Learning to care for an older car is essential, especially in an era where people keep their vehicles longer than usual. These cars are called beaters; they’re old cars with high mileage but are still running well.
A survey done by the Department of Transportation showed that more than 220 million drivers in the US are keeping their cars for more extended periods; this has caused a 13% increase within 10 years.
These cars are aging beautifully because their owners are learning to maintain them properly. The primary reason for this is because cars built within the last twenty years are more durable than decades before.
To get more mileage out of your car, you have to take care of it. Old cars are classified as science and art, meaning you’ll have to be proactive in their maintenance.
Following these essentialmaintenance tips for older cars will keep your car running for a long time.
- Eying your Car’s Braking System
Unfortunately, many car owners wait until they hear a troublesome noise before checking out their braking system. You’ll have to be more prophetic, especially with an older car. You don’t want to wait until something terrible happens before making a move.
Checking your brake pad ensures that the brake pads are thinning, and the brake fluid isn’t running out. If your brake fluid is leaking, it means that you need immediate repair. You should check your owner’s manual for information on how to fix this issue.
- Never Neglect your Tires
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that cars with tires that are underinflated more than 25 percent are three times more likely to be involved in a collision.
Rotating your tires periodically and keeping a gauge in your car will enable you to know when your tires start losing air. Check your owner’s manual to ensure that you’re staying in line with the pressure requirements.
Like most old car maintenance tips, taking care of your tires will save you money long term by being fuel-efficient.
- Developing Steering Problems
Having a steering and suspension problem affects more than just steering. It helps to accelerate the wear and tear of your tires. You should ensure that your steering wheel fluid is changed, and your shocks are checked by a professional.
- Caring for Your Windshield Wipers
Many accidents are caused by a driver’s inability to see clearly. Surprisingly it only costs approximately $15 to replace wiper blades. Even though it doesn’t seem like something important on your car, it is.
Maintaining an old car means learning to take care of the little things.
- Changing your Radiator Hose
A part of taking care of your old car means changing its hoses. For most cars, the hose that transmits the coolant to the radiator has never been changed.
- Replacing Your Fuel Line
An old fuel line can break, causing leakage. Neglecting your fuel line can cause a fire in your car. You should replace your fuel line every 10,000 miles. However, most times, this is done at the auto repair shop.
- Changing your CV Joints
One way to know if your front-wheel drive is aging is to listen for a clicking sound whenever you make sharp turns. It means that your CV (constant velocity) joint needs to be changed. Inspecting it may show you that the boots are torn or even missing.
- Replacing Your Engine Timing Belt
Your owner’s manual will tell if your car had an interference engine. If it does, you should check and change the engine timer belt every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. If the timer belts break, you’ll end up with a bigger problem on your hands. As soon as you hit the required mileage, it would be best if you had it checked.
- Topping up The Cooling System
Your coolant levels must stay full, especially during the winter and summer months. The coolant helps to prevent the formation of foam and other deposits which can harm your car.
- Caring for You battery
It would be best if you inspect your battery and its connections. You should also clean away the corrosions and rust from the terminals. A little tip for cleaning your terminals is to use baking soda and water.
- Check and Replace your Transmission Fluid
If your car is automatic, then you should check your transmission fluid and replace the filter.
- Correcting your driving style
Taking care of an old car means driving it properly. Over time, surging and slamming the brakes will take a toll on the suspension. You can avoid this by changing the oils and filters every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
By following these tips mentioned above, you can give your old car the love it requires. Doing these routine checks and stopping leakage before they start will save you from spending money unnecessarily.
Also, it’s best to check your car owner’s manual for guidelines and instructions.
Looking for an upgrade?
If you are in the market in search of a new car, look no further than ALM Cars. Looking to trade in your vehicle for cash today? Call us or visit our dealership today.