Is Your Car Serving You Well? 12 ​​Tips to Extend ​​the Life of ​​Your Car​​

Your car is one ​​of your most valuable​​ possessions. The average​​ American spends ​​around $9,000 a year ​​on their vehicle when ​​you factor in car payments, ​​insurance, gas, and ​​maintenance. With the ​​cost of buying a new ​​car skyrocketing, it makes ​​sense to try to​​ extend the life of your ​​current vehicle as ​​long as possible.​​

The Key is Preventative Maintenance 

Preventative ​​maintenance is crucial ​​for squeezing ​​more miles out ​​of your ​​car. Here are 12 tips to help keep your wheels turning:

1. Stick to the maintenance schedule

Your owner’s manual outlines the recommended maintenance schedule for your specific make and model. Follow it diligently to help prevent major issues down the road. This includes regular oil changes, fluid checks, tire rotations, battery testing and more.

2. Inspect and change air filters

A dirty air filter can reduce engine performance and gas mileage. Change your engine air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. For your cabin air filter, replace it every 12 months or so.

3. Check tire pressure

Underinflated tires wear out more quickly and reduce fuel economy. Use a tire pressure gauge to check each tire monthly and add air as needed. This small step extends the life of your tires.

4. Replace windshield wipers

Worn windshield wipers can streak and smear, reducing visibility in wet weather. Replace them about once a year, or sooner if you notice deterioration.

5. Flush radiator and refill coolant

This should be done periodically to remove contaminants and replenish your coolant’s rust inhibitors. Mixing diluted coolant with distilled water keeps your radiator in top shape.

6. Change transmission fluid

Transmission fluid breaks down over time. Drain and replace it every 30,000 miles or according to your owner’s manual. This helps lubricate gears and internal parts.

7. Replace spark plugs

Spark plugs fire thousands of times per minute to ignite the fuel mixture. They wear out over time. For most vehicles, spark plug replacement every 30,000 miles ensures optimal performance.

8. Swap out dirty brake fluid

Moisture-contaminated brake fluid can boil and create gas bubbles, leading to brake failure. Flushing brake fluid every two years maintains the hydraulic integrity of the system.

9. Keep it clean

Wash your car regularly to prevent rust and remove damaging salt, bird droppings, tree sap, bugs and tar. Hand wash it or use a touchless car wash. Waxing adds an extra layer of protection.

10. Inspect belts and hoses

Engine belts and hoses endure extreme temperatures. Examine them periodically for cracks and replace as needed. Preventative replacement avoids roadside breakdowns.

11. Rotate and balance tires

Tires wear unevenly, especially for front-wheel drive vehicles. Regular tire rotation evens out tread wear. At the same time, have them dynamically balanced to reduce vibrations.

12. Fix issues immediately

Listen for new squeaks, rattles and mechanical noises. Diagnose the cause quickly to prevent further damage. For example, address engine misfires right away.

A few key steps like tune-ups, fluid changes and tire rotations go a long way. But even with vigilant maintenance, unexpected repairs still happen. Protect yourself with an auto insurance policy that includes coverage for mechanical breakdowns.

The Right Insurance Will Save You All the Headache

Car maintenance keeps you safest on the roads while protecting your investment. But accidents and repairs are inevitable. That’s why auto insurance is mandatory in every state. The right policy safeguards you from financial loss if your vehicle needs significant service or is totaled.

Choose an insurer that offers:

  • Collision coverage: Pays to repair or replace your car if you’re at fault for an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Covers damage to your vehicle from non-crash incidents like vandalism, natural disasters, fire, or theft.
  • Roadside assistance: Provides towing and labor if your car breaks down.
  • Rental reimbursement: Helps pay for a rental car while yours is in the shop.

With the proper maintenance and insurance, your car can log hundreds of thousands of miles. Stay diligent with preventative care while driving safely. Your auto policy provides another layer of protection so you can keep on rolling worry-free.

At Northeast Nebraska Insurance, we want to help you get the most out of your car and save money! We’re proud to represent over 20 insurance companies serving communities in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. Visit our website or give us a call at 402-375-2696 to learn more about our personal and commercial insurance options.

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