By Paul Wimsett (our U.K. contributor, so it’s best to read it with an accent)
If you have invested a great amount of your savings into a car it makes sense that you want to make sure it is constantly working, especially if you use it on your commute. Some states require a yearly emissions check. Car inspections are performed at garages marked with the “Official Inspection Station” sign.
Speaking of ticking, there are many noises that can indicate something is wrong with the car (clinking, ticking etc.) and it is a good idea to check them if they continue for a long time. It may just be a lack of oil but it is always worth looking into any problems. It is important to consider that the older a car is the more likely you are to have problems.
One of the best things you can do with most cars is run them, don’t leave them sulking in the garage. Having said that, driving a car for too many miles artificially ages the car reducing it’s value.
Ways to increase performance and reliability include:
One way of making your car work better is to make it lighter. Have an AUX unit instead of a stereo. The unit itself is lighter and so will be your wallet.
It might be a good idea to improve the exhaust. If the exhaust isn’t able to flow from your car as quickly as it’s produced fuel economy suffers.
Fix everything as soon as it goes wrong. The less you drive it broken the less chance of additional wear and tear.
Spark plugs and air filters tend to need replacing and this is two jobs most people don’t get around to doing.
Most people don’t think of using the best oil in their car but the best performance is all about using the best raw materials, many people don’t realize that you can change how well your car operates simply by changing to a better brand of oil.
If your car was made a while ago, you may benefit from polyurethane bushings. This is a relatively recent improved technology, which upgrades your suspension and stops you from having a jolty ride. Not only will you be more comfortable but there’s a little less wear on your car’s parts as well.
There is a strange idea that cars left alone in the sun actually become harder and in order to test this a piece of aluminum alloy was left in the sun for 6-8 hours reaching temperatures of about 150°. The results seemed to show a marked difference, so if you want to prevent premature aging, you need to make sure it’s in the sun. Of course, most people prefer entering a car which is sitting in the shade.
It makes sense to ensure that your car is the best; it’s safer, more reliable, and better for resale. It is all about making sure your car is efficient, fast and strong. You can come across as an obsessive, but so what? If your car is important to you and you want to prevent breakdown you have to look at these things.