(StatePoint) With car production hitting the brakes due to a global shortage of microchips, new car prices have hit record highs and people are holding onto their cars for longer. As a result, you may be looking for ways to keep your current ride in tip-top condition.
IHS Markit research found that the average age of light vehicles in operation nationwide has risen by nearly two months in 2021, and a recent survey from Kelly Blue Book found that nearly half of all consumers would postpone their car purchase in the hopes that prices normalize.
In the meantime, here are three effective ways to extend the life of your car and experience smoother, safer driving:
Don’t ignore warning signs that something is wrong with your car. Addressing issues as they arise can keep your car in good shape and help you avoid a dangerous situation. If your car is leaking, its engine or brakes don’t sound right, it’s vibrating or emitting an odd odor, have it looked at. You should also be sure to take note of the symbols on your car’s dashboard display. Some of these warnings indicate issues that are easy to address on your own -- for example, refilling your washer fluid or adjusting tire pressure. Others, however, may require a mechanic’s immediate intervention, such as faulty brakes or an issue with the car’s transmission.
Replace Your Tires
Changing your tires at the right time can do wonders for your car’s overall longevity. You should replace your tires per the manufacturer’s recommendations, or sooner if the tread is less than 2/32nds of an inch or if there are visible signs of damage, such as cuts, cracks, splits, punctures or bulges.
However, any old replacement tire may not do the trick. In addition to choosing tires that fit your vehicle, you should choose tires that provide superior handling and grip in diverse weather and road conditions. Featuring all the sought-after characteristics of a solid replacement tire for passenger cars and SUVs, Cooper Tire took this into account with the development of their new Endeavor and Endeavor Plus tires. Designed with safety and reliability in mind, the tires offer several treadwear capabilities and construction features that offer solid performance in all weather conditions, including rain and snow, and provide a comfortable, quiet ride, even on rough and bumpy roads. They also feature the Wear Square indicator, which allows you to quickly see the approximate tread life remaining on your tires.
Keep it Clean
Keeping the exterior of your car clean is not just a matter of appearances. It can actually protect the paint job and prevent rusting. Don’t forget the car’s interior though. Regular detailing will keep seats and upholstery in good condition and make for more pleasant, better-smelling and healthier driving experiences. Vacuum out your car, wipe down frequently-touched surfaces and clean HVAC vents thoroughly.
With regular care and maintenance, you can extend the life of your car, make it safer and more reliable, and improve the driving experience.