Keeping Your Old Clunker Clunking: Extend the Life of Your Vehicle

December 23, 2011

New cars are pricey, and the market for used cars took a hit during the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Many old vehicles were taken out of the pool of available used vehicles, driving up the prices of existing used vehicles. Since many people can't get a better car than they have for the money they have to spend, keeping their current vehicle running is important. To get the most out of your beloved clunker, follow these simple steps.

Regular Maintenance is the Key

When money is tight, it is easy to justify squeezing in more miles between oil changes, tire rotations and other necessary maintenance. But in the long run, this costs you more money. Well tuned cars and trucks get better gas mileage, and also require fewer repairs. You might save a few bucks on your tire rotations this week, but it will cost you much more money to pay for a tow truck and a new spare tire, not to mention the possibility of missing a day of work. According to auto maintenance experts, these are the areas that no car owner can afford to ignore.

  • Get regular oil and fluid changes, which protect the life of the engine and other critical parts. Replacing an engine costs between $2,000 and $5,000. That is a lot more than regular oil changes cost. Make sure the filters are changed with the fluids.

  • Tires are your car's feet. If the feet aren't properly cared for, your car has no support. Keep a tire gauge in your glove box or trunk. Make it a habit to check your tires each time you fill up with gas. Inflate tires when the pressure is low and have your tires rotated and balanced at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Check your battery regularly. Most auto parts stores can do this for you for no charge. Cold weather saps battery life, so it's a good idea to get the battery checked when you winterize your car. Antifreeze is another winter essential.

image via Wikipedia

image via Wikipedia

 Even when you regularly maintain your car, there will always be times when repairs become necessary. But regular checks by a qualified mechanic help you spot and resolve problems quicker than if your car was never inspected. Paying for emergency repairs is less of a burden if you use Mobiloans instead of emptying the savings account. If you follow proper maintenance recommendations, the costly repairs can most likely be avoided.

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