A few months ago, our PHL parking company wrote a blog called 10 Tips to Extend Your Car’s Lifespan. We thought we’d list 10 more that you can use to keep your car running longer:
1. Don’t “warm up” your car.
Warming up your car for an extended period of time (like many people do during the winter) is bad for your catalytic converter and the environment, as your car pollutes the air most when it’s first turned on. Your car will actually warm up faster when you drive it instead of let it idle, so turn it on and let it warm up for 30-60 seconds, then drive away slowly.
2. Replace brake pads at first sign of wear.
Brake pads are made with a metal strip incorporated into the pad, so when they start to wear down, you’ll hear a screeching. As soon as you hear this screeching, replace your brake pads – you’ll prevent possible damage to your rotors and overall braking system.
3. Take the first few miles easy.
The lubrication system in your vehicle works best when the car is fully warmed. Until then, aggressive driving is hard on your engine and makes it more susceptible to damage. Keep your speed and your rpm’s down for the first few miles that you drive until your car is fully warmed up.
4. Keep your fuel level at 1/4 tank.
If you constantly run your fuel tank down before you fill it back up, don’t. Gasoline sediment sits at the bottom of your fuel tank and when you drive on little gas, you force your car to run on the dirtiest fuel in the tank. If you can’t fill your gas tank all the way, make a habit of keeping the level at around 1/4 tank.
5. Rotate your tires.
Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles or so. You’ll distribute the wear evenly and make them last longer.
6. Protect your interior.
While the exterior of your car is important, the interior is also important and can easily affect your resale value. Keep your floors clean by using all-weather mats, wipe down your dashboard and console, don’t leave garbage around, vacuum regularly, and bring your car to our PHL parking facility, where our Maaco experts can detail it.
7. Pay attention to sounds.
Each time you drive your car, listen for any new sounds or vibrations. If you hear something, pay attention to when it occurs. (Does it happen when you drive above 40 mph? Does it happen when you turn to the right?) The more you know about a strange sound, the better you can convey it to a mechanic and figure out what’s wrong.
8. Insulate your battery.
To keep your battery lasting longer, insulate it with a battery “blanket.” This will protect it from high temperatures in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter. It will also help protect it from overheating.
9. Avoid short trips.
Short trips are hard on your engine, gas mileage, and the environment. They’re also hard on your muffler. A car that has reached the proper temperature will get hot enough to evaporate any condensation that is sitting in your system. If you constantly drive short distances, your car won’t be able to evaporate the condensation and you could experience rust holes in your muffler.
10. Flush your fluids.
Every two years or so, flush out your power steering fluid, anti-freeze, and brake fluid and replace them all with fresh batches. You’ll get rid of any gunk or sediment that has built up.
If you park with us and would like our professionals to maintenance your car, simply let us know when you make a PHL parking reservation.