The secret to getting a vehicle to last a long time is maintenance. Regular fluid checks and an almost pious dedication to scheduled lubrication will keep the powertrain going strong.
What kind of oil, brake fluid, and grease used is just as important as when it is changed. The best oil in the world will do your engine no good if you never change it.
Cleaning and protecting the finishes of the vehicle inside and out will keep things looking good. Paint, plastic, leather, and fabric need help to survive the constant assault of sun and outdoor elements.
Below are 10 handy tips for keeping your vehicle in top shape.
Check and change the oil. The single and most important step to help an engine last is regular oil and filter changes. Conversely, nothing will destroy an engine faster than neglecting oil-level checks or fresh-oil changes.
Flush the cooling system and change coolant at least once a year. A 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water will keep your cooling system in good shape. Coolant will prevent corrosion and deposits from building up inside the cooling system.
Change out transmission and differential oils. While not a frequent service that is required, these fluids must be changed according to service intervals. Always use transmission fluid or gear oil of the recommended type and viscosity. See your automobiles owner’s manual.
Keep it clean. While it might seem obvious that washing the outside of the vehicle is important, it is often overlooked due to weather conditions and convenience. Just remember most everything the vehicle ran over can also get stuck to the underside. A quick hosing off winter salt and road grime is a good idea.
Everything with moving parts needs grease to optimally perform and survive. An example of this would include your vehicle’s ball joints.
Wax on – Wax off! Nothing keeps paint looking good and protected like a coat of quality wax. Apply wax at least every six months.
Driveline components such as u-joints also require regular lubrication. The driveline may have to be removed to access the grease fitting.
Protect the interior plastic by parking your vehicle in the shade, using a window deflector screen, and applying a UV protectant to prevent the plastic and vinyl from drying out.
Inspect, clean, and repack wheel bearings with wheel bearing grease according to service intervals. Wheel bearings and grease are inexpensive compared to spindle and hub replacement, or liberated wheels rolling down the road ahead of you.
Replace fluid and bleed system once a year. Brake fluid is hygroscopic. This means it is adept at attracting moisture. Moisture causes components to corrode and fail. Brake fluid is inexpensive compared to replacing calipers, hoses, and sensors.