How To: Lengthen the life of your car

Lengthen the life of your car

Too many people just drive their cars for a few years and then replace them. When treated right, cars can keep on running for decades. You may not be able to keep your car running forever, but you can definitely extend its life.

You Will Need

*An owner's manual
*Replacement fluids
*A tire gauge
*Replacement tires

Step 1: Service your car

Get your car serviced. Have all recommended factory services performed on schedule, according to your owner's manual.

Step 2: Use single grade fuel

Use the fuel grade recommended by the car's manufacturer to prevent deposits from building up in the fuel system.

Tip: Most new cars do not require high-octane fuels, and actually perform better without them.

Step 3: Check fluid levels

Using the rag, check the fluid levels regularly, and replace as necessary. Fluids include oil, radiator water, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Change the engine oil every 3,000 miles.

Step 4: Inspect hoses, belts, and air filter

Regularly inspect hoses and belts for signs of wear, and inspect the air filter for grit buildup.

Step 5: Check tires

Check the tire pressure with your tire gauge at least once a month to make sure it meets the tire manufacturer's specifications.

Tip: Replace tires at least every five years, even if they don't show appreciable signs of wear. Ozone in the atmosphere causes the quality of rubber to deteriorate.

Step 6: Drive sensibly

Don't drive with a lead foot. You'll cause less wear and tear on parts.

Fact: A steam-powered car that was built in 1884 is believed to be the world's oldest running car.

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