What matters most to you when you’re buying a new car? For some, it’s how the drive feels, for others, it’s the sense of power. Safety, storage space, amount of seats, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing a car. However, if you’ve ever owned a motor that spends more time breaking down than it does driving around, you can come to realise just how important the reliability of your car is. Here, we’re going to look at how you ensure you can keep your car reliable for as long as possible.
Choose a car that’s known for it
There are some cars that simply have a reputation for being extremely reliable and having fewer issues than others. Japanese car brands, in particular, tend to enjoy this reputation, as is the case with Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and the like. However, other brands like Mini and Skoda are well known for that too. Start browsing a few of these brands and get to the brass tacks of which is likely to keep you going for long by taking a look at the reliability index that shows not only how often specific car models experience issues, but even what issue they’re likely to experience most often.
Keep up with your maintenance schedule
Every car needs routine and preventative maintenance to keep it in the best condition possible. The logbook for your car should show you a lot of the scheduled auto maintenance you should be keeping on top of. If you don’t, then not only can you be blindsided by perfectly preventable malfunctions down the line, but even if you aren’t it can decrease the resale value of your car. For instance, all cars need to have their oil changed every 3000 miles. Brake pads, spark plugs, and other routine replacements could even be done by you if you’re confident in it. Fail to maintain your vehicle and it’s only natural that wear and tear will affect it a lot more quickly.
Choose replacement parts with care
Aftermarket auto parts can sometimes be cheaper than the manufacturer’s, or sometimes they may even some enhance the performance of the car. However, if you’re driving a car that is known for its reliability, then you should seek to make sure that any and all replacements you might need throughout the year have that same reputation. Using anything other than Toyota second hand parts for a Toyota car can end up decreasing the overall reliability of your vehicle. Of course, it is sometimes the case you can find a part that’s sturdier and longer-lasting, but it might take a bit of research to find out when that’s the case.
Don’t ignore issues with your car
There are plenty of little changes in your driving experience that aren’t going to be the symptoms of any deeper trouble. However, the problem is that unless you know what red flags to keep an eye and an ear out for, it can be difficult to know whether a minor symptom is nothing to worry about or the first sign of a major malfunction coming your way. Get an idea of the warning signs that something is potentially wrong with your car and get out of the habit of ignoring any of those changes. You should especially ensure that you don’t ignore any symbols lighting up on your warning light dash. Sometimes it might be a malfunctioning display, but that’s not an assumption you want to make if your engine is in danger.
Fix it as soon as it breaks
We have all been there. Something goes wrong with the car, be it the brakes, the engine, or something else, but you don’t have the time or funds to have it fixed immediately, so you let it wait for a while. However, not only can these little annoyances add up and eventually lead to much bigger problems, but they can get increasingly worse over time without the repairs that they need. Take your car off the road as soon as you recognize that there’s a problem. Otherwise, you’re only going to end up paying more for any repairs or replacements that it does need.
Be thorough with your cleaning
A lot of the erosion and corrosion that can take hold of a car is going to be caused by simple environmental factors like dirt and moisture that could be easily cleared away if you only did it on a regular basis. The paint on your car is more than just for decoration purposes. It protects the metal beneath, so don’t let dirt and debris wear away at that paint. Similarly, if you spot any signs of rust, then get it treated as soon as you possibly can. This can start eating away at not only the body of the car, but it can spread to the core components if you don’t tackle it quickly and effectively.
Mind how you drive
You might have the most reliable car in the world but if you’re constantly pushing it to the very limits of its performance then you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s more prone to malfunctions than it otherwise would be. There are a host of driving habits that can cause your car to become less reliable over time. Being too hard on the brakes and the clutch can wear down on both of them, for instance. Going too hard on your acceleration can make your engine more likely to fail due to increased heat that decreases the oil’s ability to handle friction. Drive responsibly and your car should hopefully last you a lot longer than it would otherwise.
The reliability of your car is going to be determined by a lot of different factors, from how you drive it to how you take care of it. You need to stay diligent to ensure it remains in the best condition for as long as possible and hopefully the tips above help you do that.