How to keep your car running for years

Sep 3, 2021, 12:03 PM

SANDY, Utah — With the price of new and used cars at historic highs, some drivers want to make sure they can drive their vehicles until the wheels fall off.

KSL’s Dan Spindle spoke with local pros to get some tips to make sure that doesn’t happen any time soon.

“Oil changes, tune-ups, brakes, tire rotation — we always want to make sure we’re on top of those. Here at AAMCO we do offer a free vehicle courtesy check — we’ll take a look at the rest of the car at the same time as well,” said Todd Ashcroft with AAMCO Transmissions in Sandy.

If that sounds pretty basic, it is. But Todd Ashcroft said it really does come down to scheduled maintenance and attention to detail.

Drivers can avoid problems down the road if they give their car what it needs now, and if warning lights do pop up on that dash — don’t ignore them.

Ashcroft said the average time somebody watches that “check engine” light before doing anything about it is nine days, which is a huge no-no.

Here’s some basic behavior you can start today that doesn’t cost anything but could add years and thousands of miles to your car:

Engine parts will last longer if drivers start slow — when that light turns green, remember, you’re not in the Indy 500.

Avoid hard starts and stops to save the brakes and rotors.

Keep the gas tank at least a quarter full — not just to avoid running out of gas, but to keep the fuel pump cool.

And finally, use the parking brake to put less weight on the transmission.

Most cars will let you downshift into lower gears going downhill, which also puts less stress on the brakes and allows the engine to slow the car down.

It’s hard to believe but cars are supposed to last 10-12 years now and up to 200,000 miles, so it’s on drivers to make sure they can keep their cars rolling down the road and save some money in the long run.

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How to keep your car running for years