Every wonder how some of those guys like to brag about having a car over 200,000, 300,000 and half a million miles? Some of it comes down to type of driving, some of it comes to the way they drive and the rest of it comes down to maintenance. Here are the top 7 things you can do yourself with simple and basic hand tools to keep your car running for years to come!
#7. Radiator Fluid
You can tell a lot about the health of an engine and the car by looking at the radiator fluid. You can tell sometimes if it has a cracked head or a leaky head gasket or sometimes worse. Either way, keeping the radiator fluid clean and topped off is our #7 way to keep your car tip-top.
#6. Tire Pressure
The only thing keeping your car touching the ground is your tires. Keeping the pressures at peak levels will make sure that you get the most contact patch touching the road, the best mileage possible and the best wet weather performance when it really matters.
#5. Brake fluid
While daily driven cars don’t need the extreme high-temp racing brake fluid, they still need it checked and flushed periodically. Over time, the fluid breaks down and needs changing. If you feel the pedal getting squishy or is not a clear oily look, it’s time to change it.
#4. Spark Plugs
Sparks plugs are cheap insurance when it comes to the efficiency of an engine. To keep the combustion even and efficient, change your spark plugs often. Some manufacturers say you can run up to 100k miles, but we check ours every 30k just to be safe.
The #1 safety device in your car (besides the driver) is the brakes. Pads and rotors are simple to change with hand tools and a jack in your garage or driveway. Please don’t scrimp to save a buck here. Grooved or glazes rotors increase stopping distances and therefore means your car will not stop in the distance you might expect it to.
#2. Air Filter
If you think of an engine as a glorified air pump (which it is) the worst thing you can do is restrict the air flow into the engine. If yours is dirty you’re doing exactly that, cutting off air flow to the engine. This reduces the engines power and reduces gas mileage. Check this every time you do the #1 most important maintenance item….
#1. Change your oil and filter
This may seem basic but it really goes a long way to keeping your car running for a long time. We still stick to the every 3,000 miles or 3 months rule even though manufacturers are recommending much longer intervals, it’s cheap (in the long run). Over time, oil breaks down and reduces viscosity between critical engine parts. This will cause premature wear on parts and can cause an catastrophic engine failure (think big money).
These are 7 basic things you can do to keep your car running for a very long time. It’s normal for cars to need new parts from time to time, especially “wearable” parts such as brake pads and rotors, tires, spark plugs and wires. But if you follow these 7 easy ones, it will reduce your likelihood for bigger much more costly repairs.