Top 8 Tips On How To Keep Your Older Car Running Smoothly

Tempe Auto Repair Little things can make a huge difference, and this applies in particular when it comes to your car. Small problems with your car can add up over time and lead to significant problems for you. However, making small repairs and taking little maintenance steps can extend the life of your car and keep it on the road for many years. Let’s explore some of the things you can do to keep your vehicle running in excellent shape. 1. Ensure The Fluid Levels Are Always Full From brake fluid to engine coolant, windshield washer fluid, and power steering fluid, always ensure these fluids are topped up and at the manufacturer’s recommended levels. This will not only ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape, but it will also ensure your car is safe to drive and keep it running for many years. Letting the fluids in your vehicle run down to extremely low levels before topping them up is a dangerous mistake, which should be avoided because you can add most car fluids on your own without the need to pay a mechanic. Therefore, it’s essential to check the fluid levels in your vehicle regularly and top them up right away when they start running down. This will help keep your car running safely and efficiently as long as possible. 2. Park Your Vehicle Indoors Although this might seem obvious and overly simple, it’s always an excellent idea to park your car indoors. Parking your car in a garage all year round is recommended, as it saves the vehicle’s body from exposure to harsh weather elements and also protects the engine and other vital parts from extreme temperature fluctuations. This is especially true during sweltering summer days and cold winter nights. It’s always advisable to park your car indoors to keep it shaded and cool in summer and dry and warm in winter. This puts less stress on the engine when you start it, which means it requires less time to warm up. Indoor parking protects your car from hail, snow, ice, rain, animals scratching the paint and exposure to the sun. 3. Regular Car Washes - Especially In Winter Depending on your location, winter can be very rough on cars, particularly because road salt is very corrosive and can quickly eat away at the parts and body of your vehicle. However, regular car washes remove salt deposits, and this can protect the car by preventing rust from developing. Regular car washes can remove dirt, snow, and ice from the undercarriage as well. Although washing your car on a regular basis might seem like a simple thing, it can help extend the life of your vehicle. 4. Use The Right Engine Oil The accepted wisdom when it comes to engine oil is any will do. However, it’s extremely vital to understand that using the wrong type of motor oil, especially for extended periods can lead to costly repairs and breakdowns for your car. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual as it clearly details what type of engine oil should be used. The simple action of using the right engine oil can save you big headaches. Your engine will also reward you with many years of problem-free driving. 5. Tighten And Clean Your Battery Connections One of the biggest problems with most car batteries is that the connection to the vehicle becomes loose or is interrupted by engine gunk or corrosion on the connector cables. A loose battery connection can be hard on the engine and may make it very hard to start your car. In case you have to try more than one time to get your vehicle’s engine to start over, it’s likely that your vehicle’s battery connection is loose or dirty. This is a very straightforward and easy fix. You simply need to disconnect the car battery cables and clean the connectors to remove corrosion or rust before firmly reattaching the connector cables. This is an easy and quick thing you can do to ensure your car gets maximum starting and charging power. 6. Change The Air Filter The air filter prevents grit and dust from entering the internals of your car’s engine. It’s recommended the air filter on your vehicle be changed after every 12,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. (Check your owner's manual for the specific recommendations for your car.) An air filter costs as little as $20, and you can even change it on your own in less than 15 minutes. However, in most cases a clogged and dirty air filter is brought up by one of our mechanics who's working on something else on your car. A clean air filter is critical because it ensures gas burns properly and efficiently. Clogged and dirty air filters can lead to lower gas mileage or the engine shutting down. You can avoid these significant problems by only spending 15 minutes to change the air filter. 7. Change Your Oil Often Changing your vehicle’s oil is one of the most effective ways of keeping your car running efficiently for many years. A good quality lubricant protects many internal parts from the damaging effects of heat, friction and other by-products of combustion. Take down the mileage and date after each oil change, so you’ll know when your car is due for the next one. 8. Rotate Your Tires Tires may wear unevenly depending on the drivetrain of your vehicle. Therefore, you can rotate your tires whenever you change your oil to ensure an even wear. While it mostly depends on how you use your car, the front tires usually see the most wear. Besides extending the life of your tires, rotating them also reduces the burden on your vehicle’s suspension that comes from unevenly worn tires and also makes for a smoother ride. On the other hand, rotating your tires will help you spot any alignment issues. If you detect uneven wear on your front tires, you may be experiencing a wheel alignment or front suspension issue. Bring your car in for a free inspection if you see this occurring. Keep Your Car Running Smoothly For Years To Come One of the best ways to avoid the headaches associated with purchasing expensive modern vehicles is by maintaining your older, current vehicle. Besides saving you money, regular maintenance can also prevent unexpected mechanical failures. In fact, most people who are driving 20-year-old cars with 300,000 miles on them pay attention to small details and fix little problems with their vehicles before they grow into big problems. Consider us your personal mechanical resource to help you keep your current vehicle running like a top for many years to come!