Nowadays, we depend on our cars more than ever before. The last thing anyone wants is to climb behind the wheel and discover a mechanical issue with his or her car. A reliable car is, therefore, of great importance.
Fortunately, it is possible to keep virtually any type of car running relatively smoothly into the 6-digit numbers of the odometer — it just takes a little forethought and attention. Although it may initially seem difficult to find time to complete the tiny tasks necessary to make your car more dependable, the payoff of driving it longer and with fewer issues will greatly outweigh it.
Step 1: Adhere to your car’s maintenance schedule. The owner’s manual for your car should recommend a maintenance schedule that outlines how often certain maintenance tasks should be completed to ensure that your car runs well over time.
The schedule will include the recommended intervals to change your oil, check the air in your tires, and replace your spark plugs.
You can do some or all of such maintenance tasks on your own or enlist a professional to keep up with your car’s maintenance needs.
Step 2: Drive your car with care. As with any piece of technology, you want to keep wear and tear to your car at a minimum.
Avoid driving at very high speeds and try to drive carefully on rough terrain.
Step 3: Fix problems promptly. Car problems typically get worse over time if left unattended.
As soon as you notice an issue, have an expert look into it. It is important that you identify mechanical problems as soon as possible so that you can prevent other issues from forming. This will save you money, time and the hassles of repairing your car again later.
Step 4: Opt for quality replacement parts. Even though repair work takes a toll on your wallet, it is usually worth paying a little more for quality parts than going the cheapest route possible.
Quality workmanship and materials contribute to long lasting replacement parts and often come with warranties that cover unexpected breakage or malfunctions, whereas many cheaper parts do not come with such assurances.
Wash your car once or twice a month for city areas and more than twice a month if you live in a dusty environment or if you travel through rough terrain. When water no longer beads up during the rinse cycle, it is time to apply a light wax coat to your car’s paint finish.
All these steps to making your car more dependable do not require a huge investment of time. It may even be useful to add certain tasks to your calendar in your email or on your smartphone to ensure these tiny tasks don’t fall through the cracks.
Performing suggested maintenance, treating your car with respect in terms of driving, and tending to issues as they arise with quality repairs and replacement parts can add years to the life of your car. Though you may not know how much trouble you would have incurred without these things, trust that your forethought and attention has saved you both time and money overall.
Ensure that your vehicle is regularly inspected to ensure that it is safe to drive and that all of the major systems are running correctly. Get a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to perform a safety inspection of your car for you. This inspection can highlight any issues with your vehicle that may require further attention and repair.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Increase the Reliability of Your Car and was authored by Elan McAfee.