If you'd rather not have to endure the expense and hassle of replacing your current car at any point in the near future, read on to learn more about the steps you can take to keep it in good working order for as long as possible.
Have it serviced annually
A lot of car owners make the mistake of avoiding routine car servicing in order to save themselves a few dollars. However, this is a false economy which often results in them incurring much higher expenses than those charged for a standard car service.
Small mechanical defects and the type of minor damage associated with normal wear and tear can be detected and resolved quite easily during the car-servicing process. However, if these type of problems go unnoticed for long periods of time because the car owner hasn't bothered to have their vehicle serviced, they could evolve into far more serious issues, which will cost a huge amount of money to fix.
Regular car servicing also includes critical checks of your car's most important components (such as the suspension, the engine and the braking system); these checks can drastically reduce the chances of your car letting you down at an inopportune moment and causing a road accident.
A typical car service comprises several dozen checks and changes. During this process, the mechanic will, for example, alter the wheel nut torque, replace the engine's filter and its oil and adjust the tyre pressure. They may also top up the reservoirs for the windscreen washer, brake fluid, power steering, clutch and coolant. In addition to this, they will normally perform a visual inspection of the fuel pipes, looking for signs of corrosion, and examine the drive shaft gaiters for signs of damage.
Wash your car more frequently during the winter months
It may sound strange to increase the frequency with which you wash your vehicle during the winter season; after all, the constant presence of mud and slush on the roads throughout this time of the year means that, after a wash, your car will end up looking dirty again within a matter of hours. However, the purpose of extra winter car washes is not to keep your vehicle looking beautiful, but rather to protect it from the damaging effects of road salt.
Road salt is frequently used on roads during the winter months in order to reduce the amount of slippage that ice can cause. However, whilst this substance can drastically reduce the likelihood of a vehicle spinning out of control on an icy road, it can also do major damage to its metal components. Road salt is corrosive and can, over time, cause rust to develop on a car. The underbody of your vehicle is the area most likely to be exposed to this substance. This rust that can form as a result of this exposure can cause serious problems with your fuel lines, brake calipers and the exhaust system.
As such, if you'll be driving on salted roads this winter, it's vital to begin washing your vehicle more frequently as soon as the cold weather hits. As mentioned above, the car's underbody is most at risk; given this, it's worth seeking out a car wash in your local area that offers an underbody spray clean. Additionally, it may be a good idea to ask your mechanic about applying an anti-corrosion treatment to this area of your vehicle to reduce the chance of rust taking hold when winter arrives.