A family car is not unlike a family member. It has its duties in the household. It increases your homestead’s overhead and it’s really hard to part with it. Still, with the right maintenance and involvement of the entire family, you can drastically prolong its useful life. This will benefit your budget, as well as help you out on the sentimental side (by postponing the need to part with a beloved family vehicle). With all of this in mind and without further ado, here are the top six ways to make your family car last longer.
1. Discuss your driving habits
Before we start, you need to keep in mind that there are some driving habits that can help save your car in the long run. For instance, cruising and driving in the correct gear are methods that can substantially improve the wellbeing of your car’s engine. Other than this, great braking habits and keeping your foot off the clutch can also do wonders for the mechanics of your vehicle. Sadly, while these may sound intuitive, not everyone is aware of just how much of a difference these habits make. So, as a family in which you’re not the only driver, it’s vital that this is openly discussed.
2. Watch out for fluids
The next thing you need to take into consideration is the fluids of your vehicle and the impact of skimming on them when there’s no need for such a thing. Your engine simply can’t work without oil, however, a lot of people postpone oil replacement for as long as they can. Keep in mind that old and stale oil may drastically impact your engine’s functionality. When doing so, try studying which viscosity is adequate for which weather conditions (hot vs. cold) and avoid buying cheap oil in order to save money. This is a dangerous practice that will come to backfire in the nearest future.
3. DIY part replacement
While you do not want to handle all of your car’s maintenance on your own, there are some simple repairs that you should definitely try your hand at. Replacing spark plugs and windshield wipers, as well as fixing the car paint scratches are just some of the things you can do in order to keep your car in top condition for a lot longer. One of the ways to make these DIY attempts more frugal is to find a reliable supplier of car parts and order from them.
4. Tend to your tires
Keep in mind that the state of your tires may be pivotal when it comes to the overall maintenance of your vehicle. So, make sure to keep your tires properly inflated, as well as to replace them every now and then. You see, depending on whether your car has an FWD, AWD or RWD, your tires will wear out unevenly, which is why it’s recommended that you rotate your tires every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. This may sound as excessive but it can definitely help keep your car in top condition for a lot longer. Needless to say, keeping a spare tire is a definite must.
5. Regularly take it for service
There are some things that you just can’t pull off on your own, which is why it’s important that you regularly take the car to be serviced. The biggest problem with this issue is finding a mechanic that you can trust. Those who are reluctant to show you old parts (after replacing them with new ones), as well as those who refuse to show you the receipts for the parts that they’ve purchased on your behalf definitely have something to hide. Make sure to keep both your eyes open for these occurrences.
6. Keep it clean
A lot of people may see keeping their car clean as a matter of aesthetics, however, by avoiding to do so, you will encourage the rusting process on the body of the vehicle. When covered in muck, some parts of the vehicle are known to malfunction. We’re talking about suspension components and bushings. Other than this, you want to be proud of your family car and your ability to pull this off depends on its neatness. So, regularly wash it and even try polishing and waxing it every now and then. Needless to say, this can also add to its resale value.
At the end of the day, no asset gets hit as hard by depreciation as your family car. This is why tending to it properly helps you keep its value for a lot longer. This alone would be worth any effort we’ve discussed in the list above.