Avoid short trips
Short trips of less than 2 kilometers are best avoided. Such trips don’t let the engine warm up enough, causing higher wear and tear. It won’t matter if you change cars every 3 years, but if you want one that lasts for over a decade, these little things really matter.
Just like you, your car loves the open highway, and hates bumper-to-bumper traffic. Cruising on the open highway means fewer gear changes, enough fresh air into the intake and generally a happier car whose brakes, clutch and even engine has to work less harder.
Also warming up an engine for at least a minute before driving away is recommended and until the temperature needle reaches the halfway mark, drive gently. In case of turbocharged cars, it’s a good habit to idle for a minute before shutting the engine.
Buy that extended warranty
Since you want to keep your car for a long time, a 5 year extended warranty is something that you must invest in. And since you haven’t modified your car, there’s no reason why the car maker won’t cover your car with the extended warranty, which is like an insurance policy against mechanical and electrical failure.
Finally, drive like a long distance traveller on a horse…
or in other words, gently. Gentle driving means maximizing the life of every component of the car. It’s being very efficient, and measured. For example, when you know that there’s a red light ahead, it’s better to coast than to maintain speed and brake hard. This will increase brake pad life. Similarly, instead of turning the AC on and off, it’s better to adjust the temperature knob.
This way, the AC’s compressor will last longer. Shutting the doors gently can prevent rattles from developing over time while accelerating and decelerating smoothly will boost engine and transmission life. Changing wipers in time means a scratch free windscreen, and there are umpteen such examples. Your car’s owner’s manual is a starting point. Just go by the book.