10 Ways Car Owners Can Extend the Life of a Vehicle

10 Ways Car Owners Can Extend the Life of a Vehicle

Whether you drive an old Buick or a new Camry, you want to keep your ride going as long as possible, but it’s easier said than done. While in the middle of life’s daily hustle, you might be letting proper car care slide. Over the years, that will add extra wear and ultimately shorten the life of the vehicle.

Getting the most out of your car is easier than you might think. Once the warranty runs out or your service package expires, simple maintenance procedures (at small investments) are the key to avoiding expensive vehicle repairs. Reader’s Digest was good enough to point out a robust 74 tips to keep your car humming longer. That’s one tall, if instructive, order. Here are 10 tips for a more manageable assignment when trying to extend the life of your vehicle.

1. Rotate your tires

You ought to have your car’s tires rotated when it goes in for servicing, but if you are off the warranty, you are on your own. Goodyear recommends having the job done every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for the figure the manufacturer suggests for your vehicle, but once every six months is a good standard to follow. Some tire companies offer free rotations every 6,000 miles for the life of the tires when you buy their products.

2. Run your air conditioner in winter

With the temperature below freezing, the idea of running your car’s air conditioner in the winter might sound terrifying, but it helps your keep your cooling system working for the next time you actually need it (i.e., next summer). Otherwise, the moving parts can seize up and cause malfunctions come summertime. Pick a day when the weather is manageable, and you are fully bundled up to get the AC going.

3. Engine cleaning

Washing your car’s exterior is taken for granted, but opening the hood and washing the engine every few years is a way to prolong the life of the vehicle. Removing the sludge that accumulates on an engine’s exterior helps keep the parts from overheating, which will allow you to stay away from the mechanic. Electrical parts and the air intake should be protected when you perform this task, so ask for advice at the auto parts store before you get into engine cleaning.

4. How to protect a car in storage

If you aren’t going to use your car for several weeks, there are steps you should take to protect its operation. Reader’s Digest suggests filling up the gas tank to avoid condensation and adding a fuel stabilizer to keep parts in working order while it sits idle. In addition, removing the battery from your car will protect it from damage and potential drain. Finally, wash and wax your car so the exterior remains protected in your absence. It will be much better off when you return.

5. Antifreeze maintenance

Over the years, coolant-antifreeze breaks down and becomes susceptible to contamination, which will shorten the life of your vehicle. Follow your owner’s manual to get old antifreeze out of your car’s cooling system. Three years will be the breaking point for most antifreeze products, but it could happen sooner with cheap products. This bit of maintenance protects your radiator, keeps your heater from failing, and helps keep the car’s thermostat in working order.

6. Wash your car in winter

Washing your car in winter can feel like Lucille Ball in her skit at the chocolate factory. As soon as you have it clean, some car comes splashing through a frozen slush puddle and ruins it. That evening, a snowfall might hit and ensure your car looks hideous for the coming weeks.

Rather than a cosmetic solution, washing in winter is about protecting your car from rust and corrosion. The salt and dirt from the road presents a big danger to your car’s undercarriage during the winter months. Routine washings will help you minimize this threat.

7. Transmission maintenance

Cars need fluid replaced in the automatic transmission every few years or 25,000 miles, depending on your make and model. Vehicles you use to tow need the fluid replaced more frequently. If you drive stick, manual transmissions need lubricant changes every 50,000 miles. Synthetic motor oil is the most recommended option for maintaining your vehicle longer, but your owner’s manual will have details for the particular model.

8. Filter changes

Everyone knows the filters in HVAC systems and cars need changing on a regular schedule, but life often stops you from getting it done. Clogged fuel and oil filters make automobile engines work harder to perform standard functions, so keep an eye out for issues and observe the recommended maintenance in your owner’s manual. Air filters and transmission filters also need changing on a regular basis. Even when your might not see obviously clogged filters, this bit of preventive maintenance is one of the easiest things for an owner to do to prolong the life of your car.

9. Protect vehicles from the sun

Sunlight will eat away paint and leave your car vulnerable to rust. If you can’t keep it in a garage, at least try to keep it out of the sun. Reader’s Digest suggests getting a car cover to give your car protection against moisture, bird droppings, and other debris. Covers also give you a line of defense against random damage that can occur to a car sitting on a residential street or in a parking lot.

10. Change oil more often than recommended

What do you get by avoiding frequent oil changes? Other than saving a few dollars, there is little advantage for car owners who wait the maximum time (or longer) to replace motor oil. A higher frequency of oil changes keeps corrosive materials out of the engine and helps you keep your car on the road longer. Drivers who are often caught in city traffic should especially follow this advice. As with fuel economy, city driving can put a hurt on your automobile’s engine. Oil changes help minimize the long-term impact.

 

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Lather, Rinse, Repeat! Join our VIP Unlimited Car Wash Club today!

Lather, Rinse, Repeat! Join our VIP Unlimited Car Wash Club today!

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Auto Detailing – Spring Cleaning For Your Car

Spring has finally arrived and this time of year we all have that urge to freshen up our spaces from the long, hard winter.  While you’re making your cleaning to-do list – be sure to include your ride.  According to a  U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey , the average American spends over 100 hours a year in their car.    

Here are 6 reasons a thorough cleaning is probably in order: 

  1. Road Salt. While we appreciate the road-clearing job road salt does on the snow, it’s wreaking havoc on your vehicle. It gets stuck in wheel wells and under the chassis putting your car at risk for rust. Not only does it assault the exterior of your vehicle, it also gets tracked in causing irreversible damage to mats and carpets. While a trip through the Drive and Shine car wash will help, a more in depth cleaning is in order.
  2. Paint Health. Cleaning, polishing, and waxing greatly increases the lifetime of your car’s paint. The paint and clear coat are there to protect the metal underneath. Keeping those protective layers in top shape will prolong the life of your vehicle.
  3. Interior Condition. Regular cleaning and conditioning of your interior vinyl and leather prevents cracking, fading and discoloration of your dash and seats.
  4. Germ Elimination. A deep scrub will do wonders for eliminating allergens and contaminants that are lurking on surfaces and circulating through the vents of your vehicle.
  5. Cosmetic. Hello gorgeous. Every drive is more enjoyable when you’re in a shiny, clean car.
  6. Resale value. Cars are an investment. We all know getting regular oil changes is a must for proper maintenance. Detailing is just as important to keeping your car in the best shape possible and one of the most cost effective ways of maintaining your car’s value. A clean car will fetch up to 20% more in a private sale or trade in.

 

Drive and Shine Car Wash, Oil Change and Auto Detailing - we are a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs. Our Elkhart, Indiana, Mishawaka, Indiana, South Bend, Indiana, Granger, Indiana and Schererville, Indiana facilities combine Express Carwashes, Full Service Carwashes, Detailing Services, and Quick Lube/Oil Services all under one roof and you never need an appointment for any of our services. We are known for being the premium customer focused car care centers in the communities we serve.

Our customers have voted us number 1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business - an accomplishment we are very proud of and work very hard at retaining every day. 

If you are a current customer, we thank you for your business. If you have not tried our services, we invite you to try us- we promise not to disappoint you.

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