We see it time and time again. College students with mom or dad’s 20-year-old broken down car, students who scrimped and saved for a summer (or two) to buy a cheap car just to get around town in, or in some cases those who literally found their car on the side of the road.
While having a car is great and all, there’s another daunting task that not many people, especially college students, think about: How to make the car last. The answer? Regular maintenance, safe driving, and a few other tips and tricks. Here are a few tips that might help make your car last longer:
- Changing AND checking your oil and other fluids: This one is obvious. Everyone knows about checking and changing the oil, but sometimes people forget about the coolant, transmission fluids and other fluids. Check them weekly, and change them according to what your owner’s manual recommends.
- Take care of your tires: Tires are NOT cheap. Getting them balanced, rotated and making sure they have the proper tire pressure will make them last longer, and make driving a lot safer.
- Take a peek under the hood and under the car: Opening the hood and taking a look a your hoses and belts will help you to spot any minor problems and prevent them from becoming major issues and repairs later. Looking under your car can help you spot minor leaks before they get any worse.
Good Driving Tips
- Drive “Smarter”: Hard accelerating, stopping and cornering is hard on your engine, suspension, brakes, tires and fuel economy. Try accelerating and turning slower and start stopping earlier. Your car, AND passengers, will thank you.
- Avoid potholes and slow for speed bumps: Not only can hitting potholes and speeding over speed bumps be harsh on your tires and suspension system, over time it can cause extra wear and tear by jolting and shaking your whole vehicle.
- Practice safer driving habits: The safer you drive, the lower the risk of having an accident. Having accidents can jeopardize the integrity of your vehicle and be costly to repair… Not to mention damaging to the beauty and value as well.
Other general tips
- Wash your car: Washing your car will help to preserve the shine, and quality of the vehicle’s paint. Road dirt and grime, especially during the rainy season, will scratch, damage and stain your paint. Go an extra step and wax your car. It’ll protect the paint even further… Even from the sun.
- Good quality repairs are important: Be it body work or mechanical repairs, factory parts will last longer, perform better and even look better, when it comes to body work
- The sooner you make repairs, the better: When you notice a problem, or something needs to be fixed, the sooner you get the repairs done, the better. If you wait, you run the risk of making the problem worse or creating new problems.