5 ways to lengthen the life of your car - HMS National, Inc.

5 ways to lengthen the life of your car

May 21, 2014

With the average age of today's car being a record high at over 11 years, motorists clearly want to get every last bit of life out of their automobiles before they get themselves a new set of wheels. And when you think about it, this is how it ought to be, seeing as how a car is typically one of the two biggest purchases the average person will make, the other being a home.

However, due to the wear and tear that the typical car can take, driving your vehicle into the ground isn't always feasible without paying top dollar to have things fixed on a regular basis.

There are plenty of things you can do, however, to lengthen the life of your car. Take a look at these DIY tips that can help "drive" up your odometer readings to new heights.

1. Avoid aggressive driving. A recent poll found that one of drivers' biggest pet peeves are motorists who engage in road rage-related behaviors, like jamming on the brakes or tailgating. The next time you feel the need to express yourself after someone cuts you off in traffic, take a deep breath and continue to drive as you normally would. Avoiding hard braking helps extend the life of your engine and keeps the brake pads from wearing out prematurely.

2. Walk more often. Granted, driving somewhere may be quicker, but there's something to be said for using your own two feet. Instead of going a mile down the road in your car, give it a break and walk or bike ride there. This alone can extend the life of your engine, transmission and brakes.

3. Wash your car. Few things are finer than a car straight off the showroom floor. You can at least come close to that by cleaning your car every few weeks. This prevents metal from corroding due to the salt and gravel that kick up during the winter and with everyday driving.  

4. Rotate your tires. Every time you have your car's oil changed, which should be done every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, rotate the tires. This can potentially add thousands of miles to your vehicle's tires as the weight of the car is more evenly distributed.

5. Replace timing belt. If you hear a squealing emanating from your engine, it's likely a problem with the timing belt. You can prevent this from becoming an issue by scheduling to have it replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. This should help improve the car's overall performance and prevent overheating.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.