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67 Little Known Secrets to Extend the Life of Your Vehicle

Table of Contents

  1. 67 Little Known Secrets to Extend the Life of Your Vehicle
  2. Give your car a little TLC every day
  3. Get the best car insurance your money can buy
  4. Get the weight off of your key ring
  5. Don’t settle for any gas station, be picky!
  6. Don’t get gas when a fuel tanker is filling up
  7. Keep an vehicle log book
  8. Check engine oil often
  9. Frequently change your oil
  10. Do not overfill your crankcase with oil
  11. Clean the oil pan plug
  12. Using lighter oil can save your engine
  13. Be rational if your vehicle gets stuck
  14. It’s okay to be ‘shady’ when you park your vehicle
  15. Protect your vehicle’s paint from the sun
  16. Keep your vehicle spick and span, both inside out!
  17. Use car wax the invisible armor that protects your vehicle’s paint
  18. Wash your vehicle the most during the winter months
  19. Use a sheet or towel under the baby seat
  20. Say no to crusty cracked leather seats
  21. Upholstery cleaners are your bestie for soiled seats
  22. Bring your fabric back to life with fabric protectant
  23. Hose down the floor mats
  24. Use floor mats to protect your carpets from winter’s fury
  25. Clean your dash gauges
  26. Nip windshield cracks in the bud
  27. Never cut corners when refilling windshield wiper fluid
  28. The washer fluid tank should have no cracks
  29. Say goodbye to bad weatherstripping
  30. Keep touch-up paint handy
  31. Revamp your ride with a ‘new skin’!
  32. Need to change bulbs?
  33. Use tape to conceal cracked headlights
  34. Avoid the flat tire blues!
  35. Monitor your tire inflation regularly
  36. Before putting air in your tires do the ‘wet thumb’ test
  37. Make sure that your lug nuts have lube
  38. Rotate your tires
  39. Cherish your hubcaps
  40. Don’t forget to check your wheel alignment
  41. Consider pre-owned tires
  42. Assess for uneven wear and tear
  43. Tread lightly
  44. Invest in the right wheel cleaner
  45. Keep an eye on your wheel-well splash guards
  46. Check on your brakes often
  47. Show love to anti-lock brakes
  48. Your filters need regular TLC
  49. Keep your transmission in tip-top shape
  50. Add oil coolers
  51. Swap out your spark plugs
  52. Steer clear from hose problems
  53. Be sure to dilute your coolant
  54. Stay cool with this tip
  55. Seal radiator leaks before replacing
  56. Don’t let your engine overheat!
  57. Steer clear of mixing coolants like a science experiment gone wrong
  58. Don’t forget about theInvisible Hero of Your Motor– the timing belt!
  59. Carefully examine your drive belt
  60. Have a spa day for your engine
  61. Extend your battery life with water
  62. The proper way to jumpstart a car battery
  63. Do winter exercise with your AC
  64. Is there power in your steering wheel?
  65. Don’t try to carry too much!
  66. Secure cargo loads to avoid dents and scratches
  67. Prevent long-term storage blues with these tips
  68. The Verdict
  69. Let’s Connect on Social Media!

67 Little Known Secrets to Extend the Life of Your Vehicle

By Ashley Effinger

Are you looking to extend the life of your vehicle without having to invest in costly repairs? Look no further! Here’s a secret that most car buyers and owners don’t know – there are simple, creative ways to keep your vehicle running smoothly for years beyond its expected lifespan. April is Car Care Month , we’ll be discussing these little known secrets so you can get the most out of your investment and take advantage of all your car has to offer! So put on those seatbelts, because we’re about to go over everything you need to know about how you can extend the life of any vehicle .

Give your car a little TLC every day

Image credit Vlad Deep

With a few simple rules, you and your car can be best buddies! Show it some love by driving carefully – then reap the rewards of avoiding pricey repairs for longer!

  • Don’t be so eager to hit the gas pedal – your car won’t appreciate it. Doing a slow start-up is key for preserving its engine, especially during cold days.
  • Don’t think that idling in the driveway will make things better either! It’s not good for fuel combustion and may lead to some pretty gnarly damage down the line.
  • When you’re at red lights always shift into neutral mode – let your engine rest while stopped; it’ll thank you later on!
  • Don’t let roads be your tire’s demise. Handle your tires with care so you don’t have to replace them prematurely! Skip the flooring of that accelerator, respect speed limits and watch out for those annoying potholes – they’re nothing but trouble. Also keep an eye out for sneaky curbs when parking – don’t let them get one over on you! And whatever you do, resist that instinctive urge to make like a racecar driver; playing fast and loose with your tires will only end in tears (and a very expensive repair bill!).
  • If you want to keep your power-steering pump in good shape, remember — no extreme right or left turns! Doing this too much can damage the ol’ power-steering pump.

Get the best car insurance your money can buy

Image credit Amar Preciado

Nobody likes to think about getting into an accident, but when it comes down to it you want your car patched up right. Choose a trustworthy automobile insurer who will shell out for parts from the source and guarantee that all repairs are top quality. Don’t leave yourself stranded—get insured today!

Get the weight off of your key ring

Image credit Joshua Rondeau

Got a pocket full of keys that’s weighing you down? Free your ignition key from the shackles, and lighten up your keychain! Not only can carrying several heavy metal pieces on one loop make it more difficult to turn over when starting the car – it could be slowly ruining the inner tumblers within its ignition switch. Separate out the key you need for driving, enjoy greater ease-of-use at each twist of a wrist…and avoid getting stranded along life’s winding roads.

Don’t settle for any gas station, be picky!

When it comes to fueling up, don’t get taken for a ride! Do your due diligence: sure, the gas service station might have great prices and awesome customer loyalty cards– but are they really taking care of their pumps? Ask ’em if they regularly change their gas pump filters or whether that pump has been filtered at all. And be extra-careful of gas stations without any filtration systems​ – you could end up with some bad gas in your tank! Picky drivers deserve only pristine fuel – find a trusty station and stick with ‘em like glue. It’s worth putting in some research beforehand to find that one spot you can depend on whenever it’s time for a refueling… unless of course there are dolphins involved – then by all means go with them every time!

Don’t get gas when a fuel tanker is filling up

If you want to keep your car running smoothly, steer clear of the gas station if there’s a gasoline tanker nearby. When tanks are being filled from below ground, it can stir up sediment that may clog fuel filters and injectors – something no driver wants! So save yourself some cash (and potential roadside breakdowns) by finding another pump for now.

Keep an vehicle log book

Record every journey with a notepad in the glove compartment! Noting your gas fill-ups and mileage can be critical to alert you of an issue before it has time to snowball. If that MPG is looking like quicksand, take action and get it checked by your trusty serviceman right away.


Check engine oil often

Image Credit Tim Mossholder

Save yourself from potential engine problems and stay ahead of the game by checking your oil every other fill-up. Ensure an accurate read by following the simple steps provided:

  • Ready for a quick pit stop? Rev your engine up or take your vehicle on the road for a 15-minute warmup and then pull into a level parking spot to let her cool down. Once you turn off the engine, grab yourself a snack and a cup of coffee or tea – it’ll take about 15-minutes for all that oil to make its way back home to the oil pan.
  • Now, let’s get to the fun part – checking your oil! Pull out that dipstick and give it a good once-over with some paper towel. Make sure you slide that baby allll the way back in when you’re done before pulling again for an accurate reading – if only it were this easy to check in at airport security! The line of happiness on the dipstick should be between those hash marks so keep an eye out or else risk having cranky engine problems later on.
  • Not sure what type of oil your car needs? Don’t worry, follow your owner’s manual – it knows best! Make sure you add the correct type and amount of oil if necessary. Keep that engine purring in tip-top shape!

Frequently change your oil

If your uncle’s Oldsmobile did one thing well, it was a testament to the power of frequent oil changes. Like Uncle would say: change that oil frequently ! Even new car models may suggest longer intervals for typical driving conditions—but if you want to get ahead of wear and tear on your engine , stick with shorter “severe” interval recommendations (especially if traffic is part of daily life). Make sure those dirt-fighting particles don’t have time to settle in there too deeply – just like Unc used to do!

Do not overfill your crankcase with oil

While adding oil to your crankcase seems like a good idea, too much of it can be hazardous. Why? Air bubbles in the crankshaft will cause friction and worsen with every rev – leading to overheating and damage from excessive stress on engine parts! Not only that, but you risk fouling spark plugs if you add an extra drop of oil (or any other fluid for that matter). So keep those fluids at their recommended levels – better safe than sorry!

Clean the oil pan plug

Image credit Benjamin Brunner

If you’re changing your oil yourself, giving the drain plug and washer a solid scrub with some rags before reinstalling will ensure years of engine health and protect against irritating metal particles. Magnetic plugs can pick up any vexing metal shrapnel that tries to sneak into the pan!

Using lighter oil can save your engine

Going too heavy on the oil isn’t always a good idea. Stick with the recommended viscosity option from your car’s manual for optimal performance and protection. Also, think lightweight – like SAE 5W-30! That little extra bit of lubrication will give you an easier start in winter and better protection all year round while saving money at the gas pump thanks to less internal engine friction. Heed this advice carefully; going against it could result in serious damage to your engine !

Be rational if your vehicle gets stuck

Image credit Raban Haaijk

When your car’s stuck in an icy abyss or mud and you don’t know what to do, take a chill pill! Save yourself some serious dough in the long run by being patient. Spinning your tires at high speeds, throwing your car from forward to reverse won’t do any good – all they’ll generate is hot air (and higher repair bills). If rocking back-and-forth is getting nowhere fast – better call that tow truck ASAP before risking costly repairs. Pro tip: stock up on sand, gravel or cat litter for those icy roads ahead – they’ll help get unstuck quicker than a hot minute!

It’s okay to be ‘shady’ when you park your vehicle

The garage may be the perfect place to park your car, but when one isn’t available it’s best to settle for a spot in the shade. If no shady area can be found or you’re worried bird poo might ruin your day – don’t worry! Car shades are here to save the day – enlist some extra protection with a folding windshield sunscreen and rear window shades. Not only will these trusty accessories shield your car from UV sunlight and heat damage, they’ll also provide welcome relief on sultry summer days by giving drivers cooler rides to their destination. Making sure Mr. Sun is kept out of where he shouldn’t be!

Protect your vehicle’s paint from the sun

Keep your ride looking its best with a little extra care. Invest in some sun protection for your car, whether it be parking in the garage, shade or investing in a sleek new car cover! With UV rays breaking down paint over time – not to mention all of those pesky bird droppings and dust bunnies- you can extend the life of that sweet vehicle by giving it an extra layer of defense from mother nature’s wrath. So think ahead: keep her covered when she needs it most for maximum shine and style throughout every season!

Keep your vehicle spick and span, both inside out!

Image credit Luke Miller

Keep the outside of your car looking sharp, but don’t forget about its insides too! Give them some love with a vacuum and some mild detergent-infused sponging. Just make sure you use an appropriate wand head to avoid any scratches or damage – because no one likes smudges on their upholstery!

Use car wax the invisible armor that protects your vehicle’s paint

Image credit Martin Katler

Get ready to make your car look its best! Waxing it is the key that enables you to defend against the harshest elements – from oxidation and bird droppings, to tree sap and pollution. It’s a lot of work but with great reward: keeping your ride sleek – plus who doesn’t love cruising around in their shiny chariot? Follow this guide for maximum protection so all eyes are on you as you drive past!

  • Looking for the fanciest finish to make your car twinkle? Skip liquid and spray waxes in favor of paste wax with a high Carnauba content – it may take more work, but you’ll get results that will put others’ rides to shame.
  • Waxing your car is like applying a cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. Spread it lightly and evenly with the damp sponge to achieve perfection, just don’t go overboard – too much wax will stick around longer than you want!
  • Protect your car’s paint from blemishes with a sweet and gentle touch! After wax is complete, use a soft microfiber or cotton cloth to wipe away any residue for that flawless finish.
  • Give your car’s nose and hood the extra shine they deserve with an additional layer of wax! This one-two punch will keep them looking glossy long after other parts have lost their luster.

Wash your vehicle the most during the winter months

Image credit Pam Simon

While it’s tempting to forget about washing your car in the winter, don’t – corrosion is far more likely during those cold mixes of sand and salt than any other time of year. Unfortunately, you can see just by driving that a lot of people are skimping out on this duty! Don’t make them look like they know something you don’t-visit your local or mobile car wash today and rinse off all exposed surfaces including undercarriage components and nooks prone to rust such as bumpers & wheel wells. Consider it an investment for happier (and drier) road trips down the line!

Use a sheet or towel under the baby seat

Protect your car from uninvited messes, courtesy of tiny human passengers. Lay down a sheet or towel under their seat – that way you can keep road trip snacks enclosed just where they belong! Have them buckle in tight too; the manufacturer’s directions are always wise to follow!

Say no to crusty cracked leather seats

Cars are the ultimate status symbol… until those leather seats get too grubby for your classy ride. Prolong their luxuriousness with a good ol’ fashioned cleaning session, followed by some protectant to shield them from any future damage! Who says you can’t stay polished on-the-go?

Upholstery cleaners are your bestie for soiled seats

Keep your car seats looking and feeling like new with upholstery cleaners! Clean delicately though – a heavy hand will only take away from the velour’s original texture. Freshen things up by applying sparingly, then wiping away any foam residue with a cloth or brushing any wayward fibers back into place.

Bring your fabric back to life with fabric protectant

Keep your car’s upholstery looking newer, longer by giving it a fabric protection treatment! Scotchgard is perfect for repelling dirt and stains, but make sure to thoroughly clean the fabric first. To be safe, do a test spray in an inconspicuous corner so you don’t end up with any surprise color changes when all is said and done.

Hose down the floor mats

Image credit César+Mirna Choto

Keep your floor mats looking fresh and new by giving them a good hosing down. The dirt that accumulates over time can be as destructive to the rubber or carpet construction as an errant power drill, so beat it at its own game with high-pressure water before you reinstall ’em in the sun for some nice drying action!

Use floor mats to protect your carpets from winter’s fury

Winter can be a tough, messy season but you don’t need to take the beating! Give your carpets some backup with rubber waffle-style and carpet mats. They’ll help keep salt, slush and mud out of your home so all that’s left behind is cleanliness…and maybe a few snowflakes here or there. Just shake ’em off when they get too dirty then vacuum or wash as needed – easy peasy!

Clean your dash gauges

Keep those dashboard gauges shining and readable! Give them a gentle scrub with a damp cloth to keep the lenses squeaky clean. Be careful not to press too hard, since that could leave permanent scratches making your gauge readings difficult at best – or just plain unreadable if you’re unlucky!

Nip windshield cracks in the bud

Got a crack in your windshield? Don’t let it spread like wildfire – bring your car to the local windshield repair shop! No need for an expensive replacement or guessing which shade of glass is “the correct one.” Stop cracks from spreading and get rid of that pesky blurriness with professional repairs on chips, dings, long cracks – you name it. All without breaking the bank!

Never cut corners when refilling windshield wiper fluid

Don’t try to be smart and fill your windshield washer system with water. It won’t clean nearly as well, plus it could freeze up in cold temperatures – causing serious damage! Before you start getting creative, make sure the tank is stocked full of good ol’ fashioned washer fluid so everything runs smoothly…otherwise you might have to shell out for a new pump.

The washer fluid tank should have no cracks

Don’t let a cracked washer de-icer tank ruin your day! Just pop in a trusty plastic bag and fill it with washer fluid – the perfect temporary fix until you can get that new or junkyard part.

Say goodbye to bad weatherstripping

Image credit Deeana Arts

Don’t let a little rain ruin your ride! If water is sneaking into the interior of your car, you can fix that leaky weatherstripping. Small leaks are easy to handle with brush-on seam sealers or some trim adhesive love. Torn sections? No problem – special caulking from auto parts stores will do the trick and worn strips might just need a foam insert from an automotive store for extra life extension – beating out those generic gaskets easily!  So don’t delay–take care of that weather stripping today so you can keep drivin’ in style during even the wettest times ahead.

Keep touch-up paint handy

Save yourself from a paint nightmare – stay ahead of the rust! Don’t wait until those small nicks turn into major scrapes. Keep some touch-up paint on hand to prevent any rusty surprises later down the line.

Revamp your ride with a ‘new skin’!

Upgrade the look of your car while also protecting it from stone chips and minor abrasions. We recommend having these revolutionary self-adhesive urethane films installed by pros, but if you’re feeling brave – go ahead and peel them off yourself (just don’t tell us we didn’t warn ya).

Need to change bulbs?

Step away from the dim, dingy lighting and treat yourself to some sparkly bulbs! Before you put on your new ones though, make sure those sockets are squeaky clean – just take a small wire brush or fine steel wool for a thorough cleaning. Now that snazzy replacement is set up and ready to lighten up your day!

Use tape to conceal cracked headlights

Image credit Sebastian Huxley

Don’t want your ride to become a water-logged disaster from cracked head or tail lights? Then tape up those cracks! A quick and easy fix is grabbing some bright red or orange automotive tape. Wham, bam – problem solved. You can find it at many parts stores so get cracking!

Avoid the flat tire blues!

Before you hop in your ride, make sure none of your tires are missing their little caps. Those secret agents keep out dirt and moisture that could lead to an annoying leak—something nobody wants when they’re ready for work or off on an adventure. Plus, don’t forget to request new valves with any tire replacements – it’s the only way to ensure long-lasting satisfaction from start line to finish!

Monitor your tire inflation regularly

Make sure your tires are always filled up and ready to rock – literally! Under-inflated tires can cause excessive stress, leading to their premature death. So be a friend of your car’s future and get yourself a tire pressure gauge. Use it at least once per month (especially in the heat) for best results so you can hit that open road with confidence knowing those puppies have got plenty of air behind ’em!

And don’t forget, always get an accurate read from cold tires that haven’t driven more than one mile since their last visit with air – consult your trusty owner’s manual for ideal PSI levels and keep rolling strong!

Before putting air in your tires do the ‘wet thumb’ test

Image credit Ainārs Cekuls

If you’re about to inflate your tires, always trust the “wet thumb” test! Just depress the pin inside the inflator valve with your thumbnail if it comes out damp, be sure to tell the manager of that gas station their tanks need a good draining. Moisture in those wheels can do serious damage from pressure variations to corroded rims – so better safe than sorry by heeding this handy tip.

Make sure that your lug nuts have lube

Don’t let corrosion ruin your day – lube those lug nuts! Before you change or rotate your tires, grab some anti-seize lubricant and give the threads a good cleaning with a wire brush. This special formula won’t loosen during drives like other oils might, so there’s no worry of losing that wheel on the highway. And if one ever did get stuck? Have no fear – just turn to WD-40 or Liquid Wrench for freeing it up quickly like an escape artist from handcuffs!

Rotate your tires

Get your wheels spinning! Make sure you give the ol’ tires a good twist every 6,000-7,500 miles. Rotating them helps spread out wear and tear so they can take more of what life throws at them. Consult your owner’s manual for exact instructions on tire rotation pattern – if not just ask our service advisors to point you in the right direction!

Cherish your hubcaps

Don’t let your hubcaps take a one-way road trip! It’s not an uncommon occurrence for those little wheel covers to go flying when you least expect it. Give them the TLC they need and keep ’em firmly in place with these easy tips:

  • Say goodbye to loose hubcaps! Give it a nudge and pop those metal clips outward for an easy fix.
  • Got a new-fangled plastic hubcap or wheel cover? Make sure that wire retaining ring snaps into the tabs firmly, but don’t be too vigorous – no bending or breaking those teentsy tiny bits allowed!
  • Worried your prized hubcaps could get scuffed at the repair shop? You can protect them from potential damage by removing and reinstalling them yourself before taking your car in for service. Place the covers carefully, then give ’em a gentle tap with a rubber mallet – but don’t go too hard or you may accidentally snap those clips underneath! If leaving it to an expert is more of your style, be sure to check that they installed ‘em correctly afterwards: they should be even and snug… like that hat on top of Polly Pocket’s head.

Don’t forget to check your wheel alignment

Image credit Syed Hussaini

Don’t let your car get off track and careen into danger! Have its wheel alignment inspected every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your owner’s manual to keep it running smooth. If the steering’s unusually stiff or pulling one way – yep, that means an alignment problem. Ignoring this warning could cause costly tire damage as well as put your vehicle in a bad spot…literally!

Consider pre-owned tires

Don’t want to break the bank on tires you won’t be needing for too long? Buy used! You can find plenty of gently-worn options if you shop around. Call local tire dealers and inquire about what’s available – chances are, there will still be a lot more mileage left in these pre-loved beauties than meets the eye. Get your specs ready; it could save some serious coin (and spin)!

Assess for uneven wear and tear

If your tires are wearing down at uneven speeds, it might be time to check for a wheel alignment . It could also mean the brakes, shocks or wheels need repair…or that you’ve got some dangerous internal tire damage happening!

Tread lightly

Image by Torque Detail

Don’t be fooled by the worn down look – your tires need to stick around for a bit longer! Just make sure you replace them when they reach 1/16-inch of remaining depth. Thankfully in North America, it’s easy to spot this point with “wear bars” molded into the tire. But if wet roads are ahead, we suggest changing up those treads at 1/8 inch (3 mm) so that water doesn’t catch ya slippin’ and put you in an unexpected hydroplane situation!

Invest in the right wheel cleaner

Not giving your vehicle’s wheels the special attention they deserve? You might be paying for it down the line. Road dirt and brake dust can leave hard-to-erase stains on metal, painted or clear coated rims – making a car wash simply not enough to get them shining again! Save yourself from this conundrum by investing in wheel cleaners specifically designed for each type of finish: satin, aluminum, chrome or wax will make sure those proverbial spokes don’t stay dull forever!

Keep an eye on your wheel-well splash guards

Don’t let a wintery surprise ruin your day! Keep water and slush out of the engine compartment with wheel-well splash guards. But beware, these flimsy protectors can tear off without warning – so check up on ’em regularly to make sure they’re secure (or replace them as needed). To take it one step further, why not add some stylish mud flaps? They’ll look great while keeping debris away – perfect for when you want extra protection against Mother Nature’s wintry mix.

Check on your brakes often

Keep your braking system healthy; check and top off brake fluid each month. Scrub the lid of your master cylinder for a squeaky-clean opening, then add only the type recommended by car manufacturers – no substitutes! And whatever you do, don’t reuse aged containers – once exposed to air, brake fluid absorbs moisture like nobody’s business!

Show love to anti-lock brakes

Image credit Mathias Reding

Take care of your anti-lock brakes or they’ll take you for a ride! Be sure to ‘bleed’ the brakes every 3 years, otherwise moisture can come along and ruin that expensive ABS pump. Keep it all in check with some regular TLC so those wheels never run wild on ya’.

Your filters need regular TLC

Keep your motor purring by taking care of the filters! Whether it’s oil , fuel, transmission or air – all four need to be swapped out regularly if you want a well-oiled machine. So check your owner’s manual for the exact schedule or as follows:

  • Keep your engine running like a well-oiled machine and make sure you replace the oil filter every other oil change, or even better – each time! Not only will this ensure maximum cleanliness of new oil but it’ll also prevent up to one quart of grimy old motor juice from jamming things up. And don’t forget to lube those threads with anti-seize lubricant so everything flows nice and smooth when changing filters – easily picked up at any auto supply store.
  • Don’t just sit back and let that air filter get clogged up – check it every two months! It may look intimidating, but finding them is easier than ever: they can be found under the hood in a carbureted engine or nestled away in a rectangular box in a fuel-injected engine. If you still need help sniffing out their location, consult your owner’s manual for directions. To increase longevity even further, give them an occasional burst of compressed air to keep ’em clean and refreshed; think of it as a spa day for your filters!
  • It’s wise to keep up with your fuel filter maintenance and replace that puppy once a year. A backed-up and clogged fuel filter can lead to some not-so-great engine performance, plus could mean you have an unwelcome guest: corrosion in the gas tank!
  • Time to check your oil levels – get that transmission fluid filter changed after 5,000 miles on the road and then regularly every 25K or two years for maximum performance!

Keep your transmission in tip-top shape

Keep that transmission running smooth! Make sure to change your automatic transmission fluid and filter after the first 5,000 miles and every 25,000 thereafter. And if you plan on using it for tow truck duties then make sure to perform regular maintenance checks each year. For manual types of cars go ahead with an oil with a synthetic motor or gear lube – trust us when we say this will prolong its life considerably; unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer themselves!

Add oil coolers

Image credit Josch13

If you plan to do a lot of heavy lifting with your vehicle, adding oil and transmission coolers can be the difference between breakdowns on the road or guaranteed longevity. These aftermarket add-ons are just as effective at dissipating heat as radiators – without breaking into too much of a sweat! They may not look flashy but they’ll help keep all those moving parts running like clockwork for years down the line – so why not join in on this low-cost upgrade?

Swap out your spark plugs

Keep your car purring like a kitten by changing those spark plugs every 30,000 miles! Even better – upgrade to long-life double platinum plugs and they’ll last you up to 100k. Don’t forget all the wires in between that need replacing at 50,000 mile intervals – just run off into the auto store for an extra few dollars per plug and keep your engine performing optimally with no sacrifices needed on fuel mileage or performance.

Steer clear from hose problems

Don’t be a victim of the roadside hose-tastrophe! As an important part of your car maintenance routine, check those hoses under the hood periodically. If they’re hard, crunchy or soft and sticky – time to replace them pronto. And keep an eye out for bulges and sections that seem collapsed in any way– this is always a sign it’s time for replacements! Avoid making life difficult (and more expensive) – never drive with cracked coolant hoses; you don’t want your engine overheating like bad soup on the stove do ya? So avoid hassle and heartache down the line…check those roadsides before hitting ’em up.

Be sure to dilute your coolant

Keep your vehicle performing at its best by treating it to the perfect cocktail: 50% coolant-antifreeze and 50% water. Just like a great martini, when you mix these two ingredients in the right proportions, they work together harmoniously! The antifreeze prevents corrosion and freezing while the water helps ensure excellent heat transfer from engine to radiator – giving you optimal performance each time!

Stay cool with this tip

Image credit ALEX

Not sure how to keep your cool? Keep an eye on the level of antifreeze in your overflow tank and make sure it’s topped up. Don’t have time for mixing water with coolant-freeze yourself? No sweat, there are products out there that sell it already mixed – so you can beat those heat waves with ease!

Seal radiator leaks before replacing

Ah, the dreaded radiator leak! Fear not – rather than dropping a bundle on an entirely new one, why not try sealing it up with Alumaseal from Gold Eagle Co.? Whether powder or liquid form is more your style, they have you covered. These magical particles will seek out any holes in the radiator and fill ‘em right up upon contact with air. And don’t forget- their reliable sealant can be applied to heater cores too!

Don’t let your engine overheat!

Flushing out old, degraded coolant-antifreeze is a must for keeping those wheels rollin’ smoothly. Neglecting this simple task can cause major motor mayhem – radiator damage and clogged heater cores just to name a few. Heed the manufacturer’s manual to save yourself from disaster – swap that outdated cooler every two years or five if you’re using newer formulations.

Steer clear of mixing coolants like a science experiment gone wrong

Image credit Chad Kirchoff

Feeling the urge to jazz up your coolant? Not so fast! Sure, bright colors can be eye-catching. But when it comes to keeping your vehicle running smoothly, a rainbow concoction of two different liquids is not the way to go – no matter how tempting that lime green hue may seem. Your car needs consistency in its coolants for optimal performance – stick with one color and brand as indicated by your owner’s manual.

Don’t forget about theInvisible Hero of Your Motor– the timing belt!

Keeping it in tiptop shape is absolutely critical as a failed timing belt could cause headaches (and wallet aches) down the road aka expensive engine damage. So if your manual says to change at 50,000 miles (or whatever YOUR car recommends) then don’t dilly-dally – do it now and keep your pride & joy running sweetly for longer!

Carefully examine your drive belt

Image credit Tim Mossholder

Ready to hit the road? Put a spring in your step and ensure optimal performance by taking time for a quick drive-belt check every month. A belt that’s too tight can cause damage, while one that’s overly loose will likely wear out prematurely – so don’t skimp on this essential safety measure! Before starting up, press into the center of its longest exposed run with a ruler handy – if you can push it 1/2 -1 inch down but no more, bingo; otherwise adjust accordingly or let an expert take care of it . Stay safe (and cool) knowing your car is running at peak efficiency. Keep an eye out for frayed, cracked or oil-slicked belts! If you can spot any belt damage it’s best to get the pro opinion – and most importantly, grab yourself a new one if necessary.

Have a spa day for your engine

Are you itching to get your hands dirty? Put on some rubber gloves and give your engine a deep clean! With just soap, water, elbow grease, and maybe an industrial-strength degreaser from the auto parts store–you’ll be off to cool a running motor in no time. Be sure to cover sensitive components with plastic bags before starting work so they’re not covered top-to-bottom with grime once you start scrubbing away. For those who prefer less mess (or want to take it up another level), there is always professional steam cleaning that can help make quick work of any buildup under the hood. So don’t delay – keep your car feeling good as new by giving its engine periodic TLC!

Extend your battery life with water

Image credit Daniel

Get ready to make your battery last longer – it’s time for some H2O (aka water). If you have vent caps on the top of your battery, take ’em off and check out the electrolyte level; if it doesn’t rise up 1/2 inch (13 mm) above those plates then add distilled water until its a quarter or three-eighths (6 or 10mm) below that cap. Don’t be tempted by tap water–it may contain minerals that can do serious damage! And don’t forget: even though mechanics should inspect batteries during routine maintenance, they often cut corners in this crucial area so be sure to ask them directly about checking yours…no shortcuts when we’re talking safety here!

The proper way to jumpstart a car battery

Image credit Skylar Kang

Got a dead battery? Don’t panic! Follow these helpful tips to get your car going again and avoid damaging the battery or starter. Put on those jump leads and rev up for road-ready success!

  • Before you jumpstart your car, make sure both vehicles stay off! Protect yourself and the battery from a fiery explosion by connecting one end of the positive cable to its respective terminal. There’s no need for extra drama here- take it easy with this safety precaution.
  • When jump-starting your car, make sure to play it safe – connect the positive cable end to the source battery’s positive terminal and protect yourself from any potentially harmful damages!
  • Be sure that one end of the negative cable is firmly planted on its corresponding terminal.
  • Make sure you attach the negative cable to an unobstructed part of the engine’s metal surface.
  • Wait and see how your car responds before revving up another engine. If that doesn’t work then you can fire up the source vehicle to give it an extra charge of power – but don’t forget safety first!
  • Don’t forget to disconnect your cables wisely – no one wants a jumper-cable mix up that causes severe car battery and starter damage!
  • If you find yourself stuck with a car that won’t start, don’t keep jump-starting it like an overeager toddler; all the enthusiasm in the world won’t save your battery or starter. Take some time to recharge – literally – by bringing your car and its drained power source (the battery!) to an automotive shop for professional help!
  • If you want your car to get a head-start, jump starting it is the way to go – just make sure that proper precautions are taken in order for those delicate batteries and starters to remain unscathed. Afterward, reward your ride with an overnight charge or take her on a quick spin around town – nothing says ‘thanks’ like 5 or 10 miles!

Do winter exercise with your AC

Image credit Nicolai Berntsen

Get your AC ready for springtime with some winter exercise! Running it a few times in the cold months will prevent any seized parts and keep those seals soft and flexible so you’re set to cool off throughout summer.

Is there power in your steering wheel?

Keep “power” in your steering! Regularly check on the power-steering fluid and make sure it’s at a safe level – otherwise you’ll be disappointed with how heavy those turns get. Don’t let any leaks slip by unnoticed; inspecting hoses and pumps for leakage is key to preventing damage from lack of juice. And don’t forget, only use recommended fluids…trust us, after taking that wrong turn once (oops!), we know where not to cut corners when keeping things running smoothly.

Don’t try to carry too much!

Avoid overloading your car—it’s bad news for both you and the vehicle! Read up on its roof load specs in the manual, then give yourself a hard limit of 150-200 pounds (or eighteen 8-foot 2 x 4s… AKA three sheets of 3/4 inch plywood). If that sounds like too much weight to handle, let someone else take care of delivery instead. It’ll save wear and tear all around!

Secure cargo loads to avoid dents and scratches

Image credit Freddy G

Keep your ride smooth, secure and scratch-free! Investing in the right equipment for loading up bikes, luggage or whatever you need to transport is essential. Our insider pro tip? If a pick-up truck bed is what needs securing–push cargo against the back wall of it and install a shower curtain rod as a brace. Twist tight then let out an ‘Ahhh’ when all items are nice & snug without any bumps or bangs along the way…because ain’t nobody got time (or money) for that damage repair bill!

Prevent long-term storage blues with these tips

Don’t let your car turn into a rust-bucket while it’s not in use! See to proper long-term storage if you’re planning on taking an extended vacation from the driver seat.

  • Give your car a much-needed spa day– fill ‘er up and then take her out for a spin! Adding some fuel stabilizer to the tank afterwards will help keep it tip top shape, preventing any condensation from accumulating.
  • Get your car looking sharp! You can protect the finish by giving it a good wash and wax.
  • Don’t forget to lay down a vapor barrier on that garage floor – might as well make sure no nasty little critters get in there while you’re at it, right? A 4-mil polyethylene drop cloth will do just fine.
  • Keep your car’s brakes healthy by making sure you release the parking brake – don’t let corrosion set in!
  • Pull out the jack stands and relieve those weary tires of the weight of their hard-working duties.
  • Need to keep your battery from draining? Disconnect it, remove the stranded energy source and revive with a trickle-type charger for optimal results. Alternatively if that doesn’t quite do the trick – periodically drain the battery by using something as small as an electric light bulb. Then recharge it back up with a low voltage charge!
  • Stop the infiltration of sneaky moist and wet air into your tailpipe by plugging it with a rag – nothing like some good old-fashioned preventative maintenance!

The Verdict

Car Care Month is an important reminder that our vehicles, just like us, need routine check-ups and quality TLC. As car owners, small investments in regular maintenance can extend the life not only of your vehicle but also its performance. Take advantage of all the secrets out there to keep your car running better for longer! After all, why spend money on a costly repair when you can prevent it with a few simple actions? Now’s your chance to get serious about taking care of your car – get involved in Car Care Month and share your experience on Instagram as you go. So let’s ignite our excitement and rev up those engines – Let’s put the “care” into Car Care Month! #CarCareMonth

And don’t forget to #exclusivemotorcarcaremonth when sharing your stories and experiences on Instagram — we’d love to hear which tips are most effective for you!

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