Older Car Maintenance Tips

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Five Simple Maintenance Tips To Keep an Older Car in Shape

By Joe Crowe 

Few people can afford a top-of-the-line, straight off the dealer’s room floor new car, but we all know how important it is to have a reliable means of transportation to get to and from work each day. However, if all you have available to you is an older car, don't worry. Many older cars are still capable of doing what you need them to do. With a few simple pieces of advice, you can keep your older care in reliable shape.

Tip 1: Safety first.

Your top priority should be all the things on your older car that could malfunction and cause an accident, according to the car experts at Edmunds. That includes the braking system, tires, and the steering system. Spend money on your older car in those areas first. If those break down while you’re on the road, you, your passengers, or anyone else could be injured.

Tip 2: Help your engine out.

Edmund's experts recommend that you maintain all the items that could damage the engine on your older car or cause it to shut down. These items include radiator hoses, fuel lines, constant velocity (CV) joints, and your belts-- fan, accessory, and timing. 

Tip 3: Oil is essential.

Keeping the oil in an older car in good shape is a priority, former NASCAR Southwest Series driver Demere writes in Popular Mechanics. When you change the oil, you want to see a “not-too-dark amber fluid,” Demere says. If the fluid is jet black and contains silver flakes, or of it gurgles out like curdled milk, those are signs you need to drain the oil, replace the filter, and add synthetic oil, which acts like a solvent against sludge.

Tip 4: It’s the little things.

Replacing windshield wiper blades, headlight lenses, and battery cables are usually inexpensive on an older car, Edmunds says. Replacing your coolant hoses is also vital. Demere says if you can’t remember the last time they were replaced, a good time to do it is now.

Tip 5: Don’t do it all yourself.

As cars get older, they need more attention from specialists than the average do-it-yourselfer can provide. Take it to the experts. Even if you’re experienced at DIY maintenance, sometimes getting a professional involved provides extra peace of mind, Demere says.

Following these maintenance tips car can keep you older car running up and down the highway for a long time to come.

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