If you’re anything like most people, then your car is probably the single most expensive thing you own. But it holds worth beyond just money, as many people rely on their cars for both work and play. For most, their car is a link to the outside world, a way to stay connected with what matters to them.
Because of your car’s value (both financial and practical), it’s important that you take good care of your vehicle. Even if you aren’t one of those individuals who considers their car “their baby” and devotes themselves religiously to its upkeep, there are still benefits to taking good care of your car. Below you will find the top tips on how to extend the life of your car and to reduce repair costs:
Go easy on the keychains.
Sure, keychains are great mementos, but they could also play a role in damaging your car. If your car keys are surrounded by numerous other keychains (think telescope photos, bottle openers, and even store loyalty keytags), then your keyring is probably heavier than it should be.
When heavy keychains dangle from the ignition and bounce during regular driving, it can contribute to significant wear on the tumblers inside the ignition. This can eventually cause your ignition switch to fail, leaving you stranded with little warning.
So whenever possible, it’s best to drive with only the weight of your car key in the ignition. If you’re too fond of your keychains to part with them, be sure to purchase a carabiner clip so that you can easily detach your car keys from the heavy bundle of accessories before driving.
In addition to making your car more attractive, taking care of your vehicle’s paint job can also help to extend the life of your car’s body. This is because paint protects your car from rust and other types of damage that can form as a result of UV rays, moisture, bird droppings, pollen, acid rain, etc.
There are a number of ways you can help protect your car’s paint job, thereby helping to prevent rust and other types of damage:
- Park in a garage if possible. If not, park in the shade. If no shade is available or if parking under a tree results in a vehicle covered with bird droppings, consider purchasing a car cover.
- Wash your car regularly to remove harmful buildup.
- Air dry your car or use a soft, specially-designed towel to avoid scratching paint.
- Wax after washing to add another layer of protection.
- Repair minor dents and nicks as soon as possible. If you don’t, the spot could begin to rust, and once this happens, it can be difficult to stop. Touch up these spots before rust has the chance to take hold.
Know what to do in winter.
Extreme conditions, both hot and cold, put a lot of strain on your car. However, there are steps you can take, some of them unexpected, to minimize the weather’s negative impact on your vehicle.
First, don’t let your car idle in the driveway to “warm up” before you head to work in the morning. While it does feel nice to step into a cozy car, this cold weather idling can be very harsh on your engine. The oil pressure created during idling may not be sending oil to all parts of your engine, which is not good. What’s more, because your engine is not operating at its peak temperature, this practice can result in oil contamination, damage to cylinder walls, and other types of engine damage.
Also, take steps to ensure that all components of your car stay functional during winter. The moving parts in your AC compressor, for example, could seize up in cold weather, causing them to malfunction come summertime. To prevent this, run your AC a few times during the colder months, as this circulates refrigerant, helping to keep parts and seals healthy.
Thornton Chevrolet of York, PA
Thornton Chevrolet, Central PA’s premier Chevy dealer, understands that your car is important. They offer both new and used vehicles and are conveniently located in York, PA. Thornton is also home to one of Pennsylvania’s top service centers, performing everything from routine oil changes to complete engine rebuilds. For more information, visit their website at www.tchevy.com today.