When you get a new car, you know it’s only a matter of time before something starts to break dowwn. While it’s true that new cars don’t need as much maintenance as new ones, you will eventually get to the maintenance-intensive point. But there are a few things you can do to keep your car running in tip-top shape, so you don’t have to trade it in after five years (unless you really want to). And that’s what we’re going to cover in this post. Here are our best tips for protecting your car and keeping it running beyond five years.
Get regular oil changes
This tip may seem quite obvious, but it’s important enough to top out this list. Oil is what keeps your engine lubricated and free of debris. Without adequate lubrication, your engine won’t run efficiently and will eventually seize up. And when you’ve gone too long without an oil change, you can bet you’re inching your way towards engine trouble. Over time, the oil in your engine collects debris and gets thicker. As the oil gets thicker and thicker, it becomes much less efficient at lubricating your engine. So one of the best (and possibly easiest) things you can do to protect your car and help it last longer is to get regular oil changes.
Keep up on recalls
With every new car purchase comes a recall notice or twelve. It’s just the way it goes. Over time, you’ll get notices of issues that need fixing in your particular model. Even though it’s a pain to leave your car at the dealership, you’ll want to keep up with the recall fixes while they’re current. You do have ten years to get recall items fixed, but it’s best not to wait. The waiting part is on you. If something goes wrong as a result of leaving a recalled problem unrepaired, you’ll be responsible for that repair.
Give your car some time
When you start up your car, try to give it at least 30 seconds before you put your foot on the gas pedal. The reason for this is that the oil collects at the bottom of the oil pan when the car is not in use, and it takes a little time for it to lubricate the engine again. This is true for all cars, even those that are fresh off the lot.
Keep a light foot
When you drive your car hard and fast, it’s much tougher on your car’s working parts, and it also eats up more gas. Accelerate at a reasonable speed and avoid hard braking. Not only is hard braking tough on your brakes, but it’s also dangerous and can increase your likelihood of getting into a car accident.
Lock your doors
If you want to keep your car in your possession beyond five years, be sure to practice good safety measures like locking your doors whenever you leave the vehicle. It’s a simple step that can make a major difference. There are also car security apps that can give you additional tips on how to keep your car safe.
Protect your car against the elements
Always park your car under a shade, especially when you’re cleaning it. Constant exposure to UV rays, rain, dirt, and dust will damage the vehicle’s exterior and dull the paint much faster. Heat and moisture also lead to oxidation and rust. Consider investing in a water-resistant car cover with UV protection to better protect your car.
If you want to keep your car running well for years to come, practice routine maintenance, and get into the habit of safe driving. With a few adjustments to your driving routine, you can add to the life of your vehicle.
It’s all about keeping a good balance between usability and longevity. Good luck with your new car!