The days of keeping a vehicle for two years before trading it in seem to be over for a growing number of car owners. The sluggish economy, combined with improved reliability of newer vehicles, mean that many people are deciding to drive their vehicles until they drop. But keeping an older car in top shape can be a little challenging if you’ve never done it before. What are the kinds of maintenance you should prioritize and which kinds are not quite as important? Just as with new vehicles, being proactive in the maintenance of your older vehicle is crucial to saving money and extending its life. Here are three tips to help you keep your older vehicle in top shape so you’ll enjoy it for years to come.
1. Oil Changes
Oil changes are the most important maintenance task to ensure a vehicle’s long life. For most vehicles, changing the oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles is recommended, though drivers who drive in severe conditions may want to change it a little more often. High mileage motor oil has been developed with higher doses of additives to help prevent burn-off and deposits. Using this high mileage oil certainly won’t harm your engine, but the actual regular scheduling of oil changes is the most important factor for keeping the engine in top shape.
The brakes on your older vehicle are one of the most important safety features. The brake pads and shoes ought to be replaced when they wear out. The mileage interval for this service varies depending on your driving habits and whether you do a lot of city driving. On average, brake pads tend to last around 30,000 to 40,000 miles. You’ll be able to tell when your pads are wearing thin – you’ll hear a squealing noise when the brakes are engaged. When you start to hear squealing as you brake, it’s time to get your brake pads replaced.
3. Rotors and Drums
Other parts of your braking system need careful attention as well. Rotors, drums, and calipers all work together in an effective braking system. Brake rotors or drums wear down over time, and this wear can be accelerated if your brake pads are excessively worn out as well. If you feel pulsating when engaging the brakes, it’s time to visit your mechanic to have your rotors turned or resurfaced.
Having this maintenance done is the key to ensuring your older vehicle will continue to run effectively for many years to come.
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Auto Stop Limited Inc. is happy to service your vehicle and make sure all of your maintenance needs are properly addressed and resolved. Contact Auto Stop Limited Inc. online or give us a call at (410) 467-7600 to get your questions answered today. To get more vehicle maintenance tips, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.