Paying attention to the details with an older vehicle can make a huge difference. Over time, little issues with cars can turn into the big problems that demand costly repairs. With proper maintenance and care, almost any car can be kept running as long as the owner wants it. By taking a number of little maintenance steps and fixing the problems as they arise you can extend the life of your vehicle and keep it running on the road. Investing in small repairs and replacements will save you the major investment of buying a new car. These are the three most cost effective basic maintenance steps you can take.
Change the engine oil regularly
Simple, but one of the most crucial maintenance jobs you can do to ensure the longer life of your vehicle is providing regular oil changes. For older cars, always change your oil filter along with an oil change. Make sure to pick the right engine oil for your older car. As the vehicle ages, engine components wear down and oil needs extra attention. You might have to alter the grade and increase the frequency of oil changes. There are a variety of oils available on the market tailored to increasing the life of older engines. Consult your owner’s manual or your mechanic on this to ensure you pick the right viscosity index for your engine.
Complete regular tire maintenance
Keeping your tires balanced and rotating them at prescribed intervals will ensure the smooth running of your car. It will not only extend the life of your tires but also affect your car’s suspension in a favorable way. With all the potholes and bumps on the road, tires get more and more unbalanced which may result in uneven wear of tires and increased stresses on the suspension. Front tires usually experience the most wear, but rotating the tires in a specific pattern to compensate for this will cause them to wear evenly. Keeping your wheels aligned is another key in regular tire maintenance which pays off in a long run.
Keep The Brakes In Good Condition
This is another critical job for safe driving. A vehicle that cannot stop at a driver’s will is useless. All the brakes, whether discs or drum, rely on friction to stop the car. With time, brake pads, shoes, rotors and drums may wear out. Following a proper maintenance schedule for your brakes is a good measure to avoid catastrophic failure and expensive repairs. Also, check the brake fluid level and replace it every two years to keep your brakes fresh. Adjusting your brakes is not too challenging and requires intermediate skills for DIY mechanics. But ignoring your brakes can eventually cause serious damage to other key component of your ride.
Here is a quick run down of how to change the brake pads:
Finally, driving style does make a major difference too in keeping your ride rolling. So, drive gently. If you take care of your car and perform regular maintenance, it will not only keep running on the road but will also be pleasant to drive.
Remember, it’s cheaper to keep her.