Irv Gordon is the guru of vehicle maintenance. His 1966 Volvo P1800 is on the Guinness World Records for having “the highest certified mileage driven by the original owner in non-commercial service.” It has since clocked more than 3 million miles.
Here is some advice from Irv on how to keep your cherished ride running smoothly for a very long time. While you may not have any intention of keeping your car for so long, following some of these tips will go a long way in reducing your car’s fuel and maintenance bills.
1. Change your oil and filter regularly
This is the simplest and yet most important maintenance activity that will keep your car running smoothly for many years to come. Oil filters are inexpensive, so don’t skimp on them.
Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended periodic service interval.
2. Use genuine, factory-approved parts
Never skimp on maintenance by using cheaper, non-factory approved parts. “The people who built your car can afford to experiment more than you can in an effort to select the best part. Factory parts may sometimes be more expensive, but they are definitely compatible with your car,” said Gordon.
3. Stick to the same brand of oil
While there are several different schools of thought on this, Gordon believes that using the same brand of engine oil helps maintain consistency and avoids nasty surprises.
4. Preventive Checks
Gordon recommends spending a few minutes each week to check for your engine’s vital fluids and components. Check for low levels of oil and other fluids, and for deterioration of belts and hoses. Preventive checks like these can help you avoid small problems from escalating in major ones.
5. Wash your car regularly
The act of washing a car yourself will indirectly make you more sensitive to your car’s conditions. If a part of the paint had been chipped or damaged, you will be able to spot it and take corrective measures before rust starts to appear. If there is an unusual leak in your car’s suspension, you will be alerted to it.
6. Wax your car
Wax (not polish), your car at least twice a year. Waxing is not just to keep your car looking pretty, but to protect it from oxidation and rust.
7. Be sensitive to unusual noises
When you hear an unusual noise from your car, take note of it and have it checked promptly. The longer you wait, the greater the chances that it could develop into something more serious.
8. Be picky with where you refuel.
Try to refuel your vehicle at places where traffic is high. A fuel station with a high turnover is more likely to have fresh supply of fuel. In contrast, stations with low traffic may have their fuel stored for a long time there are higher chances of crud forming within the storage tanks.
9. Develop a good working relationship with your dealer or mechanic
Look for a trusty mechanic or a service dealer, and stick with them for your car’s regular maintenance. As a regular, returning customer, a dealer or a mechanic has more incentive to provide you with more than his usual services, providing you with the right assistance and advice to keep your car in its best possible condition.
We hope this gives you some insight and ideas on how to care for your car. You might also be interested to read our earlier post on this topic. Some TLC will surely go a long way, especially when you will be looking to get good value when you sell your car to upgrade to the next one.
Chris Aaron provides a fresh perspective on the automotive industry as well as to the Carlist.my blog. Check out one of his recent contributions, 5 Warning Signs That It’s Time To Buy A New Car.