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13 Tips To Keep Your Car In Tip-Top Shape

For most of us, our car is second only to our home when it comes to the largest monetary investment we’re likely to make.  For that reason, it’s important to take good care of it so it stays in excellent condition and lasts as long as possible.  Here are some tips to extend the life of your vehicle:

During the break-in period when your car is brand new, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the top operating speed.  Many vehicles need to stay under 55 MPH for the first 1,000 miles.

Don’t let your car idle for long periods of time.  Oil flow isn’t maximized at idling speed, so parts of the engine might not be getting adequate lubrication, causing damage that’s costly to repair.  Incomplete fuel combustion during idling also results in oil contamination and damage to car components.

Don’t rev up your engine when you first start out driving, especially during cold weather.  Keep RPMs under 3,000 until your car is fully warmed up to maximize the life of your engine.

Most vehicle wear and tear takes place during the first few miles of driving, so avoid taking lots of short trips.  Your car will last longer – and you’ll save fuel – by consolidating those short treks into one longer trip.

Most people don’t know that your transmission is working even when you’re stopped. Shifting into neutral at red lights saves wear and tear on your transmission and lessens repairs.

Buy gas from reputable sellers.  Inferior fuel that’s watered down, improperly mixed or inadequately filtered can damage your fuel system.  Don’t buy gas when a tanker is refilling the pumps at the station, as this process stirs up sediment that will clog your fuel injectors and filters.

Make your tires last longer by avoiding hitting potholes and curbs, as well as by having them properly inflated and rotated on a regular basis.

Take proper measures when storing your car for long periods of time.  Keep the gas tank full to avoid condensation, wash and wax the exterior to protect the finish and put a rag in the tailpipe to prevent corrosion from moisture.

Protect your car’s upholstery by avoiding eating and drinking while driving.  Clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent stains.  Vacuum regularly to keep your car interior from being damaged by dirt and spills.

If you can’t park in the shade, cover your dashboard with a windscreen to keep your interior from fading and cracking from harsh UV rays.  Wipe down the dash and other hard surfaces with a protective cleaner to keep them looking like new.

Use rubber mats to keep car’s floors pristine.  Dirt, mud, oil and slush are easily tracked into your car and will soon leave ugly marks and stains on your floors, if not protected.

Have your oil changed regularly and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for tune-ups and servicing.  Keeping your car in top notch running condition will make it last longer.