How to TRIPLE your car’s life: Six things everyone can do

A carmaker designs a car in a way that it easily lasts for more than 3,50,000 kms. In most cases, however, car owners simply fail to do such large distances without spending big money on the rebuilds. It’s also fairly common to see people selling off their used cars before the odometer hits the 1,00,000 kms figure. However, here’s how you can maximize your car’s life and use it without any major trouble for at least 3 lakh kilometres.

It begins by choosing the right car…

Our first tip is for the new car buyers who are about to spend their hard-earned money on buying a new car. Everyone who wants a car with a really long life should choose a model from a manufacturer that has a high reputation for reliability and great after-sales service. Both these factors are highly critical to ensure the long life of your vehicle. In case you already own a car, the rest of the tips will help you enjoy a trouble-free performance from your car for many kilometres to come.

Stick to stock spec

Basically, one should avoid making any sort of modification. From bigger wheels and wider tires to ECU remaps and free-flow exhaust – all such modifications have an adverse effect on your car’s life. It’s better to purchase a car that offers higher performance or more stylish alloys than buying one and modifying it later. This is because every part of the car is designed to work in perfect harmony with others. A simple modification can disturb this harmony, which leads to a drop in your car’s life.

Avoid short trips

Are you someone who drives to the nearby market? Basically, using your car for short trips of 2 kilometres or lesser should be avoided. Walking will not only help you keep yourself fit, it will even help you boost the life of your car. Actually, car engines don’t warm up enough on such short trips. Hence, there’s a higher wear and tear. While you won’t notice the effects immediately, repeated short trips over many years can reduce your car’s life substantially. Also, it’s a good practice to warm up your car engine for at least a minute before you start driving. One should start driving only when the temperature needle has reached the halfway mark. Also, one should avoid hard revving immediately after he or she starts driving. Turbocharged engines should be left idle for a minute before you turn the ignition off.

Adhere to service schedules religiously

Every car has a service schedule, which should be strictly adhered to. There are many parts that require regular lubrication and even periodic replacement. These parts need to be changed at the manufacturer-specified intervals. Not doing so can result in a drop in performance and increased wear and tear of certain components. Hence, one should never ignore the manufacturer-specified service intervals. Everything from the timing belt change at, say 1,00,000 kms, to wheel balancing at, 10,000 kilometres, should be done without any delay.

Buy that extended warranty

One should always purchase the extended warranty. Mostly, cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty of 2 kilometers. It’s highly recommended to opt for the 5-year extended warranty by spending a small amount. Also, the warranty stands void in case you modify your car. Hence, do stick to the stock specifications if you want to reap the full benefits of the warranty.

Finally, drive like a long distance traveller on a horse…

Basically, drive gently. Driving with a light foot minimizes the stress on various components and there will be a reduced wear-and-tear of the engine and suspension components. Also, incorporate certain habits into your driving style. For example, in case you see a red light ahead, it’s better to coast than to maintain a constant speed till the zebra crossing and suddenly stopping by braking hard. This will help you boost the life of the brake pads. Also, shutting the doors gently can help you keep the rattles away. Accelerating and decelerating smoothly will help you reduce the wear-and-tear of the engine and transmission. Changing wipers in time will help you prevent the windscreen from getting scratched. Also, it pays to go through your car’s manual carefully – you can find many such tips in there.