Your car is a significant investment, and you want it to last you for years or even decades.
Whether you drive your car short distances to work every day or you’re a commuter who puts hundreds of miles on your vehicle every month, most drivers could stand to treat their cars with a bit more TLC.
Improving how you drive and treat your car will enhance your car’s livelihood in the long run. Here are nine ways you may be shortening your vehicle’s lifespan without realizing it.
Frequent Long-Distance Road Trips
Everyone loves a good road trip, but taking your car for long-distance road trips could be doing more damage to your vehicle than you realize.
There are several ways that road trips can put a strain on your car. The biggest (and most expensive) damage that road trips cause is engine damage. Constantly revving the engine, especially if traveling uphill for long periods, can wind up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.
Frequent road trips are also bad for your brakes, tires, and gas mileage. If you’re currently neck-deep in the relocation planning process, you may want to consider using a car shipping service like this to avoid subjecting your vehicle to unnecessary wear and tear.
Not Getting Routine Maintenance
Most car owners understand the importance of routine car maintenance, like filling fluids, rotating tires, changing oil, etc. But too many drivers put off consistent care, and that’s a mistake that could cost your car dearly.
Just like humans need regular check-ups from the doctor, your vehicle needs a regular check-up from a mechanic to identify any issues and safeguard against problems.
For example, not getting a regular oil change can be detrimental to your engine, and engine repairs are far from cheap. In the same sense, not keeping your fluids filled can cause everything under your hood to stop working.
It’s also vital that you regularly check the air pressure on your tires and have them rotated by a professional. This practice will drastically lower the risk that your tires go flat or explode while driving on the expressway.
Not Driving Your Car Enough
This point may seem like the exact opposite of what would cause an issue, but it’s true: not driving your car enough can render your vehicle unworkable. Leaving your vehicle unattended and never driving it can cause your battery to die, your tires to dry rot, and your gas to ruin.
Depending on where you’ve stored your car, you could even have wiring damage from rodents or weather exposure, both of which are very costly to repair.
To avoid this breakdown, all you need to do is drive your car a little bit at least every week and keep a close eye on wires and fluid levels.
Not Cleaning Your Car
Our cars can be like second homes, and for some of us, that means they’re a bit messy from time to time. But what many people don’t consider is how their dirty car is negatively impacting the vehicle’s overall lifespan.
If you live in a cold climate and don’t routinely clean the outside of your vehicle, the chances are that you are getting a buildup of salt and ice underneath your car’s frame. Over time, this buildup will eat away at the metal frame and cause irreparable damage. If your interior stays dirty, it could attract smells and stains over time, lowering your car’s resale value.
Ignoring Warning Signs
It can be tempting to ignore the check engine light in favor of the dollar sign, but you could pay dearly if you don’t fix issues as they arise. If your vehicle is lighting up like a switchboard, you should take it to a mechanic posthaste. Taking care of these issues before they get too far gone is key to lengthening your vehicle’s lifespan.
Cutting Corners on Parts and Fluids
Buying cheap car parts and fluids looks pretty appealing, especially when you have to make multiple purchases in a short period. But research shows that skipping out on name-brand car parts can do more harm than good since off-brand parts have undergone less testing than the original manufacturer parts.
Your Lead Foot
If you tend to speed or slam on your brakes, then the chances are that you’re putting a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle. Driving with a heavy foot can damage your gas and brake pedals, resulting in your car needing constant repairs.
Driving on bad tires is one of the fastest ways to shorten your vehicle’s lifespan. Not only can this damage your car’s rims, wheels, and axles, but it can increase your risk of an accident. Crashing because of your bad tires can total your car in a heartbeat.
Hauling Heavy Loads Regularly
If you’re regularly hauling heavy loads in your trunk or truck bed, you’re likely putting a strain on your car’s shocks and tires. If you need to transport heavy things regularly, make sure to get regular check-ups on your shocks and struts. Also, check your tire pressure regularly to avoid blowouts.
Most people are unintentionally guilty of doing things that shorten their vehicle’s lifespan. The key to your car’s longevity is mainly prevention and maintenance. Take good care of your vehicle, and it will take good care of you.