Vehicles have numerous components, from the engine to the tire tread, and each one wears at a completely different rate. Air filters, for example, generally need replacing every 20,000 miles, while spark plugs can last up to 100,000 miles. What’s important is that you do what you can to make sure your vehicle wears properly, so you get the most out of every part. Not only will it help you avoid unnecessary repairs over your vehicle’s lifespan, but it’ll save you a lot of money too. And who doesn’t love saving money?
Here are some key things you can do to prevent wear and tear on your vehicle:
Follow a Strict Maintenance Regimen
It may seem obvious that regular maintenance keeps your vehicle running better for longer. Still, with 41% of Americans not knowing what an engine looks like, many car owners aren’t popping the hood as often as they should. If you’re one of those who aren’t sure how to maintain a car, don’t worry because it’s never too late to learn! Your owner’s manual is a great place to start, and it should give you a detailed rundown of what tasks you should be doing and how often.
By following these to the letter, even the components you aren’t directly maintaining will stay in good condition for the longest possible time, rather than wearing prematurely. In addition, keeping a maintenance log as you go along will help you remember when you last performed each job and help increase the value of your vehicle if you come to sell it. Just be careful not to fall into the trap of over-maintenance, or you could end up spending money when you don’t need to.
The best thing you could do is take out an extended warranty with maintenance included. That way, all you have to do every time the next job rolls around is call into an auto shop and let them take care of that repair bill. Our EnduranceAdvantage™ protection program is the only plan on the market to include up to $3,500 in maintenance costs per year. Make sure to check it out.
Choose the Correct Fluids and Use High-Quality Gas
Another thing your owner’s manual can help with is finding out which fluids to use. Sure, you can find plenty of cheaper alternatives at your local auto shop, but your manufacturer’s recommendations may list specific brands and concentrations for a reason. By sticking to their suggestions, you can be sure that whatever you’re topping up with will have the best possible outcome and the proper fluid levels for your specific vehicle—whether it’s engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, or coolant.
The same goes for fuel, too. While not every vehicle can benefit from premium gas, those with turbocharged engines generally require it. If this applies to you, then don’t be afraid to spend a little more when you visit the gas station. It’ll improve your engine’s power, give you better fuel economy, and ultimately stop your powertrain from wearing prematurely. But, again, check the manufacturer’s recommendation to find out what’s best for your vehicle.
Check Your Tire Pressure and Have Them Aligned/Rotated
Your tires are a constant point of contact with the road, and the friction they endure daily causes a significant amount of wear. Thankfully, your tire’s tread is made specifically to deal with this, but the sides of it aren’t. It’s also important to regularly check your tires’ air pressure, including your spare tires, and bring them back up to the manufacturer’s recommended level. Doing so is vital as under-inflation will eventually cause the tires’ rubber to sag, exposing those thinner sidewalls to the concrete. Over time, they’ll become even thinner until you’re at real risk of a blowout and stuck needing some new tires. You can even be costing yourself extra gas money, as improper tire maintenance can lead to a decrease in fuel efficiency.
Poor tire alignment can have a similar effect, as does failing to rotate your tires, as both are core parts of every good maintenance schedule to help avoid tire wear or damage to your suspension system. Having your tires rotated whenever you get an oil change can help prolong the life of your tires by up to 10,000 miles.
Let Your Car Warm up Before Driving
Most people have a habit of speeding off as soon as they turn the key, but you really should let your car come up to temperature before hitting the highway. It can take a few minutes for the oil to warm up and keep the parts properly lubricated, especially in the winter months.
Drive fast or rev the engine before this happens, and you can only imagine how much unnecessary wear you could be causing. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge, and only start to increase your speed when it’s around the middle point.
Track How Your Car Works When Functioning Properly
This isn’t something that you’ll find in your owner’s manual, but rather something that will come with experience. As you drive your car more, you’ll begin to notice when things aren’t working as they should, even without having any warning lights letting you know what could be wrong. It could be a sound, like hearing grinding when you change gears or squeaking brake pads. It could be a feeling, like your steering wheel pulling in a particular direction due to improper wheel alignment or a stuck brake pedal. It could even be as simple as a dial that’s off. Whatever it is, get it diagnosed as soon as you can.
The quicker you or a mechanic can get to the bottom of an issue, the quicker it can get fixed. If you let a problem persist, and it could put a surprising number of components under strain, causing them to wear before their time and triggering an even longer list of repairs and higher repair bills.
Comprehensive Coverage for Total Driving Confidence
Keeping your car in good condition will undoubtedly save you a lot of stress, but all parts fail eventually, and you want someone watching your back when it happens. Endurance’s extended warranties are fully customizable, so you can create the perfect plan to meet your needs and budget. Every policy also comes with 24/7 roadside assistance, substitute transport, and trip interruption costs as standard, protecting you from the moment you break down until you’re back on the road again.
America’s most comprehensive extended warranty, EnduranceAdvantage, also includes up to $3,500 in maintenance costs per year. Just visit the certified repair facility or ASE Certified mechanic of your choice, show them proof of your Endurance membership, and we’ll reimburse the auto shop for the cost of your repair bill. Ensuring your vehicle wears properly has never been so easy.