In today's economic climate, owning and maintaining a vehicle is pricier than ever. Fuel prices are at record highs, labour costs can take a dent out of your wallet, and importing parts for your vehicle can be prohibitively expensive. But while there isn't much you can do about these inevitable costs, there are certain things you can do to make your car last longer, maintain its value and even improve your fuel efficiency.
Change the oil
It sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people prematurely damage or even destroy their engines by forgetting to change the oil. Motor oil reduces the friction between the engine's internal parts, lessening wear and tear. As oil gets old, it loses its natural lubricative qualities and internal parts are exposed to more friction. Changing your oil every 5,000 km will make sure that your engine's internal parts remain lubricated and increase the life of your motor, as well as decreasing the need to replace parts.
Change the cooling fluid
The car's cooling system is also an important system to keep in mind. Make sure that you maintain a proper coolant level and that the coolant is changed at regular intervals to keep your engine at the appropriate temperature. Too much heat can put extra stress on the engine's internal parts, especially in vehicles that have aluminum heads, blocks or radiators. Save yourself the headache and added costs of replacing parts that have been damaged by overheating.
Cover your vehicle
Another way to decrease the damage caused to your vehicle is to keep it protected in a garage or under a car cover. Not only will this decrease the likelihood of theft, but it will protect your car from the sun, falling treebranches and bird droppings. This simple measure prevents longterm damage to your car's exterior.
Mind the interior
Maintaining your engine and car's exterior is important, but you should also take good care of your car's interior. Ripped upholstery, dirty carpet or scratched plastic will invariably decrease the value of your car. Moreover, the way you care for the interior is indicative of how well you take care of other, more important parts of your vehicle. Somebody who has let their car's interior fall into disrepair is probably the kind of person who isn't too concerned about proper maintenance of the engine. Get into the habit of keeping your interior clean and presentable. It will increase the value of your vehicle and show potential buyers that you care about your vehicle.
Keeping your tires at the appropriate air pressure will reduce the friction between your tires and the road. That means your car will need to expend less energy to go the same distance. Less energy needed means less fuel needed! That's right, filling up your tires will save you money at the pump. What's more, it will increase the lifetime of your tires and keep you safer on the road.
As a car owner, you don't have a choice when it comes to buying fuel and paying for maintenance. You can, however, make a difference in maintaining the value and extending the life of your vehicle. These few tips, if implemented, could save you thousands of dollars and keep your car on the road for longer.