A man cleans the rims of a car’s tire, helping maintain and extend the car’s life.

Depending on the make, model, and daily demands you place on your vehicle, some cars are just designed to last longer than others. But that doesn't mean you can't preserve your car with a little extra love and care.

To save yourself the cost and stress of an unexpected breakdown, or even worse, the need to prematurely purchase a new vehicle, make sure you follow these maintenance tips to help extend the life of your car:

  1. Get to know your car — inside and out. Most car owners aren't even aware a problem is present simply because they don't know their car well enough. While we can't all be mechanics, learning the basic functionalities and features of your car can help you keep track of new symptoms that may indicate a problem, like changes in how it sounds, how it runs, and the appearance of any new dashboard warning lights. Thoroughly read your owner's manual and keep a logbook of your car's performance, so you'll be able to relay any problems to your mechanic for a speedy diagnosis.
  2. Drive with your engine's health in mind. Be gentle with your vehicle and avoid harsh accelerations or excessive speeding. Consistently driving at high speeds is one of the main reasons why vehicle engines wear down quickly, so always follow the speed limit to stay safe and preserve your car's engine health. Avoid heavy towing, especially with smaller sedans and hatchbacks, to protect your engine and avoid unnecessary breakdowns.
  3. Take your car for frequent detailing. While some people love to wash and detail their car purely for aesthetic reasons, frequent washes can be vital in preventing rust, especially when driving in the winter. Allowing road salt to build up on your car's exterior can speed up the development of rust, compromising the structure and reducing the car's lifespan. Try to wash your car once a month, paying close attention to the bottom of the frame and inside the wheel wells to keep rust at bay.

    If you're hoping to keep your car on the road for many years to come, keep a logbook of your car's maintenance, stay on top of your routine service appointments, and don't ignore small issues when they arise.

  4. Pay your mechanic a regular visit. Most modern vehicles have an internal maintenance schedule and will alert you when it's time to take your car for a tire rotation, oil change, or filter change. While these quick visits to a mechanic may seem unnecessary, these small tune-ups can keep your car on the road for a long time and reduce the risk of major, expensive breakdowns in the future.
  5. Don't ignore small concerns. Smaller issues, like a chip in your windshield, a slight squeal in your brakes, or a small rock chip in your car's paint may seem insignificant, but these issues can lead to a larger problem if left unattended. If you notice any small change in your vehicle, always bring it up to a mechanic, just in case.

As the cost of cars continue to rise, try to extend the life of your vehicle through simple, ongoing maintenance. This will save you on costly repairs, or worse — the need to prematurely buy a new car.

Proper vehicle maintenance can help you feel confident while on the road. It also helps to know you have the proper insurance coverage you need to protect your vehicle. Questions about your policy? Reach out to your group's licensed car insurance broker today.

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