How To Make Your Car Last For 10 Years

What keeps any car going is preventive maintenance. Just like your yearly physical at the doctor’s office keeps you in shape, regular preventive car care can help you get more miles out of your vehicle.

Car manufacturers provide recommendations on when to complete maintenance tasks. For instance, most experts recommend checking battery fluid levels four times a year, and an engine’s timing belt should be replaced within 100,000 miles. Find out what your car’s manufacturer recommends and stick to it. Spending a little now can save you from a big expense, and hassle, later on.

Check and replace fluids

There is no type of automotive fluid that lasts forever. Checking and replacing fluids can help keep your vehicle on the road longer as a well-oiled machine. Consider that engine oil usually needs to be changed every 5,000 miles, or every six months; engine coolant needs to be checked twice a year and flushed and replaced as necessary; and transmission fluid needs to be flushed every two years or 30,000 miles.

One that is most consistently overlooked is brake fluid. Brake fluid attracts and absorbs moisture, and over time, it can do a lot of damage to the internal parts of your anti-lock braking system. It should be flushed every two years regardless of mileage. And, don’t forget to flush the power steering and change the differential lubricant, as well.

Slow down and lose the lead foot

Driving gently may help reduce the wear and tear on your car. This means slowing down for bumps or potholes, taking corners at a reasonable speed and avoiding putting your foot to the floor. Driving hard puts more stress and strain on your car’s components. According to the US Department of Energy, it takes 73 percent more horsepower to cruise at 60 mph, and a whopping 159 percent more at 70 mph, than it does at 50 mph. This means your engine is working that much harder and wearing down that much more quickly if you continue to speed.

Also, slowing down may keep your repair costs lower. Increasing your average speed from 50 mph to 60 mph increases maintenance costs by 38 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Increase your speed to 70 mph, and you’ve added 80 percent more in repair costs.

There are also fuel consumption implications: each mile per hour you travel over 50 mph will cause a 1.5 percent increase on fuel consumption, the Department of Energy says. Speed just 10 mph over 50 and you’re wasting 15 percent more gas. That’s several dollars more each time you have to fill up!

Do your homework and buy a reliable car

Overall, cars are getting more reliable, but there is still a wide range of reliability from company to company, model to model, and even between different model years of the same vehicle. When you’re shopping for a new or previously owned car, choose one with a proven track record of reliability. Also, be sure to choose a car company that’s going to be around for a while, with a good reputation for supplying parts.

There are many sources that provide this information, such as Kelley Blue Book. So if you’re really interested in getting the most out of your car, choose a reliable model to begin with–not just one that looks good.

Consider an extended warranty

Even by following these four steps perfectly, your car is, unfortunately, not built to last forever. Parts break or wear out, seemingly at the worst possible time. One way to protect yourself from this inevitable circumstance is to invest in an extended warranty for your vehicle. An extended warranty can help ensure that your vehicle is always in the best mechanical condition and can help you avoid expensive repair bills.

How To Prepare Your Car For Winter With These Simple Tips

Regular maintenance

Now’s the time to get your car up to speed on all of its regular maintenance. That means taking care of any fluids that may have been neglected while you were out enjoying the summer sun or going in for that 60,000-mile tune-up if you’re due. Check, change and/or top off your oil, coolant, and brake and transmission fluid as needed. In the case of your oil or automatic transmission, make sure you get a high-quality filter, too. It may seem like overkill to take care of all of your fluids at once, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Take a look at the car’s brakes too. Are your rotors warped or cracked? Do they have deep grooves or are the pads worn close to their minimum clearance? Your vehicle will be experiencing harsher conditions soon, so nip any potential problems in the bud now. Make sure all your lights are working properly to ensure good visibility. New bulbs only cost a few dollars and are easy to install yourself or have installed when getting your vehicle serviced. The same goes for windshield wipers. If your blades are more than six months old, odds are it’s time to swap them out for new ones. And don’t forget to fill the washer fluid reservoir with freeze-resistant wiper fluid.

Check your tires

Go ahead and have your tires rotated and inspected. The last thing you need in cold, wet weather is to be driving on bald or dry-rotted tires. Err on the side of caution and replace any tires that are too worn.

We’d recommend looking into snow (or winter) tires, depending on your location and the length of time you’ll be spending in the snow. Winter tires are made with special low-temperature-resilient rubber compounds and have deep treads that grip unplowed snow and ice. Even the best all-season tires have compounds that get more brittle as the temperature drops, and when that happens, the tires tend to grip less. The winter tire compound remains pliable when temperatures are low, retaining grip and keeping the car’s safety systems, like all-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes, functioning properly.

At this time, also make sure your spare tire has enough air in it. Once everything looks good, take a look at your tire pressure. With everything up to spec, you’ll get better gas mileage and your vehicle will handle and stop better.


Protect the interior

You can’t discount the impact weather can have on the interior of your vehicle either. If you’re going to spend a lot of time ducking in and out of the elements, you might want to grab some all-weather floor mats. They’re easy to clean and do a great job of keeping the muck in one place. Making sure your windows are clean will also improve visibility and reduce the likelihood of steamy glass.

Maintain the coolant system

Our most important tip is to take the time to get your car’s coolant system checked. Extreme temperatures and harsh conditions can easily knock it out if it’s not up to snuff. If any part of the system comes up with a shaky bill of health, swap the parts for new ones. That means having your car’s radiator pressure tested and the hoses examined for cracks or bulges. Most shops can quickly test radiators without the hassle of removing them from the vehicle.

If you can’t remember the last time your water pump was replaced, or your pump has more miles on it than what the manufacturer recommends, it’s time for a new one. While you’re at it, go for a new thermostat as well—you’ll save money on labor getting these two done at once.


Even if everything under the hood comes up good to go, replacing your engine’s coolant is cheap insurance against extreme temperatures. Over time, antifreeze can actually generate a weak electrical current, which can then cause oxidation and eventually failure inside of your coolant system. You’ll want at least a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water to provide protection against below-zero temperatures. Keeping everything fresh inside will put less stress on your vehicle’s hardware and save you serious money in the long run.

Stock your car

Stranded by the side of the road can be dangerous in the best of conditions, but when sub-zero temperatures or bad weather is involved, it can be downright deadly. Carrying these supplies may save your life:

  • Blanket
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Chains
  • First-aid kit
  • Small knife
  • Flares
  • A couple energy bars
  • Water gloves
  • Small shovel
  • Waterproof matches
  • Ice scraper
  • A bag of sand or kitty litter to help provide traction if your car is stuck in the snow

A little preparation goes a long way to keep your car running smoothly during the winter months. Not only will the right tools and maintenance protect you and your car from the elements, but they will also keep you safe.

Teen Have A Learners Permit? How To Get Them Insured

Do you have a driver with a learner’s permit in the household? A learner’s permit is an exciting time in a teenagers life and often a very scary one for the parents. It is not only important to teach the laws of the road to a young driver, but it is also to make certain he or she is properly.

Car Insurance Follows the Car

The car in which a driver with a learner’s permit drives definitely needs to be insured.

Car insurance follows the car, not the driver. If the car is insured, and the driver is not excluded, the driver should be covered. If the insurance company which insures the car finds out about the permitted driver causing an accident, it is likely the driver will need to be added to the policy or excluded going forward.

What is an Excluded Driver?

Excluded drivers are not covered on the car insurance policy. In order for a driver to be excluded the named insured who is often the owner of the vehicle needs to sign a form indicating and agreeing that the said driver is excluded. If the driver does drive the vehicle and is in an accident, the car insurance policy will not provide any coverage.

Call Your Car Insurance Agent or Carrier

Car insurance is not something you should be guessing about or making assumptions about. Looking online for the answer to this question is not going to give you the solid factual answer you need.

Calling your agent and being forthcoming with your situation is the best way to get the best insurance coverage available. Trying to hide young driver’s or other issues which you know could negatively affect your policy premiums can cause you a lot of problems in the future. Remember the purpose of car insurance is to provide coverage (hopefully the coverage you thought you bought) for damages after a loss.

Paying a lower rate only to wind up with zero coverage is not going to help anyone.

Not All Insurance Carriers Are the Same

  • Most insurance carriers want you to have the permit driver listed on the car insurance policy as a permitted driver. Often a driver with a permit will have a cheaper rate than a newly licensed driver. Often if you have one vehicle and two drivers the permitted driver can be a secondary driver instead of a primary driver. A permitted driver may not cost you as much as you might think.
  • Some insurance carriers do not even have the ability to list a permit driver as a driver. A valid drivers license may be required. The permitted driver will be automatically covered under the policy of his or her parent.
  • Most insurance carriers list dependents in the household on the car insurance policy, even babies. This helps the insurance company keep track of upcoming drivers. The insurance company will notify you when your teenager is getting close to driving age and require he or she be added to the policy as a driver.

Save Money on Young Drivers

Well, truthfully all young drivers cost quite a bit to insure. Their inexperience has been proven to lead to claims. The best cost savings options are the good student discountand not letting them have their own vehicle.

It is a great option to have more vehicles than drivers. In this situation, most insurance carriers make it a possibility to have a young driver as a secondary driver which can save a whole lot of money. Knowing a permitted driver has total access to a vehicle definitely, comes with a higher price tag. Having your teen get their first job and pay their own way when it comes to car insurance can alleviate the financial burden.

Keep Your Car Cool This Summer

Is there anything worse than a hot, stuffy car in the summer? You may enjoy spending time outdoors during the summer months, but the heat and sun can make driving around intolerable, as your car may feel like an oven when you get in and take what feels like an eternity to cool down to a comfortable temperature.

Fortunately, if you are wondering how to keep your car cool during summer, there are plenty of simple things you can do. From maximizing your air conditioning to taking advantage of a shady spot when parking, the following tips can help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid summer days.


Car windows can act like a greenhouse, holding in heat and sunlight. Even if it is only in the 60s outside, the direct sunlight through the windows can cause the interior temperature to increase to 110 degrees.

Knowing this, there are a few ways to help keep your car cool by reducing the amount of heat entering through your windows:

  • Sun shades: Sun shades are a great investment because they block the direct rays coming into your vehicle. This keeps the temperature slightly lower, which can help your car cool down more quickly once the vehicle is started.
  • Tinted windows: A more expensive, yet constant way to block the sun, is with window tinting. But before you take your car in to have the windows darkened, make sure you know your state’s laws, as some have restrictions on how much or which windows you can tint.
  • Covered parking: If you don’t have tinted windows or a sun shade, a helpful alternative may simply be parking in the shade. Consumer Reports suggests looking for a shady spot or parking your car so the sun is hitting the rear window instead of the windshield. This may help keep the steering wheel and front seats slightly cooler.
  • Cracked windows: Because windows hold in warm air, leaving them open slightly while parked will create slight airflow. If your vehicle has a sunroof,  you can also crack that or use the vent feature if it’s not raining. For both windows and sunroofs, only leave them open slightly (less than an inch) to minimize the possibility of theft.


Scorching seats can cause discomfort or even. For this reason, you might consider purchasing a vehicle with cloth seats instead of leather. If it’s in your budget, you might also look into buying a vehicle with air-conditioned seats, which circulate cool air around your backside. Typically, this works by utilizing a porous mesh on the car seat so air can flow through it. Fans inside the seat produce air circulation, which is diffused to spread the cooling effect throughout the seat and through the mesh, cooling the seat’s surface. For those who already have leather but need a way to keep it cooler, purchase cooling gel covers or pads. Simply covering leather seats with towels can provide a bit on insulation between you and the hot seat.

Air Conditioning

If your vehicle’s air conditioning isn’t functioning properly or you don’t use it in the most efficient way, it may take longer than you would like for your car to reach a comfortable temperature. To maximize your car’s cooling ability, turn the air on full blast as soon as you start the engine and slightly opening all of your windows until the air inside is cool. This helps to improve cooling efficiency as the hot air (which rises) will be pushed out of the windows as the cool air comes out of the vents. Once you’ve achieved your desired temperature, says you should use the car’s air recirculating feature along with the air conditioning to maintain the coldest air.

How To Maintain Your Car In The Summer

You may know about “winterizing” your vehicle, but do you “summer-ize” your vehicle? Summertime is here, and that means summer vacations and summer travel season. But long drives, especially in extreme heat, can be rough on your vehicle. Before you hit the road for your favorite summer destinations, check out this list of maintenance suggestions:

10. Check your tires. Tire pressure changes with rising temperatures approximately one to two PSI for every 10 degree increase in outside air temperature. An under-inflated tire bulges outward and puts undo pressure on the tire sidewall. With enough heat and pressure, the tire will eventually blow. Over-inflated tires make less contact with the road surface and can cause hydroplaning during summer thunderstorms.

 9. Change oil and oil filter. Oil keeps hardworking engine parts running clean, smooth and cool. Before you take that long distance summer road trip, check your oil. Heavy driving mixed with high temperatures can lead to an overheated engine.

 8. De-Winterize your car. Lose the snow tires. Snow tires are heavy and will lower your fuel economy. If you haven’t driven your car very much during the winter months, it is a good idea to check all the fluid levels to make sure that there aren’t any leaks. It’s also important to clean the undercarriage of the car, especially if you are in a snowy climate. The salt that is used to melt ice and snow on roads can get caked on the underside of your car and begin to eat away at the metal.

 7. Check hoses and belts. The key to successful summer driving is keeping the engine cool. If hoses crack or belts snap, the radiator can quickly overheat. Check hoses for cracks, leaks and loose connections as well as doing visual checks on belts for cracks and damages.

 6. Change the air filter. Over the winter, your air filter can get clogged with salt and road debris. Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.

 5. Replace your windshield wipers. The summer months are notorious for sudden, violent thunderstorms. When water is beating against your windshield in buckets, your wipers NEED to work. This is true in daytime, but more so at night, when a storm can decrease visibility by 15 to 20 feet in front of your vehicle.

 4. Check your brakes. Your brakes are probably the single most important safety mechanism on your car. If you notice a brake problem, it pays to have it inspected or repaired as soon as possible. The cost of a brake repair service increases dramatically if even minor problems aren’t fixed in a timely manner.

 3. Check the coolant and radiator. Cars are designed to run pretty hot, but there is a limit to just how hot they should run. If an engine is allowed to get too hot, moving metal parts can actually start to melt and fuse together, causing a variety of engine problems.

 2. Clean your battery. Dead batteries are fairly common during the winter months. But the hot summer months are tough on your battery, too. Summer heat can speed up the chemical reaction inside a battery, causing the battery to be overcharged. This significantly reduces battery life. Regularly detach the battery cables and wipe off the terminals. Make sure that the battery is strapped down tightly and that all connections are secure. If you need to replace your battery, make sure it is the right battery type for your specific vehicle.

 1. Maintain your air conditioning. The most common cause of a malfunctioning air conditioning unit is a low level of refrigerant. This could be caused by a leak in the system. Since modern AC systems are complex, it’s best to have a professional check out the problem.