Did you know that back in 2009, the average age of light vehicles in the US was only 10.3 years? Fast forward to 2019, and this figure jumped to a whopping 11.8 years, representing an almost 14% increase!
The economy is just one reason for this increase in the average length of the use of vehicles. Technology plays as big a role too. For starters, innovations in materials and manufacturing have led to longer-lasting car parts.
You can't rely on these improved technologies alone to make your car last forever though. You need to know how to make your car last longer and apply that knowledge on your ride.
Ready to learn how to make your car last forever (or at least, way longer)? Let’s dive in.
Understand How Geography Affects Your Ride
Whether you live in Florida or not, salt — including sea spray and road salt — are some of your car's biggest enemies. Warm temperatures and high humidity can also affect your ride's structural integrity. All these factors contribute to corrosion, after all.
As such, vehicles with aluminum bodies and parts — such as European cars — are still at the mercy of corrosion. Granted, aluminum is as safe and strong as steel, even though it's up to 40% lighter. However, it has poor resistance to the corrosive elements in aqueous environments.
All that said, one of the most important steps on how to make your car last longer is to give it regular baths. Stock up on car care products like pH-balanced cleansers and microfiber cleaning pads. Don't forget to apply a final coat protectant, such as polish or wax, to give it an extra layer of salt protection.
Get Rid of Non-Essentials Stored in Your Car
New European cars sold in 2018 had an average carbon dioxide emission of 120.4 grams of CO2/km. In US units, that converts to about 45 miles per gallon (mpg). Also, compared to European cars sold in 2010, the 2018 fleet was 14% more efficient.
In the US, passenger vehicles (excluding trucks) had an average mileage of 39.5 mpg in 2017. While that's a considerable 8.2 mpg difference from 2007, they're still not as efficient as cars in Europe.
The weight difference is one of the factors behind this better fuel efficiency. After all, the lighter a vehicle weighs, the less work that the engine, transmission, and brakes have to do.
That said, you should get rid of the excess stuff that you have stored in your ride. Give your chariot a deep-clean, starting with the items you've stored in its trunk. This should be an integral part of your spring cleaning regimen, but it’s best to do it as often as possible.
Give Your Brakes a Break
Speaking of weight, know that the greater the extra load you put on your car, the sooner its brake system will fail. That's because the added weight places more strain on your brakes, so they need to work harder to make your car stop. Failed brakes aren't only costly to repair — they can take away the only thing that can stop your car from colliding.
If your brakes are braking bad (sorry), especially if you hear it wailing or crying, change the brake pads ASAP. These offensive sounds indicate that you have worn brake pads. Failure to replace these pads can lead to a warped or cracked rotor.
If you have a newer ride, master the art of proper braking, which is gradual and not sudden stomps on the pedal. For instance, it's best to start slowing down as soon as you see a stop sign. This way, your engine will share some of the work with your brakes to halt your car.
Keep the Pressure in Your Tires
Underinflation causes more than a reduced fuel economy though — it can also lead to accidents. In fact, in 2017, tire-related issues resulted in over 700 vehicle fatalities.
In any case, one of the most important car servicing tips to abide by is to maintain proper tire pressure. This helps prevent uneven tread wear, tire imbalances, and misalignment. It also contributes to better tire traction.
Proper tire pressure is also key to responsive steering and handling. Moreover, it helps reduce rolling resistance, which in turn, boosts fuel economy.
All these benefits put less strain on your engine and your ride in general. So, make it a habit to check tire pressure at least every month, and use a quality pressure gauge. Be sure to keep those grooves free of debris too, and make sure you replace your suspension shocks as needed.
Keep Your Car Maintenance Schedule Up-To-Date
If you have a Porsche, for instance, you'd want to change its filters and get its tires rotated every 10,000 miles. Some European carmakers, such as BMW, recommend oil changes after 15,000 miles. As for a coolant or antifreeze change, some cars may require this only after 30,000 miles.
What's important is to know what your car's manufacturer recommends. From here, you should adjust the maintenance schedule based on your driving habits. If you put more miles on it than the average driver, then you may need to do these tasks more often.
Get Cracking With These Tips on How to Make Your Car Last Longer
There you have it, some of the most important tactics on how to make your car last longer. More than that, they're also among the best ways to make your ride run smoother and faster. So, as early as now, tend to your beamer and give it some TLC by following these tips!
Looking for more car parts to satisfy your need for speed and better performance? Then be sure to check out our special deals on OEM and aftermarket European vehicle parts! You can also shoot us a message if you need help locating a rare or hard-to-find automotive part.