How to Minimize Wear and Tear on Your Car
A vehicle is an investment of both your time and money. In order to get the most use out of your vehicle, it’s important that you regularly perform preventative care and, in some cases, even alter your driving habits. Keep reading to learn more about some steps you can take to minimize the wear and tear you put on your car and extend its life for years of use and enjoyment.
5 Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Vehicle
Here are some helpful tips for minimizing the amount of strain you put on your vehicle:
1. Avoid Start-and-Stop Driving
When you constantly start and stop your vehicle, it can really wear out your engine. If you notice that you’re having to stop a lot, it may be helpful to try another route that allows you to drive for longer distances. If you can’t avoid it, you should account for it by scheduling extra maintenance to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
2. Warm Up Your Car
It’s a good idea, especially during winter, to give your car at least thirty seconds to warm up before you drive away. This allows the fluids to make their way through the vehicle and gives your car a chance to operate at a normal temperature before being pushed to high speeds. In the end, this is beneficial for your transmission and your engine.
3. Don’t Ride Your Brakes
You wear down your car’s braking system when you continuously press the brakes. When you do this, it grinds down your brake pads, which, in turn, means that you need costly maintenance and replacements more frequently than you should. If you notice that your brake lights are on for the majority of the time as you drive, it might be time you try to adjust your driving habits.
4. Check the Owner’s Manual
Your vehicle’s owner’s manual is one of the most important pieces of equipment that your car has. It’s full of manufacturer recommendations and model-specific information about driving and caring for your vehicle.
In it, you can find information like:
- What kind of fuel the manufacturer suggests using
- The meaning of maintenance codes and dashboard lights, such as the check engine light
- How often you should change your oil and oil filter
- The recommended frequency for swapping out your air and fuel filters
- Whether using tire chains in snowy weather voids the factory warranty
5. Perform Regular Maintenance
In order to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape, you should be:
- Changing your oil and oil filter as often as your vehicle manufacturer suggests. Motor oil is responsible for keeping your vehicle running properly by lubricating the engine and keeping your car from overheating. Over time, motor oil can get gunky and dirty, which is why regular oil changes are an important aspect of car maintenance.
- Rotating your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, or every six months. Different tires, usually the front tires, work harder than others, so they take on more strain. By regularly rotating your tires, you can make sure that all four tires wear down at the same rate, and you avoid having to change only one or two tires at a time.
- Aligning and balancing your wheels every six months or 6,000 miles. When you get your wheels balanced, it ensures that the tire doesn’t wobble and equally distributes the weight around the axle. Alignment makes sure the tires are parallel to one another, helping the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and improving the drivability.
- Replacing your windshield wipers every six to 12 months. The rubber squeegees on windshield wipers tend to deteriorate over time, causing them to lose contact with the windshield and leave smears or streaks. When windshield wipers lose their effectiveness, it can really impair your ability to see the road and any upcoming obstacles. That’s why it’s important that you inspect and replace your windshield wipers regularly, but especially if you notice they aren’t working as well.
- Cleaning and testing your battery every three to five years. Dealing with a dead battery is never fun, especially when it happens in a particularly inconvenient place or time. It’s a good idea to routinely clean your battery terminal and take it in for a trained technician to test.
- Replacing your spark plugs every 30,000 miles. Your spark plugs are what start your vehicle. After some time, spark plugs can start having issues due to outside contaminants or debris, normal wear and tear, and extreme temperatures. Though this part of your vehicle doesn’t need maintenance as frequently as other parts do, it still needs a little attention from time to time.
- Changing the cabin air filter every 15,000 to 20,000 miles, or at least once a year. The cabin air filter removes pollutants from the air, like pollen and dust, before passing it through your car’s air conditioner. Just like with the air filters in your home, you can make sure that you’re getting clean air by regularly replacing this filter.
- Swapping the fuel filter according to the manufacturer’s specifications, or every 20,000 to 40,000 miles. To ensure that no contaminants, like debris or dirt, clog up your fuel lines, you should routinely replace the fuel filter on your vehicle.
- Changing your air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, or every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. This filter eliminates any debris or dust from the air before it reaches your vehicle’s engine. You can make sure your engine is running smoothly by keeping up with this aspect of preventative vehicle maintenance.
By taking intentional steps and preventative measures, you can make sure that you get the most out of your vehicle and limit the amount of major repairs it requires. Whether you’re looking for a new car or need some routine maintenance done on your current vehicle, we’re here for you. Stop by Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth today and let us help you get back on the open road.