Many people keep cars for an extended period without upgrading every few years to the latest model. However, there are multiple benefits to having an older car, such as no payments and a touch of classical elegance. For those who have older vehicles, properly caring for them can be the difference between keeping them on the road longer or being forced to upgrade to a newer vehicle.
If you're in the market for a used car, truck, or SUV, Think CarSmart Farmington in Farmington, Missouri, is ready to assist you.
Recommended Maintenance Schedules
Image via Flickr under CC BY 2.0 by Nico Kaiser
One of the best available resources is the owner's manual when you have an aging car. Not only do you find a wealth of knowledge explaining how to use the features of your vehicle, but you will also find recommended maintenance schedules.
These schedules will give you information such as how often to change your vehicle's oil and other types of maintenance to keep your vehicle in tiptop shape. In addition, owner's manuals typically have a section for you to log all the services you had done on the car so you can stay up to date with the type of maintenance and when it was performed.
Keep Your Ride Sparkling
Though cleaning your vehicle from the inside may seem like a normal thing to do, you can quickly be overloaded with work, chores, or everyday life and unintentionally neglect your car. Regardless of the climate you live in, rust is a significant concern as it can cause considerable damage to your ride. Rust is more of a concern if you live in the north or close to the coast, but keeping your car clean will reduce the chances of rust becoming a problem.
When you neglect the inside of your vehicle, the seats, carpet, dash, etc., can become stained or hold smells. These materials will also wear out quicker if they aren't cleaned regularly. A few ways you can keep your car sparkling are:
- Park your car in a garage and use a car cover or — at the very least — parkin the shade.
- Vacuum and use protectant cleaners on the interior of your car.
- Wash your car frequently, especially after rain, snow, or pollen falls.
- Repair dents and scratches without.
- Apply a fresh coat of your favorite wax once or twice a year to protect your car's paint and to clear coat from the sun and elements.
Oil and Other Fluids.
Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle's engine, and it needs to be changed regularly. Unfortunately, the rule of thumb for oil changes has changed throughout the years, and it's not as simple as changing it every 3,000 miles. With so many brands and types of oil, types of engines, and personal preferences, it can be hard to figure out what oil to use, much less when. This is where your owner's manual can come in handy with all the information you need to know about your car's oil change requirements.
Other fluids such as transmission fluid, antifreeze, power steering fluid, and brake fluid are equally essential to have changed. Each of these requires changing at differing intervals, which can be found in your owner's manual as well. Though window washing fluid isn't needed to drive your car, it can help keep your windshield clean from bugs and other debris and give you a clear sight of the road ahead. Maintaining a regular schedule for changing all of these fluids will increase the longevity of your car, keeping it on the road for many years to come.
Don't Overlook Small Issues
No matter how small of an issue your car is having, it is always best to deal with it as soon as possible. When you let minor issues go without correction, they can quickly turn into significant problems. A few examples of maintenance, besides oil and fluid changes, you can stay on top of to keep your car running smooth include:
- Changing filters.
- Replacing windshield wipers.
- Changing brake pads.
- Checking your alternator and battery.
- Replacing hoses.
- Checking fuses and relays.
- Checking your headlights, taillights, and interior lights.
Tires, Tires, Tires
Tire maintenance is necessary for newer and older vehicles. Your car's tires allow it to firmly grip the road or any other terrain, depending on where you may drive. However, when the tread of your tires wears down, safety concerns arise. Without sufficient tread, your tires can pose a threat to you, your passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers.
Everything aspect of driving is dependent on your tire's ability to create traction with the surface of the road. Without traction, your vehicle will have trouble navigating — especially in inclement weather — slippery or loose surfaces, and even in dry conditions. Steps you can take to maintain the condition of your tires longer are checking and adjusting air pressure and having your tires rotated and balanced. In areas where winter weather is a factor, you may even want to use winter tires through the cold months.
Don't Abuse Your Vehicle
Whether you are driving a newer car or an older car, you'll want to avoid putting it through excessive use. You can manage your car better by reducing acceleration, taking it easy on rough terrain, slowing down for speed bumps, and avoiding potholes. The more you baby your car, truck, or SUV, the longer it will last. Hard acceleration, taking an off-road excursion, or burning out is all fun and can be thrilling. But these things can put undue strain on your car and significantly shorten its life span.
One hundred thousand miles is no longer the end of the road as modern vehicles can exceed 200,000 miles when they are competently cared for by their owners. Finding a quality used car shouldn't be hard, and Think CarSmart Farmington can help you find the perfect vehicle. No matter if you want a car, truck, SUV, or something more exotic, the dedicated team of professionals at Think CarSmart Farmington are ready to go above and beyond to place you in the car of your dreams in Farmington, Missouri.