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3 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Vehicle

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Let’s face it: reliable transportation is important. We use it every day for jobs or visits to friends and family. So what happens when there’s an unexpected car repair? It can be a huge burden. The truth is, many of the parts and systems on your car are connected, and if you ignore regular maintenance on one component, it could cause an entire system to fail later.

By properly maintaining your car on a regular basis — whether doing it yourself ortaking it to a shop— you can prevent bigger, more expensive problems down the road.

 

Getting your oil changed and tire pressure checked is one thing, but can you do more to extend the life of your vehicle? HEre are three ways to do just that:

 

1. Change Your Air Filter

 

Over time, dust and grime from the road accumulates in and under your car. Air filters prevent all that harmful dirt and debris from getting into your engine. A dirty air filter cuts off the flow of air through your systems and can potentially cause damage to spark plugs and other critical components. When you drive around with a dirty air filter, it can lead to engine contamination and stress — and even complete engine failure in some cases. You don’t want that! Keeping clean air filters not only enhances your car’s performance, but it can also save you from expensive system repairs. Typically, manufacturers recommend that you replace your air filters every 12 months or 12,000 miles.

 

2. Get Your Muffler and Exhaust System Checked

 

The muffler’s job is to dampen exhaust gases and sound waves created by your engine, but an exhaust system is much more complex than just a muffler. It includes multiple components such as the exhaust manifold, absorption pipe, catalytic converter, resonator and the muffler, which is connected to your car’s tailpipe. Not only does the muffler keep your car running smoothly and quietly, but it also regulates how fast exhaust flows out of your vehicle. If it’s not functioning properly, your engine has to work overtime, which can cause problems accelerating, a change in gas mileage or even your engine to stall. Typically, a factory muffler should last about three to five years, but it is important to catch problems early. You should have your mechanic check out your exhaust system as part of your regular car maintenance.

 

3. Replace Your Battery

 

You won’t get far without a charged and functional car battery. A lot of factors can cause your battery to gradually wear down — including extreme weather. Hot weather causes battery acid to evaporate, which leads to corrosion and can also affect the battery’s ability to fully charge. Cold weather forces your battery to work harder and can lead to low voltage. When you take your car in for regular maintenance, go ahead and have your mechanic check your battery. Most manufacturers recommend having your battery tested at least twice each year. Typically, car batteries last around four to five years. A low-performing battery or a battery that shows signs of a white or bluish substance or corrosion may need to be replaced.

 

You can try to do all of these yourself, or an auto maintenance and repair shop can take care of it. Either way, these are just a few ways to extend the life of your vehicle. Want more tips like this? Download this e-book for seven more.

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