Here at Horsepower Broadcasting we get thousands of questions from listeners weekly, everything from how to find the best tire deals to how to install a diesel V8 into a 1975 Pinto..(That’s a true story). Another question we are frequently asked is ‘How to make your car last longer’, seems folks are always searching for the automotive fountain of youth so here are a few suggestions to keep the car running longer while spending less money on it.
The first suggestion we have is, don’t use it if you don’t have to. Chances are there are plenty of times when you currently use your car that you could be walking, biking, using public transportation or carpooling. Not only will that give your car a break but it’s also better for the environment, your health, and your wallet. Essentially, the less you drive it, the longer it will last.
Next tip is take fewer short trips. Remember, trips less than 10 minutes can be particularly hard on a car, resulting in excessive wear and tear. During a short trip, the engine never has a chance to reach its full operating temperature.
One of the byproducts of engine combustion is water. When an engine reaches its operating temperature that water turns to vapor. On a short trip, however, that water stays inside the engine and exhaust system. Unfortunately, water is one of only three ingredients necessary to make rust and you’ve already got the other two, which is oxygen and metal, and rust kills. As far as Neil Young is concerned, it never sleeps either.
Another problem with condensation and water is that it dilutes your oil, which then does a poorer job of lubricating the engine. If you can’t avoid taking lots of short trips, we recommend you change your oil frequently, such as every 2,000-3,000 miles
Lastly, do your car a favor and drive it gently. What does “drive gently” mean? It means accelerating slowly, avoid ‘Jack Rabbit type starts. It means brake gently and avoid panic stops. It means not revving your engine in the driveway when it’s cold, before the oil is warm and freely circulating.
For our listeners in the colder climates, if it’s below freezing outside, allow your car a minute or so to warm up before driving it hard. Then drive slowly for another minute or two, until the engine oil has warmed up and started to fully lubricate all the components.
Whether your car is brand new or an old jalopy, these simple tips will add years to your car and a few extra bucks in your wallet.
Got a question or a comment? let us hear from you. Text us directly to the studio at 877-209-4480