We all have that annoying relative who brags about how his car lasts him 300,000 plus miles. Surely, the make and model matters, but there is a secret that goes beyond the manufacturer.
So, what’s the secret? One word – maintenance!
“Regular maintenance is the key to making the engine, transmission and other expensive parts of your vehicle last longer,” said Aamir Lalani, manager at Aliana Auto Care. “Most importantly, it saves you thousands in the long run.”
Here are 5 most important care care tips that cant’ be ignored:
Change the oil:
The easiest way to increase the life of your vehicle is to maintain the proper amount of oil in the engine. It is very important to change the oil and filter at the intervals recommended in the owner’s manual, for instance, every 5,000, 7,500 or 10,000 miles.
Check power steering fluid:
Some cars, older ones, have a hydraulic power steering pump that is lubricated by power steering fluid. If the pump becomes dry, it can fail. A few symptoms of a power steering problem are squealing noises when turning the steering wheel or heavy or stiff steering. Newer vehicles have electric power steering, so there are no fluids.
Replace transmission fluid:
Transmission fluid cools the transmission, smooths the shifts between gears, and lubricates moving parts while in drive. If the fluid turns dark or smells like a burn, this could be a symptom indicating that it needs to be changed. On a more serious side, it could be because the transmission is developing mechanical issues. Check the fluid level when the engine is running. To avoid transmission failure only use the fluid recommended by the automaker.
Sludge is a petroleum byproduct that is a gooey, dark substance that builds up in an engine. It causes engine problems. Changing the engine oil at prescribed intervals will reduce sludge buildup and extend the life of the engine. Specific driving conditions can cause sludge. For instance, short trips, stop-and-go traffic, and long trips when there is a heavy load on the engine, such as towing another card. Sludge does not burn away and can damage your engine. To avoid sludge, switch to synthetic oil, which is not petroleum based.
Replace the timing belt:
To avoid disaster, the timing belt should be replaced at intervals recommended by the automaker, usually between 50,000 and 110,000 miles. The cost to replace the timing belt isn’t cheap but it is thousands less than rebuilding the engine.
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