As a Kiwi car owner, have you ever wondered about the service life of your beloved ride?, When exactly will you be able to pinpoint the beginning of the end? At what point will you deem your vehicle to be too aged and no longer capable of the usual long journeys across New Zealand?
Consumer Reports pegs the average life expectancy of a vehicle made in the 2000s to be 8 years, which translates to around 150,000 miles (241,400 km). With proper maintenance, however, a hardier model can last up to fifteen years or 300,000 miles (482,800 km). A car whose lifespan has been maximised by regular diagnostics, maintenance, and parts replacement is an asset indeed, as it can save the average New Zealander the major expense of having to buy a new car every few years.
The only caveat for a car owner like you is this: once the mileage exceeds 200,000 miles (321,870 km), you will need to treat your vehicle much more carefully than you did when it was fresh out of the showroom. Small issues may arise to the car’s engine, individual parts, and cosmetics may become more urgent or visible as the years go by. Routine maintenance that seemed optional before may now be necessary more frequently. In truth, however, it is a small price to pay if your old car has the potential to look, sound, feel, and cruise as if it is still brand-new.
To that end, here are seven ways to guarantee your car’s longevity and appeal. These are sure to help you keep your car in tip-top condition!
- Find a quality dealer of car parts in your locality. Serious accidents notwithstanding, a car’s service life is limited by the first of its parts to fail. Luckily, you can reverse failure by replacing old parts with new ones. There is a wide variety of car and auto part accessories that drivers can buy for their vehicles online. Once you know where to look, you can order the new parts immediately.
- Replace old components in your exhaust system. In its old age, your car may have begun to cough, wheeze, and sputter like an elderly neighbour. If it sounds like it’s in bad shape, take your car to your local mechanic, and see if you need to switch out components in its exhaust system, be it the catalytic converter, oxygen sensor, muffler, or something else. This will not only extend your car’s power and mileage—as well as maintain smoothness in ride quality—it will give you peace of mind about your car’s health every time you put the keys in the ignition.
- Have additional service done on your wheels, not just your tyres. Switching out your tyres may have been your default measure when your car was newer, but as your vehicle ages, it accumulates more wear and tear around the base wheel areas. When that happens, replacing your tyres will be a mere surface-level course of action; instead, you should be paying more attention to the wheels. To achieve a ride quality that’s close to when your car was brand-new, you may want to consider getting your wheels welded and realigned in addition to mounting a new set of tyres.
- Re-enhance your car’s safety levels by switching out its shocks and struts. Buying new shocks, struts, and ball bearings may be just what you need in order to feel safer while manoeuvring your car. For sure, you’ll be exerting less effort when stepping on your gas and brake pedals, and you’ll eliminate that dreadful screeching sound that comes with deteriorating brakes.
- Flush out your car’s radiator, power, and brake fluids as needed. Regularly changing your car’s fluids is good practice whether it is new or old. In the latter state, however, you will need to be more conscientious about flushing out used oil, coolant, power fluid, and brake fluid. This will keep the engine lubricated and free of unwanted particles—thus allowing your car to run as sharply as it used to.
- Deodorise your car’s air conditioning system. The older your car gets, the more susceptible its interiors are to mould, mildew, or must. Your passengers will be grateful if you get cleaning work done on your AC, subsequently improving the scent and overall air quality inside your car.
- Treat your car to frequent washes and wipe-downs. Clean your car immediately once it becomes covered in salt, grime, or debris. The dirt of this type not only takes away from your car’s aesthetics, but it also exposes your car to corrosive damage and chipping. Make it a habit as well to wipe down the car’s dashboard and floor mats, and to keep the seats absolutely spotless.
Once you’ve checked off on these seven items, riding in your old car will feel no different from riding in a brand-new vehicle. In fact, it may feel even better, which is really great. After all, there are few things more rewarding than getting to enjoy a long-term auto investment because of your foresight and tender loving care.
May all these actions keep your vehicle in good health and many happy memories on the road!