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Maintain an Old Car

How to Maintain an Old Car

Whether you want to make your old car in good condition, or just bought an old car and want to make it run smooth on the road, you are in the right place.

An old car may be defined differently. To some people, a 10-year-old car is already old, to others it could be 20 or even 30 years. No matter the age, keeping an old car in good shape is important for its durability, efficiency, and your safety while on the road.

As you know, an old car requires more attention than a new one, as the old cars could have worn parts, outdated technology, and are more likely to break down. 

Below are 10 tips that you should consider to maintain your old car and to have smooth ride with.

1. Inspect The Brakes Regularly And Change the Brake Fluid When Necessary

Checking the brakes frequently is significant to maintain your safety for an old car. Brake pads, discs or drums that become worn out can result in reduced braking efficiency and therefore cause accidents. Ensure that you inspect your brakes for wear regularly, say every six months or as recommended by your mechanic.

When changing your brake pads, you should also reinstall the brake fluid. The fluid can attract moisture with time which may lead to corrosion of the brake system, which will deteriorate its performance.

A good way of determining is to change the brake fluid every two years or 30,000 miles for an old car.

2. Change A Quality Battery

The battery is the heart of the electrical system of the car. When the battery is old and unreliable, it can cause starting problems and the performance of your vehicle can be affected. If you are selecting a battery for your old car, pick up a good-quality, maintenance-free battery that will live longer and work better.

Observe the battery replacement period of 3-5 years or as the manufacturer recommends ensuring your car starts every time you attempt.

3. Change Oil Often

Regular oil changes are mandatory to keep your old car working without problems. Engine oil is a lubrication system for the moving parts, it reduces friction and prevents overheating. With time, oil becomes inefficient and can be polluted, which in turn leads to engine damage.

Older cars should have their oils changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months, depending on what comes first.

4. Add New Coolant

Just like engine oil, coolant is vital in helping your car operate. It keeps the engine from overheating by absorbing and radiating heat. Over time, coolant will become less efficient and unsuitable due to contamination, which might lead to damages to the engine.

Old vehicles should have their coolant replaced after two years or 30,000 miles. 

5. Clean The Air Filter Often  

With a clogged air filter, the airflow will be restricted and the fuel combustion will be poor, which results in reduced power and excessive fuel consumption. 

Checking the air filter should be done every 15,000 miles and its replacement is recommended if it is dirty or clogged.

But if you often use your old car in a dusty environment, you should think about checkup and cleaning the air filter more often.

6. Change Tires

Tires influence greatly on the safety, handling and general performance of your car. The worn or incorrectly inflated tires could result in reduced fuel efficiency, poor handling, and even accidents. 

You also have to regularly check the tire conditions of your old car like wear, damage and right inflation.

Change the tires every five years or when the tread depth is 2/32 of an inch, whichever comes first. Always use the proper tire size and type recommended for your model.

7. Maintain Windshield Wipers

Good visibility is fundamental to safe driving and windshield wipers are essential in maintaining a clean view of the road. Wipers, which are worn or damaged, can cause streaking, as well as the poor vision, especially in wet conditions.

It’s advisable to change your wiper blades after six months to one year or after they start leaving streaks on your windscreen. Do not also neglect the routine checking and refilling of the windshield washer fluid.

8. Change Transmission Fluid And Filter

Transmission fluid serves to lubricate and cool the moving parts of the transmission in your car. The fluid may easily deteriorate and become contaminated in an old car, thus, lowering the performance and possibly causing damage to the transmission.

The transmission fluid and filter should be changed after every 30,000 to 60,000 miles for old model cars, which depends on the type of transmission and the driving conditions.

9. Replace Spark Plugs And Leads

Spark plugs and leads are essential elements of your vehicle’s ignition system, which produce a spark required to ignite the fuel-air mixture in the engine. Misfires, loss of power, and increased fuel consumption are the symptoms of either worn out or faulty spark plugs.

It is better to change the spark plugs after every 30,000 miles or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. On the other hand, check and change the spark plug leads if they are worn out or damaged.

10. Avoid Heavy Use

When you take care of your old car, you add years to the period that it would last with you. Try to refrain from sudden acceleration, heavy braking, and overloading the engine as much as you can. Try to avoid city driving in older car because it is hard on the engine with the frequent stopping and starting.

Rather, prefer longer drives without stops allowing the vehicle engine to obtain the operating temperature that is optimal for it.

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