Another year, another birthday, an extra grey hair and more mileage on the car. Okay, so I may sound like I’m “potentially” past my prime, but there comes a point that not only do we need to think about looking after our own health, the car could get a little more TLC to! When you’re thinking about how to extend the life of your car, start by asking yourself the following questions:
Is the car over 10 years old? Is the mileage over 100k? When was the last full service? Does it have a full MOT? When was the Cambelt changed? How often has it been repaired?
If you can answer these vital questions you will start to see a picture of how well the car has been looked after. But to truly understand your answers you need to understand the car’s wear and tear history and the correlation between age and mileage!
Step 1: Understanding Wear and Tear History – Age vs Mileage
If you have had your car a while it will be easier to understand the relationship between the age and mileage of your car. While mileage matters a lot, a car’s age can be just as important and in some cases, it’s even more important than mileage. For example: if you have a 10 or 15 year old car and the mileage is showing it’s done only 30,000 or 40,000 miles, that might sound great, “…yes low mileage”, you would think. But think about why the mileage is so low, you or it’s previous owner hasn’t spent much time driving it in the last 10 to 15 years. In that time has it had much general maintenance or repairs? An older car with lower miles could potentially have issues with rubber parts that don’t age well if they are not used regularly. But if this old car was well maintained, it would be much better than a younger car, let’s say 6 years old, that has been sitting not doing much, which might have more potential problems than the older well-maintained car.
Be careful about rushing to assume that your car’s mileage is the ultimate measure of how it’s lived. Whilst car parts are designed only to last so long and a car that’s done 50,000 miles versus a car that’s done 150,000 might make you think it’s time to go shopping, the way a car has clocked up its miles is really important to understand. A runaround car or city car will have a lot more wear and tear than one that’s had all motorway miles, as motorway miles are easier on a car. But if you treat your car like you would your pet, looking after it and dealing with any issues, as per the manual, it will likely last a lot longer.
Did you get the point?
Age, miles, does any of this matter? Is your head spinning? Ultimately, if you want to extend the life of your car understanding it’s history is the first step in creating that picture of how your car has been taken care of during its life – that being said you can then move to step 2, which is to focus on those areas of the car that have been neglected: rubbers, rust, servicing or cambelt. Just as we need a little exercise and a healthy diet, if your car is important to you, you’ll want to keep giving it some tender loving care!
Step 2: How to Extend the Life of Your Car
Follow this link for “Step 2 of 3: How to Extend the Life of your Car“ where you will learn what the maintenance areas of your car you need to check.