With so many people choosing to retain older models and styles of cars, it’s important to know how to keep old faithful running smoothly in the years to come. Whether it’s a classic vehicle you’ve kept around for nostalgic reasons, or your teenaged kid’s clunker, proper maintenance, and quality workmanship can make it last into the foreseeable future. Listed below are four tips to get you started on the road to preserving your aging car:
Protect Your Cooling System
Coolant hoses can take a lot of pressure, heat, and abuse from your car on a daily basis, but people somehow rarely take them into consideration when running repairs. Something to keep in mind is that without this rubber tube and water pump your engine wouldn’t stand a chance, especially if you plan on driving it a lot in the years to come. Keep your eyes peeled for leaks that are green in color coming from beneath your vehicle, and be wary of odd odors emanating from the hood; both of these indicators could mean it’s time to replace your system.
Rotate the Tires
Many people remember to change their tires for the impending seasons, but they don’t rotate them throughout the year. Every five to seven thousand miles, your wheels should be rotated in order to keep wear even and lower the risk of busting one open, especially on older models that may ride differently than newer cars do.
Check Brake Fluid Regularly
An important step in keeping your vehicle young is to monitor your brakes, especially the fluids. When checking your brake fluids, you’re looking for something clear and slightly yellow tinged in color; if this is the case, you’re good to go. If the liquid is dark, thick, or has bits of debris floating inside of it, it’s time to take it in for a change. Keeping your disc pads in proper repair is also important, as allowing them to retain too much friction can damage your rotors and cause for some very expensive mechanical work.
DIY With Engine Oil
Although it’s rather simple to take your car to the mechanic to change your oil over, it’s cheaper to do it yourself, and will give you the incentive to check on it more often, which extends the life of your older vehicle. Step one is to check the oil dipstick and see what color oil you’re working with; amber is what you’re aiming for, but if it hasn’t been changed in a while, you might be faced with black. If it’s full of debris, clumps, or retains shape in a gelatin-like texture, you’ve got big problems and need to replace it straight away. It should be drained, have its filter replaced, and then driven for a good hundred miles or so with new synthetic oil until it starts running near to clear.
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