According to the saying “both you and you,” the trouble-free operation of our car depends mainly on ourselves. How do I use a car wisely to enjoy a vehicle that doesn’t cause problems for as long as possible? Are modern engines in principle emergency and require special treatment? How to get rid of bad habits during everyday driving? We invite you to familiarize yourself with our guide.
Fluids and filters
First, let’s look under the hood. The most complex and at the same time the most expensive device in our car is the engine. Each driver probably knows that regular oil replacement (including the filter!) It is the basis for proper operation of the power unit. You should never save on oil. A well-chosen lubricant with parameters that strictly meet the manufacturer’s requirements will provide optimal working conditions for the heart of our car. We have to change the oil at least once a year. If we use the car regularly and travel long distances, we must make sure that we do not drive without replacing more than 15-20 thousand kilometers.
But engine oil is not the only working fluid that needs to be changed. The oil is also in the gearbox and differential. Each vehicle also has a coolant, brake fluid and power steering fluid. They should also be replaced according to the intervals set by the manufacturer.
It is also worth paying attention to the state of the filters. Clogging of the oil, air or fuel filter primarily leads to deterioration in performance and increased fuel consumption. Over time, this can lead to expensive damage to the engine. If we are already replacing filters, we must also remember about the salon filter, which will stop pollution and take care of our well-being while driving.
Other elements, the replacement of which depends not only on reliability, but primarily on the safety of driving, are suspension and braking system components, wheels and tires. Modern vehicles equipped with sensors are able not only to inform us about the wear of individual elements, but also to predict the time or distance between us and a visit to the workshop. This helps to avoid sudden breakdowns on the road and prepare for the extra costs associated with replacement.
It is also worth paying attention to the chassis of our car. It is full of complex and very precise elements, the damage to which can be invisible at first glance. A bent steering rod, a broken spring, damage to the rim or a bulge on the inner wall of the tire are things that an ordinary user may not notice, but they will not escape diagnosis. Regular maintenance is therefore a key issue in the safe and long-term operation of each vehicle. With the replacement of damaged suspension elements, do not tighten.
Even if we manage to get used to small vibrations or a slightly skewed steering wheel when moving straight, a poorly matched convergence can mean that after a few hundred kilometers we will have to replace not only the steering rod, but also the tires, without protector. Any interfering sounds coming from under the hood or under the undercarriage, unstable driving or vibrations during acceleration or braking are signals to visit the workshop and check what is creaking in the car.
Car body protection
Corrosion is a scourge of old cars. Not sparing even the safest, most modern cars. When using a car in a country with four seasons, and in winter the roads are very saline, it is necessary to take into account the possibility of rust. In this respect, prevention is better than treatment. Regularly washing the body (but also the chassis!) Of our car, removing salt, bird droppings and dirt will keep the paint in better condition for years to come. More and more preparations are now on the market to protect the outer coating with ceramic layers. We have waxes and hydrophobic drugs that push away dirt and make it easier to wash.
If corrosion has already appeared in our car, then it should be immediately removed until it has grown and “infected” other parts of the skin. For a well-performed repair of sheet metal, we will pay an adequate amount, and a professional painter will use only proven means, correctly select the shade of paint and protect the repaired elements so that corrosion never returns.
Before next winter, owners of old cars should definitely become interested in the bottom protection service. Careful cleaning of the bottom of the car and application of a special wax-bitumen coating will protect metal elements from the adverse effects of weather conditions and will allow you to drive carefree for the next 2-3 years.
Bad habits and driving style
Each of us has our own driving habits. However, few drivers are aware that some of them can be deadly for both a car and a wallet. One example is driving in reserve. Only completed refueling increases the risk of damage to very expensive fuel system components. Modern diesels are particularly sensitive to contaminants that are easily sucked in from the bottom of the tank. In turn, fuel pumps are best cooled when we submerge them in the right amount of gasoline or diesel. An empty tank is especially dangerous in winter, as the water condenses more easily, which then liquefies the fuel and causes corrosion of the components of the entire system.
Every driver who thinks about long and trouble-free operation should pay attention to the engine temperature. Rough driving immediately after starting the car can seriously damage our drive, because thick, unheated oil will not be able to properly lubricate and protect moving parts. Similarly, the sudden blanking of a turbine car after an energetic ride will cause the accelerating rotors to operate without lubrication, which can cause them to jam. This is an important rule, especially since almost most of the new gasoline and diesel cars are designed on the principle of downsizing and are equipped with at least one turbine.
Are modern cars in principle trouble-free?
Since we have already touched on the topic of reducing the size and modern engines, it is worth considering whether, in general, driving a modern car requires more requirements, and if so, what can we do to change this fact and enjoy the purchased vehicle for as long as possible? It is true that in pursuit of increasingly low fuel consumption and even stricter exhaust emission standards, traditional petrol and diesel engines face growing challenges of reconciling controversial environmental and performance issues.
A modern car is expected to have the lowest possible fuel consumption, satisfactory power and many years of trouble-free operation. Meanwhile, the proven, albeit worn, designs of traditional drive units have their limitations, which, despite the addition of a third turbine and an even more accurate filter, automakers will not be able to overcome.
Reflecting on the long-term use of the car, it is worth paying attention to what hybrids and electric cars offer. Toyota is successfully bringing to market new hybrid models that use proven technology and have been ranked first in reliability ratings for years. The absence of components such as belts, rollers, alternator, clutch or two mass flywheels leads to less problematic operation and cheaper maintenance. Toyota’s electric vehicles, on the other hand, use proven solutions that have been used in hybrids for years, allowing owners to drive even more economically without worrying about it.