Maintenance Tips to Make Your Car Last Longer

Car maintenance beats car replacement. Taking a proactive approach to maintenance helps your car last longer while keeping you out of the car lot as long as possible

We polled some folks at AMSOIL who take pride in their rides for car-maintenance tips to make your car last longer. Here they are.

Washing car

Protect your car from the elements

Here in the frozen tundra, rust and corrosion from road salt can quickly deteriorate a vehicle’s frame and body. In nearly 30 years of driving, I’ve replaced more vehicles due to rust than all other problems combined.

For off-roaders, mud and dirt can produce similar effects.

Wash your car by hand often. This helps you find scratches or chipped paint that need repair before exposed metal begins to rust.

Pay special attention to areas around the wheels where rocks and other debris constantly fly around and ding the paint.

Apply an undercoating

Whether you live near the ocean or in areas where salt is applied to the roads in winter, corrosion can quickly attack metal. 

Have an undercoat applied to your car. This will help protect your car from corroding and keep it on the road for years.

For DIYers, try AMSOIL Heavy-Duty Metal Protector as an undercoating. It’s an easy-to-use, spray-on product that protects metal surfaces exposed to the damaging effects of salt, moisture or chemical corrosion. Check out how it performs in the image above.

Heavy-Duty Metal Protector

Wax that paint

UV rays are tough on paint. 

Over time, the sun wears away the luster of your vehicle and dulls the paint. 

Wax your vehicle at least once a year to keep the color brilliant and protect against rock chips in the paint.

Protect the leather

The sun also takes a toll on leather interiors. 

Clean and protect leather so it’ll remain easy on your eyes and your backside.

Toyota SUV

Park in the garage

If you have a garage, use it.

Parking indoors reduces exposure to UV rays that dull and deteriorate paint and vehicle interiors. If your garage is packed with junk, this is a perfect reason to remedy that problem.

Follow the maintenance schedule

Your owner’s manual provides a recommended maintenance schedule. Follow it or the recommendations provided by the lubricant manufacturer.

Replacing components like the timing belt or plug wires according to the schedule helps prevent expensive breakdowns and frustration.

Recording car maintenance also helps increase the vehicle’s resale value.

Check the fluids often

The engine, transmission, differential and other components work best and last longest with clean, high-quality fluids.

Check fluids frequently to ensure the proper level. It gives you a chance to inspect fluid condition, too. If fluid levels drop faster than normal, it’s a sign of a mechanical problem that needs attention.

Easy tips to Extend Car Life - Maintenance Tips

Change brake fluid

According to the AAA, brake fluid is the most overlooked car maintenance practice.

Brake fluid oxidizes and wears out, just like any other fluid. It also accumulates moisture and debris.

Change brake fluid every other year or whenever you replace the pads for long system life and reliable brake functioning and feel.

Find out the difference between DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluid.

Change your air filter

This might be the easiest task to complete on the list, but it’s often overlooked.

Your engine consumes about 14 times more air than gasoline. For best performance, the air must be clean and free of dirt and other debris.

Otherwise it’ll enter the engine and wear the piston rings, bearings and other components.

Eventually, compression can suffer, reducing power, or something can fail.

Check the owner’s manual for how often to change the air filter…and follow the recommendation.

Keep it cool

Antifreeze/coolant prevents your radiator from spouting a geyser of scalding water from the radiator in the summer. And it prevents the engine from turning into a block of ice in winter.

About 40 percent of car problems can be attributed to cooling-system issues, so it pays to maintain the antifreeze/coolant.

Flush the coolant about every five years. This helps remove scale buildup and sludge or slime that may form due to fluid breaking down.

Keeping fluid passages, the heater core and the radiator clean does wonders to performance and life.

Use a high-quality antifreeze & coolant. Avoid the cheap “green” coolants found at every retailer. They rely exclusively on inorganic salts for corrosion protection, which deplete relatively quickly and lead to common problems like sludge, slime and scale.

AMSOIL Passenger Car & Light Truck Antifreeze & Coolant lasts up to five years or 150,000 miles in passenger cars and light trucks. It delivers excellent boil-over and freeze protection while fighting corrosion.

AMSOIL Passenger Car/Light Truck Ethylene Glycol Antifreeze & Coolant

Easy car maintenance – go drive

Only using your car for short trips or letting it sit for extended periods can lead to problems. 

Drive for at least an hour every month or so to bring the engine oil and other fluids up to operating temperature.

This will allow any water in the fluids to evaporate and keep the seals lubricated to help prevent leaks.

Whether you’re rocking a ’98 Corolla or a brand-new sedan, these car-maintenance tips can help you hit 200,000 miles (321,869 km) and beyond.

Originally published June 30, 2017.

Comments

  1. Always use synthetic oil and nothing else. Flush my radiator every two years regardless I have yet to replace a radiator in a vehicle I always keep my vehicles for at least minimum of 15 years.
    Every 2 years I go in for an air conditioner inspection. Mechanics always ask is there cool air. I say yes but the fluid level is always a bit down in the compressor. Since I’ve owned import vehicles I always have to replace air cabin filter 2x a year.
    Yearly visit to Krown rust protector helps with electrical protection, protection of the short block engine and everything else.
    Go weekly to car wash and get the best protection wash around.
    I clean the interior with washless wax UV protectant. I find it really helps with protection on the dash, doors, console. I wish AMSOIL or krown would check into this type of car cleaner detail as part of their product line.
    I spray the cloth seats, carpeted floor and door panels with a moisture protectant UV spray. Helps for winter or small spills inside the vehicle. Would be nice if AMSOIL and Krown would include a moisture protectant UV spray as part of there lines for cars or other protection.

  2. Great post, John. Car maintenance always helps in making a car last longer. Earlier, I used to skip the service dates of my car. This leads to the downfall of my car’s performance. From that day I realized that car maintenance plays an important role in keeping a car’s health smooth. These tips sound very helpful in maintaining the car. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Daisy! All the points which are shown in this blog are very important to make our car last longer. Apart from this, the appearance of warning signs like the check engine light shouldn’t be ignored and the reason behind the appearance of such sign should be identified and repaired in time to keep the vehicle in working order? What do you think? Thank you for sharing this blog

  4. Honestly speaking, This a best article about tips to make a car last longer. I will keep in mind your tips and It will help me to keep my car last longer.

  5. All the points which are shown in this blog are very important to make our car last longer. Thank you for sharing this blog.

  6. Undoubtedly, routine maintenance is the key to prolong the lifespan of a vehicle. Some people often ignore the importance of routine maintenance which could have a negative influence on the performance of the vehicle. Apart from this, the appearance of warning sign like the check engine light shouldn’t be ignored and the reason behind the appearance of such sign should be identified and repaired in time to keep the vehicle in working order.

  7. This is the right site for everyone who would like to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!

  8. Couldn’t agree. Regular maintenance of the car is really necessary to keep the car in working order. Some people don’t pay proper attention towards the regular maintenance of the vehicle which could influence the performance of the vehicle in a very adverse way. So, different components of the vehicle should be inspected at a regular interval to identify and repair abnormal components. Apart from this, the car should be washed and waxed properly to protect it from different types of foreign bodies.

  9. To keep your car in a good condition and if you want it to run for a longer time you need to keep those points in your mind .Washing your car is a must. Thanks for the article.Very informative and helpful.

  10. Thank you for all the tips on how to make your car last longer. I just bought a new used car, and I would love to make sure it lasts a while for my son. I’m glad you mentioned that taking the time to periodically check fluid levels will help keep the car running optimally. I will have to make sure I check all the fluids often.

  11. Conventional vehicles normally fail to give 100000 serviceable miles without genuine attention. But fortunately the technology has advanced a lot, and the modern day automobiles are quite efficient in performing at least up to 20000 miles even if the vehicle owner gives less attention to the maintenance and servicing. But if a car parent truly wants to make his road companion last longer, then he has to keep up with the recommended auto maintenance schedule. Brake maintenance, wheel bearing maintenance, transmission and suspension service, battery care, coolant flush, windshield and spark plug replacement, periodic detailing- are some of the requisite auto aftercare assignments that every vehicle owner should do either on their own or with the help of an experienced auto professional in order to keep their speed machine healthy and functional for a longer period of time.

  12. Vehicle needs maintenance at a regular interval. I like your suggestion to inspect the condition of the air filter at a regular interval. Air filter plays very important role. It prevents contaminants from entering the cabin of the vehicle. By doing so, it prevents contaminants from affecting different internal parts of the vehicle as well as the health of the passenger. So, the condition of the air filter needs to be evaluated and if any types of damage is found, then it should be immediately repaired or replaced.

  13. Wash and wax your car regularly to keep your car in good condition is really necessary. Believe it or not, washing your car is more than just about attractive. When you don’t wash your car, all the dust particles contaminants in the air start to collect on to its body. Over time, that coat of dirt will make your car unattractive. Eventually the paint will start to oxidize and turn into rust. And if that rust goes beyond the surface of the paint, gets into the metal work. Rust is the begging for damaging a to a car, and once it reaches the body panels it spreads to other parts. Rust may even spread to the frame and chassis, which will render the car completely unsafe to drive. So it is better to clean your car regularly.

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