Little Ways to Make Your Car Last A LOT Longer

last longer

If you’re on a tight budget or you just really like your car, you’ll want it to last as long as possible. This post will show you how that can be done.

The neat thing about cars is they can last forever. Think about it. It’s just a bunch of man-made materials bolted together. If a car is taken care of and gets properly repaired when it does break, it can last forever.

Follow the Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Your owner’s manual will show when you need to perform maintenance on your car. It will show you when to do everything you need to do. You just have to follow it. My manual even recommends how often to wax the car and with what type of wax. Properly maintaining your car is ridiculously important. If you perform the proper maintenance at the proper time, you should never be mad when the car breaks. It was out of your control. You did everything you could to prevent breakdowns from happening. Also, your car will break down much less often if it is properly maintained. Think about it. The engineers who build the car are telling you what needs to be done to keep it in good shape. Listen to them. They have education, experience, and the company’s reputation for reliability on the line.

Use Proper Parts and Fluids

Don’t cheap out. Some oils you can buy from discount stores are not as well-refined as oils from dealerships or auto parts stores. Poorly refined oils can cause your engine, brakes, and clutch… everything to expire early. Saving, say, 40% on parts and fluids may seem tempting. However, you’ll have a massive increase in repair bills. The short-term gain is not worth the long-term loss.

Limit Your Driving

This one’s simple. Just don’t drive the car as much. As long as the car gets run every few weeks, you’ll be fine. That will keep the battery charged. Consider biking to work, biking for groceries, or seeing if you’re able to work from home. Most Americans put on 15,000 miles per year and the average car is 10-years-old. Think about the possibilities if you drove just 1/3 of that? Your car could possibly last 30 years!

Keep in Mind What the Car Is Engineered to Do

A Honda Civic is perfect for commuting. A Ford Raptor is perfect for driving over sand dunes. It’s important to ask yourself, “What was my vehicle designed to do?” And then proceed to do exactly the tasks it was engineered to do. If you want your Civic to do well off-road, you would have to re-engineer the entire thing.

Avoid Modifications

There’s a reason why modifications void warranties. Modifying means you’re asking the vehicle to do something it was meant to do. It was built to have a performance exhaust. It was built to go faster than it goes.

Modifications also drag down a car because aftermarket parts are typically low quality – especially those by eBay-only sellers! I’m looking at you CheepCarPartsofChina. After-market parts usually don’t last very long. If you want to keep your car from falling apart, avoid these types of modifications. Plus, they are freaking expensive! You’re better off investing that money in stocks.

Back Your Car into Parking Spots

This is very small but it does make a difference over the life of your car. Backing into parking spaces is easier on your transmission. The transmission likes using gears when its oil is up to operating temperature. It’s easier on everything.

When you drive into a parking space, this is how you get out: Reverse, then Drive. 2 gears.

When you back into a parking space, this is how you get out: Drive. 1 gear. HALF the wear you get on your transmission when driving in. Plus, it’s safer to back into a parking place. It just takes a few days of practice to get it right.

Get a Garage

A garage just keeps things nicer. It will keep the paint nicer, trim nicer, tires nicer, brakes nicer, etc. This means less rust, less of a chance of interior water leaks, and better functioning parts. This of course isn’t a necessity but it’s good peace of mind.

Don’t Delay Repairs

If something is broken, you should fix it. By not fixing it, more things may start breaking as a result of the first problem. If a check engine light comes on, get it diagnosed straight away. If you ignore it, something else may break while the light is still on the dash from your last problem. So now you have two problems but don’t know about the second one!

Protect Your Rear Quarter Panels

The rear quarters (the last big chunk of metal on your car’s sides) are the most expensive body panel to repair. Make sure these don’t get damaged. Avoid doing things like hanging that part of your car over the sidewalk. Take care of it.

Fix Your Cars Weak Points

Cars are fantastic machines nowadays. Heck, even over the past 20 years, the auto industry has produced a fine lineup of automobiles. But, some cars still have issues. For instance, a 1995-1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse has some known problems:

A. The exterior door handles like to break

B. On the non turbo models, the head gasket likes to go around 100,000 miles

C. The turbo models are prone to ‘crankwalking’

Find out if your car has common issues that are found on your make/model. Address them. It’s better to fix them early than to be stranded roadside.

Final Thoughts

As they say, “Take care of the car and the car will take care of you.” I truly believe that. Pay attention to your car. Maintain and repair it. Drive it properly. Store it inside when possible. Enjoy your long-lasting car! Maybe even give it to your grandchildren.