Imagine driving an older car that is safe and reliable and not having a car payment. Who wouldn’t want to stash away the cash that would be spent on car payments? Think it’s not possible? Think again. We are here to tell you that by doing these 8 things, you can make your vehicle last longer… and avoid the expenses associated with purchasing a new vehicle.
Making a vehicle last longer takes deliberate effort. A car owner must do more than have the oil changed every now and then, and the tires replaced when they wear out. By following a proper preventive maintenance schedule, you can easily double, if not triple the useful life of your vehicle. In fact, we recently replaced the engine on a 2007 Chevy Suburban that had more than 250,000 miles on it. (check out our video on YouTube) The owner obviously took excellent care of the vehicle or replacing the engine would not have made sense. By making the commitment to regular maintenance, you will be able to do the same. You will also spend less at the pumps and on automotive repair. Here are some more ways to help make your vehicle last longer:
- Use high-quality synthetic oil, fluids and replacement parts. When you bring your vehicle to Shade Tree Garage, we already take this into consideration and will use high-quality fluids and parts. Doing so doesn’t necessarily mean you’re spending more, but it does mean you will get more life out of your vehicle. If you have to bring your vehicle somewhere else, make sure they do the same.
- Take care of your vehicle’s cooling system. Have the coolant/antifreeze replaced on a regular schedule. Inspect hoses and belts and have them replaced at the first sign of excessive wear and tear.
- Service the transmission regularly. This doesn’t have to be done as often as you replace coolant, but you shouldn’t wait too long either. If your vehicle is approaching 100,000 miles and you never had the fluid and filter changed, check with us before doing so. At that point, you may end up causing more problems than if you left the transmission alone.
- Replace the timing belt and other important belts before they break. Click here to find out why this is important to change your timing belt.
- Don’t neglect your tires, brakes and suspension system. Regularly rotate and align your tires. Watch for signs of excessive wear and tear. If you notice any signs of problems with your brakes or suspension system, have your vehicle inspected right away (click here to read more about your car’s suspension system).
- Know the signs and symptoms of potential car problems so you can have them fixed before they become major repairs. While you are driving, be on the alert for odd noises from your engine, suspension and braking system. We have a lot of articles in our blog that identify the signs for different car problems from brakes to suspension. When in doubt, have us check your vehicle out.
- If possible, keep your vehicle in a garage. When exposed to the elements, a vehicle’s parts will degrade faster. Sun can fade the interior. Snow and rain will oxidize the paint, and over time, will cause parts to undergo rust and corrosion. A garage-kept vehicle will not only boost its longevity; it will bring you more buyers and a higher price if you decide to sell your vehicle.
- Keep the interior and exterior clean. Regular washes and waxes help preserve the paint and prevent rust on your car, truck or van’s body. When washing your vehicle, make sure you clean the under-carriage, too. Don’t neglect the interior! Vacuum and clean the interior of your vehicle once a month to prevent premature wear. By taking care of the exterior and interior of your vehicle, you will be in the position to notice and fix scratches and replace or repair loose or broken parts.
Shade Tree Garage can help you keep your car on the road for many years to come. We will also give you peace of mind about the safety and reliability of your car. Click here to schedule your next maintenance or repair with Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, NJ.