How To Keep Your Car Running For At Least 10 Years

If you do a fair to moderate amount of driving, then the longer you can keep your car on the road the better. Unfortunately, many drivers neglect basic maintenance, and that can shorten the lifespan. Even more unfortunate is that the omission is often unintentional. Drivers just get busy with their daily lives, or they struggle financially and start missing milestones. Before long, a bad problem becomes worse because they put themselves into the situation where buying a new car becomes necessary.

Thankfully, Allstate auto insurance recently shared some tips on how you can guarantee your car stays road-ready for at least 10 years. You’d be wise to follow each of these:


Monitor And Replace Fluids As Needed

Automotive fluids simply cannot last forever. They need to be checked and replaced. As Allstate notes, “Checking and replacing fluids can help keep your vehicle on the road longer as a well-oiled machine. Consider that engine oil usually needs to be changed every 5,000 miles, or every six months; engine coolant needs to be checked twice a year and flushed and replaced as necessary; and transmission fluid needs to be flushed every two years or 30,000 miles.”

One of the most consistently overlooked fluids by the common driver is brake fluid. “Brake fluid attracts and absorbs moisture, and over time, it can do a lot of damage to the internal parts of your anti-lock braking system,” Allstate explains. “It should be flushed every two years regardless of mileage. And, don’t forget to flush the power steering and change the differential lubricant, as well.”


Drive Slower

A more gentle driver tends to get longer life out of his car. While you may have a lead foot, it’s never too late to change course. The insurer notes that “Driving gently may help reduce the wear and tear on your car,” adding that this means “slowing down for bumps or potholes, taking corners at a reasonable speed and avoiding putting your foot to the floor.”

The company continued: “Driving hard puts more stress and strain on your car’s components. According to the US Department of Energy, it takes 73 percent more horsepower to cruise at 60 mph, and a whopping 159 percent more at 70 mph, than it does at 50 mph. This means your engine is working that much harder and wearing down that much more quickly if you continue to speed.”

Slowing down can also keep repair costs much lower. An increase of just 10 mph from 50 to 60 can increase maintenance costs as much as 38 percent, according to the DOE. A bump to 70 mph translates to 80 percent higher repair costs.

“There are also fuel consumption implications,” Allstate explains. “Each mile per hour you travel over 50 mph will cause a 1.5 percent increase on fuel consumption … Speed just 10 mph over 50 and you’re wasting 15 percent more gas. That’s several dollars more each time you have to fill up!”


Buy A Dependable Car

Most cars are getting more reliable as technologies improve, but there is still a big difference from company to company, model to model, and even between different model years of the same vehicle, Allstate notes.

“When you’re shopping for a new or previously owned car, choose one with a proven track record of reliability. Also, be sure to choose a car company that’s going to be around for a while, with a good reputation for supplying parts,” the company stated.

Check out Kelley Blue Book if you’re uncertain.


In Summary

Ten years is just a basic guide. Many cars can go well beyond that threshold, but one thing is for certain: if you neglect the above tips, yours won’t be one of them. Use your head, keep good records, and remember that repair costs are much cheaper than buying a new vehicle.

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