Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


5 Things that Shortens Life of your Car - Vol.126

Taking the time to take care of your vehicle is important to extending the life of your car. Since you likely spend a good deal of money on your vehicle, and probably spend some significant time in it, it is best to take some steps to keep it in good shape. One of the best ways to keep your car safely on the road is to be aware of some of the things that can shorten your vehicle's life. Below are five things that can significantly shorten the life of your car.

#1 - Not following the recommended maintenance schedule
Not following the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle is the number one way to shorten the life of your vehicle. The manufacturers take the time to provide you with an owner's manual that explains the optimal schedule for maintaining your car. When you do not follow it, you take the chance of allowing your vehicle to deteriorate, not perform optimally, and have it work harder just to keep running. Following the schedule of maintenance can help keep your engine working properly, your tires in good condition, and you and your family safe on the road.

#2 - Not changing the oil regularly
How often do you hear that it is important to change your oil? That's because it is. In addition to your vehicle's manual explaining the best oil change schedule for your car, you will hear radio and television commercials explaining its importance. Not changing your oil regularly can cause your engine to not perform properly, your engine to knock, and even your engine to overheat in extreme cases. You will also find that not changing your oil regularly means that you take the chance of bigger problems like oil leaks and broken belts to go undetected thus causing more serious damage to your car before the issues are noticed. Not changing your oil on a regular schedule decreases the life of your engine and that of your car overall.

#3 - Only driving short distances
Driving short distances is harder on your car than driving long distances. Though this sounds backwards, it is true; and especially true in extreme temperatures. The initial startup of your vehicle has the biggest impact on your vehicle. Therefore, once you have started your car it is best to try to drive it for a while before stopping it and starting it again. If you only drive your vehicle short distances, you will actually be harder on your engine than if you have a long commute every day. Only driving a short distance with your car means that condensation is sucked into your muffler and not running it long enough to evaporate all the condensation. The sitting water/condensation in the muffler can instigate rust thus drastically decreasing the life of your muffler.

#4 - Not monitoring your brakes
Not monitoring your brakes can be a quick way to decrease the life of your brakes and your car. You must have your brakes operating properly in order to drive your car. Without brakes, you aren't going anywhere. Therefore, keeping your brakes in working order is important. If you do not monitor your brakes regularly you may wear the pads down to the wheels thus causing damage to the discs and even calipers. This is dangerous and expensive and is a quick way to decrease the life of your vehicle.

#5 - Not keeping it clean
It seems simple enough but not keeping the car clean is one of the most common mistakes that vehicle owners make. Regularly cleaning the exterior and interior of your car is important to keeping your car in good operating order. If you do not keep it clean, you can significantly decrease the life of your car. Not keeping your car clean can lead to issues with wear and tear, rusting parts and paint, and deteriorating brake lines. If you live in an area that is seaside, the ocean air is loaded with moisture and salt that can cause damage if not regularly washed away. This is also true for cold climates where roadways are regularly salted. Not keeping the salt cleaned from your car can lead to the need for costly repairs and decreases the overall life of your car.