June 21, 2021
I was listening to a podcast the other day, and they were discussing ways to keep one’s car in top-notch conditions over the years. Upon hearing their discussion, I remembered Irv Gordon, who at the age of 25 in 1966 purchased a red Volvo P1800S. This Volvo P1800S racked around 3.2 million miles and had undergone around 938 oil changes throughout its lifetime.
Gordon still used to drive it until 2018, and he won the highest certified mileage of Guinness World Record for an original owner who drives his car. So, what is the secret of Irv Gordon in keeping his vehicle in top-notch condition over the years?
Well, Irv Gordon has a piece of unsolicited advice for car owners. He said, “Just follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.” The average car lifespan, of course, is 12 years. So, if you would engage in regular maintenance of your car, your car may reach that average lifespan and still be in tiptop condition.
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How Can You Keep Your Car in Top-notch Condition & make It Last For A Lifetime?
Technology has dramatically improved over the years. Going back ten years ago, you would need to replace your car’s spark plugs once every 30,000 miles. Nowadays, due to technological advancements, you only need to change spark plugs every 100,000 miles. Nevertheless, if you want to extenuate the lifespan of your car, you can check out the following succinct tips on how to keep your car in excellent condition for a long time:
Make it a Habit to Drive Smoothly
The way you drive and driving techniques will have an impact on the longevity of your car. If you are a rough driver who races the car’s engine immediately after startup, you would do your vehicle a disservice. Moreover, while driving, make it a habit to slowly accelerate when starting to move your car. This means that when you’re driving, you need to drive smooth. It also means you need to plan your stops to be not slamming more often on your brakes.
Besides, you need to be alert and refrain from driving your cars on bumps and potholes on the road. As you navigate smoothly, you lessen the wear and tear on your vehicle. You also save on fuel and extend the life of your car. Furthermore, you keep yourself safe.
All these tips mean when you drive, you need to sport a certain mechanical sympathy, which means you need to use your car’s controls well and understand how they work. Operating with smoothness, of course, will go a long way in keeping your vehicle in optimal condition.
Regular Maintenance Schedule
The best way to keep your car in top-notch condition, of course, is by performing regular maintenance on your vehicle. The advice of Irv Gordon comes in handy here when he said that we should follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
Anything that is often used needs maintenance. So, you must be faithful to the maintenance schedule of your car. Regular checkup and maintenance of your vehicle, of course, is like your regular checkups with your doctor. With regular maintenance, you also avoid paying for a significant overhaul of your car.
The crucial maintenance tasks—you need to religiously attend to—include regular oil changes, periodic inspections, tire rotations, alignment and inflations, brake inspections, cooling systems checkup and refills, and battery changes. If you don’t neglect these maintenance tasks, you can assure yourself that your car will last longer and perform better.
Don’t Skip on Oil Change Schedule
There are reasons why you need to change your car’s oil. First, it maintains the engine lubrication. Under your car’s hood lie the pistons, valves, and other parts of the engine. These parts move at tremendous speed, and these high-speed movement creates friction and will wear the engine down sans proper lubrication. For this reason, you need to engage in oil change.
Second, changing oil cools the engine components. Moreover, the oil change removes the sludge and wear particles on your engine. Besides, it improves gas mileage. Lastly, it promotes the vehicle’s longevity.
Schedule Your Brake Fluid Flush
There are many reasons why brake fluid flush is necessary. First, brake fluid attracts air moisture, and it is hygroscopic. Since most brake system parts are metal, brake fluid flushing becomes even more essential to prevent corrosion and metal components’ failure.
Second, brake fluid ages. Once it ages, it becomes contaminated with tiny particles, making the fluid’s boiling point go down. The going down of boiling point lessens the brake system’s performance.
Another thing is that the Anti-lock Braking System, as well as the traction control components, tend to be sensitive to small particulates and moisture. If the fluid is already contaminated, the ABS module will have a hard time stopping.
It will help to have your brake fluid visually inspected to figure out the moisture content of the brake fluid. If there is much moisture, then you need to change the brake fluid.
As you use your car, its air filter and oil filter begin to clog over time. So, it will help to renew them regularly. You should include the replacement of these filters in your scheduled vehicle servicing. Yet, if you know how to do it yourself, you can easily engage in air filter swap or oil filter swap.
You can wash the air filter to prolong its life. But before doing it, it will help to consult your car’s handbook for tips on how to change filters. Moreover, you must use genuine parts or replacements. Avoid using cheap filters, for they could damage the engine.
Purchase Gas from Reputable Service Stations!
A reputable service station has a reputation for having its gas filtered. So, before buying gas from a station, make sure that the station regularly changes its pump filters. Some stations come with pump filters, but others don’t have.
Thus, if you purchase gas from a station that doesn’t have pump filters, you may end up buying dirty gasoline. Other stations may also mix fuel and alcohol improperly. So, make sure that the gas you buy is only from reputable service stations.
Rely More on Your Brakes
Some drivers rely on engine braking, while others rely on their brakes. Of course, brakes are less expensive than your car’s gearbox. So, if it is your habit of slowing down your car by shifting to lower gears, it will be best to reconsider your driving style.
Of course, it is okay to rely on engine braking, but it is more stressful to your clutch and gearbox. If you are adamant about leaning heavily on engine braking, it will be best to do it well. You must match the revs as much as possible when changing gears.
Protect Your Vehicle from Harsh Elements
If you live in a place where all year round, it is sunny, then you don’t need to worry much about inclement weather and sudden temperature changes. However, if you live in Canada, where the four seasons are more pronounced, your car will take so much beating from the weather.
Moreover, your car’s paint will undoubtedly take a beating if it is often exposed to the vicissitudes of weather. Hence, to ensure that you protect your car well, it will be best to park it in a garage when you’re not using it. Besides, you should cover it during inclement weather.
Invest in Quality Auto Replacement Parts
If you want a long-lasting car, it will help to select a quality car. Moreover, if you have a quality car, you should invest likewise in quality components and replacement. On the other hand, if you invest in cheap components, your vehicle may end up with severe damage that may cost you more money for repairs.
Keep Your Car Clean
Keeping your car clean will help in making your car last longer. Once you clean your car often, you also remove contaminants that may cause your car’s components to corrode. The underside of your car, for example, is more exposed to dirt, grime, and water. These elements can make the underside of your car rust prematurely.
Hence, it is crucial that you wash your car, especially during winter, because there are road salts to keep the road free of ice. Nevertheless, road salt can eat away on metal parts.
The majority of cars, of course, come with drainage points to let the salty water drain out of the chassis, suspension, and exhaust. Yet, you still need to provide your car with a thorough wash more often.
Inspect and Have Your Tires Regularly Checked
Your tires carry your car’s body, and the tires are crucial to your safety on the road. Hence, it is not superfluous to remind you more often of checking your tires regularly. Check it once a week, for such a checkup can save your life.
Ensure that your tires are not under-inflated, for if they are, they may increase your fuel consumption. So, you need to ensure that they are up to the recommended pressures, based on your car’s handbook.
It will be good to note that tire pressures should vary between the front and the rear tires. It will be good likewise to rotate your tires to even out their wear and tear. In this way, you can prolong your tires’ life.
Nevertheless, it will be best to keep the better tire in the rear for rear-end slide is more difficult to manage than the front tire slide.
Proactively Engage in Repairs
Procrastinating your repair schedule may not serve you well, for the issue may balloon into something huge if not attended immediately. As a car owner, you should be wary of the warning signs that indicate mechanical problems.
The more you are prompt in addressing the minor malfunction, the more you can save on the costs of repairs. Moreover, you can ensure that your car is in top-notch condition if you get minor mechanical problems addressed promptly.
You Should Lighten up the Load of Your Car
If you don’t need to bring something, don’t load it into your car’s trunk. So, before you drive your vehicle, it will be best to inspect the trunk of your vehicle to see if there are things that should not be there.
Also, it will be good to note that the heavier your car, the more stressful it will be for most of its components. So, it does make sense not to carry excess baggage around when driving your vehicle.
Store Your Car Properly
There will be instances when you will not be using your car for several weeks or even months. In such a case, you should ensure that you store it well to avert any damage to your vehicle once you return home. As a tip, you should fill your car’s tank to avoid condensation accumulation in the tank. Then, add into the tank a fuel stabilizer and distribute this stabilizer by driving your car around.
Before leaving for the holiday, wash your car and wax it. Moreover, it will help if you position a vapor barrier over your garage floor. You can use a drop cloth for this purpose.
You can also avoid brake corrosion by disengaging the brake. It will also help if you jack stands your car to not overburden your tires. You should also disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining. Remove your battery. You should also use a rag to plug your car’s tailpipe to prevent moisture from seeping into it.
Make Sure Your Car is Rust-proofed
The number one damager of vehicles is corrosion. Once it begins to set in, you will find it hard to arrest the spread of corrosion, and repairs will become costly. So, it will be best to check your car for any rust spots. It will be best to do some touching up of the car’s body.
You can also apply a stone-deflecting film to your car’s front to avoid paintwork damage. You should also have the car’s chassis rust-proofed. This rust-proofing process may include using some substance to prevent water from seeping in.
Deciding to buy a car is like deciding to have a baby, for a car requires attention and care likewise. In addition, it requires regular upkeep and servicing to keep it in optimal performance. Well-maintained cars, of course, delivers incredible performance. Moreover, they will seldom break down while providing you a smoother ride.
So, if you want to prolong the usefulness of your car, you should engage assiduously in regular maintenance of your vehicle. Being cognizant of the abovementioned tips will indeed help you go through the maintenance process with confidence. Remember the advice of Irv Gordon, and you will not falter in keeping your car in top-notch condition for a longer time.