7 Tips to Extend The Lifespan of Your Car

Car Advice    Zia Xin

Motorist Car Lifespan Tips
(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Want to drive your car until you can renew its COE? If that's your game plan, here are 7 tips to help you extend its life beyond the usual 10 years.

Are you the kind of driver who changes car at the end of every COE cycle? Or have you been using the same faithful vehicle for 10+ years? No matter what kind of driver you are, it's still important to think about your car's lifespan. A car in good working condition not only serves you well, but also fetches a better price if you're looking to sell it. Every car does eventually come to the end of its life, but if you follow these tips, you can stretch its life and really get the most out of your vehicle!


1. Take Care of Your Tyres

Pexels Photo 244553 (Photo Credit: Pexels)

Tyres have a bigger impact on your car's lifespan than you might think. Tyres that are under-inflated can lower your gas mileage and cause poor vehicle handling, while over-inflated tyres damage your steering mechanisms and suspension. And it's not just about the pumping—tyres that haven't been aligned/rotated properly also wear down your steering and suspension.

Remember to keep your tyres pumped and check them occasionally to see if they need rotation. Exactly how often depends on your own driving habits, but a good guideline would be to check your tyres once every 2 weeks. Your tyres should also be rotated once every 2 years. If your tyres are in good condition, your car will run more smoothly, reducing wear and tear in the long run.

Read: 8 Tyre Safety Tips that Every Driver Should Know


2. Change your Filters

The Engine Of A 1969 Camaro Ss (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A clean engine definitely runs smoother, and has a lesser chance of breaking down. There are two very important filters that trap dirt and keep your engine unclogged—the air filter and the oil filter. Air filters keep the air in your engine clean and dust-free, while oil filters do the same for your engine oil. Over time, both these filters will eventually end up collecting a lot of dirt. If this continues, dirt will start accumulating in your engine, resulting in increased friction and possibly engine failure. Changing your filters regularly will ensure your engine is kept clean and healthy. The oil filter should be changed every time you perform an oil change, while the air filter should be replaced once every 18,000km to be safe.


3. Wash Your Car Often

Car Wash 01 (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Washing your car is more than just keeping it shiny—a clean car actually lasts longer than a dirty one! Dirt that's left to settle on your car can corrode the layer of protective wax, and over time cause damage to your paint as well. If you don't clean your car regularly, you might find that it's become more susceptible to scratches and rust. Cleaning your car once every two weeks will make sure the wax and paint remains shiny and corrosion-free, which helps the metal body last longer.


4. Allow for Start-Up Time

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In our fast-paced life, we often hop into our cars, start the engine, and rush off to get to our jobs or appointments. However, the car engine, just like the human body, needs some time to get ready. In fact, driving off the minute you turn on the ignition can actually damage the engine in the long run. If your car has been parked for a few hours, the engine oil will settle to the bottom instead of coating the various engine parts. When you start the car in the morning, the oil pump will start lubricating the engine again, but it takes time for the oil to be distributed completely. Not allowing your engine to get re-lubricated properly will result in some parts suffering from increased friction and wearing out faster. Therefore, when you start your car, be sure to wait a short 30-60 seconds before driving—this will stretch your engine lifespan.


5. Keep Away from the Sun

Centro Warwick Rooftop Parking (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

All Singaporeans complain about the heat and how uncomfortable it makes us—but did you know how bad the heat can also be for your car? Leaving your car out in the sun every now and then is fine, but over time, extended sun exposure can cause serious damage to both paint and mechanisms. High temperatures increase the chances of engine overheating, as more coolant is required to keep the engine at optimum temperature. You might also find your engine fluids running out faster than usual. On top of that, the air conditioning has to work harder to cool down the car body.

Exposure to excess sunlight also causes damage to your car exterior. Sun and heat can damage your paint job, reducing its ability to protect your car from scratches and rust. In additional, the high temperature makes it easier for dust and dirt to stick to your car, as we explained before, can result in paint corrosion. Whenever possible, try to park indoors or in the shade—it'll save your car from potential sun damage. If for some reason you find yourself always parking outdoors, you might want to think about getting re-waxing jobs every now and then, or maybe purchasing a paint-protection film. Your car will thank you in the long run.


6. Keep the Interior Clean and Dry

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There's a good reason why many drivers don't allow food and drinks in the car. The car interior is full of important wiring and electronics, especially around the dashboard and the driver's seat. A wrong spill can cause serious malfunctions if it gets into the car's electronics. It's best not to eat and drink while driving, and if possible, make sure your passengers don't do it either. At the very least, they should be careful about it. Keeping a clean interior also prevents pests like cockroaches from infesting your vehicle. You wouldn't want to drive in a roach-infested car right?


7. Get Regular Servicing

Car Service And Maintenance (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Finally, you should always have your car checked up by a professional mechanic, and get any little issues fixed. A small thing like a humming air-con or squealing brakes can turn into much bigger problems down the road if they aren't quickly seen to. Keep an eye out for any small warning signs that your car may be developing, and get your car serviced yearly if you can. It may be tedious, but it'll save you from more troublesome issues like having your car break down suddenly. Even though every car has its expiry date, having it taken care of by a professional can really extend its overall life.

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