Keeping Your Old Car Young: Tips for Cars 10 Years and Older

We spent numerous hours driving:  to and from work, bringing the kids to school, going to the supermarket, gym and even vacations.

As Americans, we depend heavily on our cars.  Maybe to your surprise, we take equal amounts of time caring for our cars as we do driving.

Thanks to an motor vehicle industry built on Ford and General Motors, there is plenty of information available on how to keep your old car young.

Here is a simple list to follow:

  • Change your oil and filter regularly – This is not only the easiest form of maintenance but the most important. Inconsistent maintenance of your oil and filter will result in a rapid deterioration of your engine.
  • Change out differential oil and transmission fluid – This is not as frequent to maintenance but still very important. Refer to your owner’s manual for the best schedule for your vehicle.
  • Coolant – Periodically, you will need to flush out the coolant system and add new coolant. Again, check your owner’s manual.
  • Pay attention to your wheel bearings – Wheel bearings are part of your car’s wheels that help reduce friction and allow the wheels to spin freely. Next time you have your car serviced, have your wheels inspected to see if your wheel bearings need to be serviced.
  • Brake Fluid – Brake fluid must be replaced regularly. This will avoid moisture buildup and subsequently, rust and corrosion I the brake system.
  • Wash and wax – To maintain the paint job, it’s a good idea to wash and wax your car once every three months or so.
  • Avoid sun – To avoid a faded interior, try to find parking spots in the shade and/or using a special UV protectant to keep plastic, leather or vinyl from drying out and cracking.
  • Prepare – Living in New England, our vehicles experience massive amounts of rock salt during the winter. To avoid corrosion on the underside of your car, rinse your vehicle thoroughly before washing it.

There is no magic to keeping your car young, just pay attention and perform regular maintenance. If you hear any unusual sounds, get to your local garage immediately. Hopefully these tips will allow you to count on your wheels for years to come.

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