3 Ways to Make Your Car Last Longer

Motoring costs can slow you down, putting a big dent in your cash flow. Considering the price of insurance cover, financing, parking, and the amount paid for a car, the tally is troublesome for some family budgets. What can you do to keep costs down and stay on the road?

Like other spending decisions, transportation costs should be kept to manageable levels, starting with a car you can afford. Finance should also be considered carefully, so you’re paying the best price for the financing arrangements behind your buy. Your location and the type of car you drive influence the cost of car cover, so these factors should also be taken into account as you plan your motoring budget. Choosing a performance car can drive rates higher, for instance, so buying a different make or model might save you money. Parking and other concerns present additional expense, so monitoring what you spend to put up your car and changing wasteful habits can be another good source of savings. Like other things you own, keeping your car in service for as long as possible ultimately results in savings. Take the following steps to help make your car last longer and save money at the same time.

Avoid Short Trips

Cars are machines, so they are subject to the same types of wear and tear as other mechanical apparatuses. In the case of cars, much of this wear and deterioration occurs at start-up and during the early stages of a trip. As you start your car and engage the motor, pistons, rings, and crankshaft bearings start moving, making contact with other mechanical parts. Because they are cold and lubricants have not had time to spread throughout the motor, the metal-on-metal movement grinds and creates friction between unprotected parts. Once the car is warmed up and well lubricated, it is less vulnerable to the damage cause by the contact between parts. A similar phenomenon occurs with other systems, such as the cars suspension, but to a lesser degree. The best way to extend the life of the parts coming in contact with one another is avoiding short, stop-and-start trips.

To stretch the useful life of your car, take these measures limiting the number of short excursions negatively impacting its lifespan:

  • Walk or Ride a Bike – It doesn’t always make sense to take to the road in your car. Not only do walking and biking furnish personal health benefits, but keeping your car on the sidelines for short trips also extends vehicle life.
  • Group Short Trips Into Longer Outings – Hectic modern lifestyles don’t always give you the luxury of advanced planning. But whenever possible, grouping a number of small trips into a single excursion can help limit wear and tear on your car.
  • Public Transportation – Using an alternate form of transportation for commutes or other short trips protects your car from premature wear.

Replace Fluids

In order to function properly, cars rely on a number of fluids. From motor oil to antifreeze/coolant, they keep cars running at their peak. Motor oil lubricates internal parts, keeping your car’s power plant from wearing out too soon. As the oil breaks down and becomes contaminated, it no longer provides adequate protection. The coolant circulating through the car’s radiator ensures the motor operates at a steady temperature, also protecting it from premature wear.

If cash flow prohibits you from keeping up with regular fluid changes, it makes more sense to secure a payday loan, than it does to put off this essential maintenance. It is that important.

Oil should be changed every few months, depending on your driving habits. Coolant and transmission fluid stay fresh longer than oil, so these should be replaced according to your car manufacturer’s recommendations. Grease should also be regularly applied to suspension parts, which rely on the lubricant, providing cushioned contact between parts.

Store it Undercover

In addition to mechanical parts, preserving your car’s exterior appearance helps stretch its useful life. Not only that, but its resale value will be higher if the car still looks good when you sell it. Exposure to the sun and other harsh elements quickly erodes your car’s aesthetic value, leading to faded paint, rust, and other symptoms of age. The best way to protect it from the elements is to store your car under cover.

Motoring is an expensive proposition. While the price of cars may be beyond your control, there is more than one way to keep costs in line. Among them, proper storage, regular maintenance, and limiting short trips can all help extend your car’s life.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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