If you’ve shopped for a new car lately, you might have had sticker shock at how much prices have increased.
According to Kelley Blue Book, the average price for a new car has skyrocketed to just over $47,000.
Does that make you look at your current car a bit differently?
Want to extend the life of your vehicle, and ensure it stays running for a very long time? With these easy maintenance tips, your car will continue to run well for years to come.
Get started by reading your owner’s manual
Many vehicle owners can’t even remember where their owner’s manual is. But it’s one of the most important guides to have as a vehicle owner. Spend some time reviewing the recommended maintenance items. Manufacturers know their vehicles best, and will give you specific guidelines for maintenance and care. Following their “insider” tips will ensure your car stays running well for life.
We also recommend establishing a logbook for your vehicle. Keep it small, and carry it in your glove compartment. Record each of your maintenance visits, and update it with repair work. This gives you a way to see what you’ve done and what’s needed next at a glance.
Never push a cold car
When you rise in the morning, you stretch, move slowly, maybe reach for a cup of coffee. You have wake-up routines to help get you going. Your car works in a similar manner as it brings the various systems to life. Cars don’t need a lengthy warm-up process, but it is wise to let them get to operating temperature before pushing the engine to its full service.
Pay attention to your dashboard
Pilots have a checklist they run through before climbing into the cockpit for takeoff. Car owners would benefit if they had a similar process. Today’s modern vehicles come with over two dozen computer modules working to keep your car functioning, hundreds of electrical components keeping everything together, with an array of sensors keeping you safe and alerting you to potential problems.
When one of those dashboard icons illuminates, it’s important to act immediately. But the statistics show that the majority of drivers on the road today have no idea what most of those lights mean. If your “check engine” icon lights up, what will you do? People often keep driving, promising themselves they’ll “fix it” when they have time. Trouble is, these same drivers travel hundreds of miles until it escalates into a bigger problem, with a much larger repair bill. Even if money is tight, you’re much better getting these issues checked immediately to avoid even more costly repair bills in the future.
Check and replace fluids regularly
Most of us check and replace motor oil regularly. But when it comes to checking and replacing other fluids, we may not do so with such regularity. Today’s cars use a variety of fluids for lubrication, circulation, and to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly. Wear and tear can compromise these fluids, which in turn can impact the various parts and components it’s designed to service.
Basic fluids your vehicle relies on include:
- Motor oil
- Coolant or antifreeze
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Windshield washer fluid
Motor oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or so. Other fluids might last a lot longer. This is where getting to know your owner’s manual is a good idea, and can help you place inspections into your schedule.
Check your tires
Tire pressure helps regulate how well your vehicle handles. While a dashboard light may illuminate when tire pressure is low, it’s still a good idea to pay attention to pressure level. It helps your tires last longer, and impacts fuel efficiency with every tank of gas you use.
You should also inspect your tires regularly, and ensure they aren’t wearing unevenly or getting low on tire tread. Colorado weather can be harsh on tire wear, dealing with extreme cold in the winter followed by blazing heat in the summer. If your tires don’t have proper tread, your safety is more at risk.
Keep it clean
While it might seem like a simple maintenance tip, keeping your car clean is one you should fit regularly into your calendar. Colorado roads are filled with chemicals from snow removal strategies. Mag-chloride can stick to your undercarriage and wreak havoc on paint and other components. Road tar in the summer is equally as damaging, sticking to the paint and deteriorating the integrity.
Washing it regularly will help retain its value. Regular waxing will also provide added protection, reducing the chances of rust and other blemishes.
Plan out your trips
The hardest thing on your engine, the one thing that increases wear and tear is starting up your vehicle and traveling short distances. Cold starts are the hardest on your car. We’ve grown used to running short errands depending on our needs and desires. But if you can plan out your trips and bunch them together, your engine will thank you. The most power goes into a cold start. Once you have it running, keep it running for a while to ensure everything is well charged and running optimally.
When you do buy a new vehicle
There comes a point in time where we all purchase a new vehicle. In today’s world, a new car is a valuable purchase.
Extend the life of your vehicle with simple maintenance items. Start your car’s life outright by being gentle for the first 1,000 miles. This is when any impurities left in the system after production are still working their way through the system. Being gentle on your engine means they’ll flow through without incident.
Then bring your vehicle in for a 3,000 mile motor oil change, and a quick inspection to ensure everything is running with ease. Following these simple steps will ensure your car’s engine will run well for thousands of miles, and you’ll be happy with the vehicle you purchased.
How can we help you with your regular maintenance needs?