids had little symbols that would appear on their foreheads when something was wrong, like a fever or just hungry! Your kids don’t have this technology, yet…but your car does!
Those dashboard lights are the only way your car can tell you something is not right, and it’s vitally important you don’t ignore them!
There are all kinds of dashboard lights. For example, there’s a low tire light, overheating light, and the all-too-common check engine light. If you want to learn more about what lights mean, check out this great article we wrote all about dashboard lights.
If you ignore a light and continue to drive, this could cause serious damage to the system and cost more money to repair than if you had brought it in earlier.
When a light comes on that you don’t understand, bring it to [atc] Auto Center. Our technicians will inspect the system the light is indicating is wrong.
Be proactive when a light comes and having it checked out asap will definitely lengthen the life of your car.
Lights and Lingo
So there you have it! Five easy ways to make your car last for thousands of more miles.
At [atc] Auto Center we have customers who have been bringing us the same car for decades to service and maintain.
If you love and maintain your car, it will love you back with thousands of more miles and thousands of more dollars in your wallet!