5 Secrets to Keeping a Car Running for 10 years or More:
It’s official, Americans are keeping their cars for longer. Maybe it’s because of uncertainty about the economy, or because manufacturers are making better cars, but the fact is that the average American is keeping his or her car for more than a decade now. According to AutoMD, the average car on the road is 11 years old and nearly 8 out of 10 drivers plan on keeping their next car for at least 10 years as well.
What does it take to keep a car running smoothly for a decade? Actually, it can be quite a bit easier than you think. Whether you prefer to spend the weekend taking care of your car at home, or feel better letting a certified mechanic handle the tune-ups and repairs, there are more resources than ever both online and inside garages to help you keep your car running smoothly down the road.
The automotive professionals at Sears Auto Center recommend proactive, preventive car care to help your protect your car and prevent costly repairs down the road. The following 5 secrets will help you stay on top of your car’s care to keep you on the road instead of on the side.
1. Know your mileage checkpoints. Each vehicle has slightly different manufacturer’s specifications for service checks. Find yours in your vehicle’s manual, or bring your car into your local Sears Auto Center to discover at what mileage markers your car will need a check-up and which components of your car will need to be watched carefully.
2. Learn how to check on your car yourself. Several key components of your car, such as oil levels and tire pressure, can easily be checked at home. Your local Sears Auto Center provides Car Care Clinics that are designed to teach car owners how to perform these key basic checks, and how to tell when they need to bring their cars in for preventive maintenance.
3. Ask a friend to drive. While you drive your car every day and are accustomed to what you call its “quirks,” your friend will be able to tell if something feels wrong. Ask them to look for soft brakes, your steering wheel pulling to either side, funny noises, or anything unusual.
4. Take advantage of designated car care months. The Car Care Council notes April and October as National Car Care Months and provides a list of routine maintenance procedures that can be performed during these months. April and October are especially good months for routine maintenance as they occur before and after the hardest seasons on your car: summer and winter. Your local Sears Auto Center celebrates National Car Care Month by providing free checks and clinics to help with all your routine maintenance needs. Check out carcare.org for more information.
5. Make the time for regular check-ups. Regular check-ups don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Certain Sears Auto Centers are equipped with the tools to fully diagnose your vehicle in 3 minutes or less. In as little as 10 minutes, all Sears Auto Centers can perform a free multi-point inspection, including:
- Tire check
- Exterior light check
- Wiper blade check
- Under hood inspection:
- Battery cables
- Air filter
- Under car inspection:
- Steering and suspension
- Drive axles
Preventive maintenance is without question the most effective and least expensive way to keep your car running for a decade or longer. Regular automotive checks can help prevent costly repairs in the future and keep your car and its passengers safe. However, sometimes repairs are unavoidable, so set aside money each month in case of emergencies. Smart planning along with proactive, preventive maintenance can keep your car running smoothly and safely down the road, and that’s worth a fortune.