How to Maintain an Old Car
Maintaining old beaters is a tough task for most of us. By "beaters", we are not speaking of classic cars, antiques, collectibles, or any other type of valuable vehicle. Beaters are the cars we beat on, the ones that get the tough miles, the cars that only get maintained when they have to be. And they tend to show it in the way they run and ride. Maintain your old car and prevent your beater from entering the auto grave yard. There are many things involved in auto maintenance, and of course not everyone is a mechanic so some of us can't do everything on our own. Just like when shopping for car insurance the more you can learn to do, the more money you can save and the longer you can make that old bucket of rust last.
Top Priorities for Old Cars
There are, again, many things you probably could spend money on with your old car if you really felt like it. But to keep these cars affordable, we have to have a sense of priority about these things. The top priority is the things we have to attend to in order to avoid allowing the vehicle to get out of control when in use. If you can't even control the car out on the road, you're bound for trouble.
Keep the brakes in proper working order. Inspect them and make sure they are functional and not near needing replacement. Don't wait until those tell take screeching signs. This is actually a cheaper repair if you can get to it faster and can affect your internet auto insurance quotes. Make sure your tires have sufficient tread and are in good condition with no leaks. Bald tires are a danger to everyone on the road because they can go at any time, potentially causing an accident. The steering system is just as important. If there is something not functional about the steering, take care of it as soon as possible and do not wait. Finally, keep the windshield clear for the sake of visibility and get it repaired if there is a crack or a significant chip in it
Keeping Old Cars Alive
Again, this is a matter of priority. Maybe the AC blows hot air, but spending money on that before these other things would be foolish. Check the radiator hose and fuel lines as well as the CV joints and timing belts. These are all essential to the way the car functions and we need to stay on top of them. If there is something is wrong with them they need to be serviced.
There are also some much simpler trouble shooting and maintenance issues that still need to be at tended to if you want that old beater to take a licking and keep on ticking. Old cars often leak and/or burn oil, so in most cases the oil should be checked every time you get gas, and in some cases every time you drive. Transmission fluid and coolant also need to be monitored. All of these are things that we can do to keep old cars running better longer.
Get a good repair manual for your make and model. They are very cheap and incredibly useful. Grab a jack stand and tools if you are going to be doing these things on your own (such as inspecting and replacing the brake pads, for example). If the car has a hard time starting, cleaning the battery terminals can help. Small tips on how to maintain an old car are numerous and can help drivers keep their cars on the road rather than sitting in the driveway at home.