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15 ways to extend the life of your SUV!

15 ways to extend the life of your SUV!

Here are the best ways to extend the life of your SUV:

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


  1. Familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s owners manual
  2. Avoid short journeys
  3. Monitor the fluids
  4. Maintain oil changes
  5. Change the air filter when necessary
  6. Perform fluid flushes
  7. Check the brake pads regularly
  8. Perform tire rotation
  9. Check the tire pressure
  10. Check the vehicle's alignment
  11. Allow your engine to warm up
  12. Engage the handbrakes
  13. Maintain regular car wash
  14. Never ignore warning lights
  15. Choose proper parking areas

With the current rise of vehicles prices, people are looking for ways to extend the lifetime of their vehicles. Owners of SUVs are even more concerned because their vehicles are typically more expensive than the regular medium-size and small cars.

Since our cars are one of the biggest if not the biggest investments in our lives, we must understand how to extend the vehicle's lifetime so we don't deal with major mechanical problems at the early stages of its lifetime.

This article provides you with 15 ways to extend the life of your SUV while minimizing major mechanical breakdowns.

15 ways to extend the life of your SUV

Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tricks that you can implement to extend the lifetime of your SUV. Let's take a closer look at what automotive experts recommend:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the vehicles owners manual

The first and most important step in extending the lifetime of your SUV is to familiarize yourself with the vehicle's owner's manual. The manual has critical advice that helps you decide when to perform regular maintenance, what types of fluids you can use in your car, and other details that help you prevent dealing with major breakdowns.

Did you know that if you did not follow certain mechanical maintenance, you might void your vehicle's warranty?! Yes! You must follow all scheduled maintenance specified in the manual, so you don't deal with this undesirable situation.

  1. Avoid short journeys

Another important tip to extend the life of your SUV is to prevent and avoid short trips. Typically, short trips don't allow your engine to warm up until it reaches operable temperatures completely. Therefore, there is a very high chance that your car might have significant problems with important components.

This is because starting a cold car and driving it immediately does not allow all fluids to reach the required components. As a result, you might deal with improper lubrication and others related to shortening the lifetime of some of the internal components.

Instead, we recommend that you combine your trips and plan before you jump into your car. For example, if you plan to go for grocery stores, it might make the most sense to combine it with another nearby trip.

  1. Monitor the fluids

Your vehicle relies on a list of fluids to operate properly. However, most major mechanical problems have to do with either no or very low fluid. For example, if your engine doesn't receive the proper lubrication from engine oil, you can easily deal with engine overheating that could cost you thousands of dollars on repair costs.

Similarly, you must keep an eye on the antifreeze, transmission fluids, brake fluid, power steering fluid, etc. Again, failing to maintain these fluids is extremely critical. But, again, it is not something you can delay because changing the fluids and filling them up has to do with a certain frequency specified in your vehicle's owner's manual.

  1. Maintain oil changes

Your vehicle's oil is responsible for preventing any friction or engine overheating due to internal moving metal components. Unfortunately, the oil breaks down at some point in time and requires changing; failing to change the engine oil results in major mechanical problems that might be beyond repair.

Depending on the type of oil and your vehicle type, you might need to change the engine oil once every 5000 miles. However, some better and more high-quality oils do not require change until you reach 50,000 miles.

  1. Change the air filter when necessary

The engine relies on a specific amount of air to be mixed with fuel to operate properly. Before air gets to the engine, it runs through an air filter to prevent contaminants or debris from reaching the engine and damaging it. Although the filter plays a major role and protects the engine, it's a point where it's either partially or completely clogged.

As the filter gets clogged, it allows less and less air to reach the engine, and therefore, your engine might be overstressed, and you will realize a reduction in efficiency and fuel economy.

Therefore, it is very critical to maintaining changing the air filter when necessary. You can keep an eye for plenty of symptoms to indicate that your oil filter is due for a change. Whenever you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you replace the air filter immediately.

  1. Perform fluid flushes

Like the engine oil, other fluids in your vehicle might require certain flushes at some point in time. These fluids typically collect debris and contaminants as they run around the engine and the other components here; therefore, when needed, flush the fluids once every two years or every 50,000 miles, whatever comes first.

You must go through your vehicle's owner's manual to confirm when exactly to flush these fluids.

  1. Check the brake pads regularly

The brake pads are one of the very critical components of your braking system. When these pads wear out, it might be very hard for you to stop the vehicle, and if you do, you might want to apply additional force on the brakes to make them stop. Unfortunately, with all this extra force, you cause the brake system to wear out prematurely.

  1. Perform tire rotation

If you read through your vehicle's owner's manual, you will get across tire rotation. Tire rotation means that you need to rotate the location of each tire regularly. In other words, you might want to move the tires on the front axle to the back axle. This way, you even out any pressure and allow for even tire wear-outs.

Obviously, by doing tire rotation, you'll get the most out of your vehicle’s tires without needing to replace them. Otherwise, if the tires are not wearing out similarly, you'll deal with other problems related to the suspension system, if not the internal components that might be additional costs, and gets your vehicle to break out early.

In general, you might need to perform tire rotation once every 6000 to 7500 miles. However, we still recommend that you confirm with your vehicle's owner's manual to get a more accurate idea.

  1. Check the tire pressure

The tires aren't the first components that interact with the road every time you drive the vehicle. Therefore, these tires must be inflated properly to allow a smooth ride and prevent impacting the fuel economy. You must check your vehicle's tire pressure once every month, but if you're driving during critical weather conditions like hot summer or extremely cold winter, you check the pressure more frequently.

  1. Check the vehicle's alignment

During the lifetime of your vehicle, the axles might get misaligned due to a lot of reasons. Therefore, your mechanic must perform a detailed check on the vehicle and confirm that the axles are aligned properly.

Failing to do so impacts your vehicle's behavior and might get you into critical safety situations.

  1. Allow your engine to warm up

Whenever you start the vehicle, you must allow the engine to warm up for a couple of minutes. This way, you ensure that the engine reaches the operable temperatures and you're not over sourcing it. Furthermore, allowing the vehicle to warm up allows the fluids to run and reach all the necessary components, so you don't deal with damages.

It is important to note that you don't want to leave your vehicle idle for a long time. Car idling is not a good thing, and many people over warm up their engines and caused the car to use more fuel than it should, which might be harmful to the vehicle.

  1. Engage the handbrakes

Even if your car has an automatic transmission, you might need to engage the handbrakes at some point. For example, if you're planning to Jack your car or perform certain maintenance, engaging the hand brakes to help prevent the vehicle from slipping and not only impacting the life of your car but also impacting your safety.

Furthermore, if you're parking your car on an inclined surface, engaging the hand brakes can be extremely helpful to keep the vehicle safe and reduce the stress on the other components.

  1. Maintain regular car wash

During the lifetime of lower vehicles, the exterior gets exposed to many harmful chemicals like sludge, sold, and other pollutants. Therefore, you must maintain proper and regular carwash to prevent these chemicals from accumulating and harmful coatings on your car. If the clear coat gets damaged, there is a very high chance that the chemicals might reach the metal structure in your car and form some corrosion or rust that could damage down the road.

  1. Never ignore warning lights

Your vehicle relies on the warning flags to communicate with you and bring your attention to certain internal problems. Therefore, whenever you notice any warning light on the dashboard, you must take it seriously because it might help you detect a problem early.

The earlier you detect mechanical problems, the higher the chance you can get it repaired without needing to replace major components. However, ignoring the warning lights can sacrifice the major components and completely break down your vehicle.

There are many warning lights that you might come across during the lifetime of your SUV. For example, you might come across the check engine light or probably the low oil warning light. Also, your vehicle might complain that the tires don't have the right pressure level. Therefore, you need to learn about a long list of warning lights, and you might find good details about them inside their vehicle's owner's manual.

Once you come across a warning light, it is important that you pull over and stop your vehicle, then consult your mechanic. Your mechanic will give you a good idea about whether you can drive the car to the nearest repair shop or stop until you get help on the road.

  1. Choose proper parking areas

Parking your vehicle can be a major component when it comes to extending the lifetime of your SUV. For example, live in areas that have a lot of UV radiation due to sunlight. Therefore, it might make the most sense for you to park inside a closed garage or at least purchase some covers to protect the vehicle's interior and other components.

Similarly, if you live in an area that doesn't have the top safety, you might want to engage additional safety elements to help protect your vehicle and prevent thieves from stealing major components like the catalytic converter.

Conclusion

Extending the life of your SUV extremely critical during the significant increase in the used car market prices. This article provided you with 15 ways to extend the life of your SUV. This way, you don't have to deal with major mechanical breakdowns, and you won't accidentally void your warranty.

It is important to note that your vehicle might be beyond repairs at some point in time, which means that whatever tips and tricks you implement, you will still end up with major mechanical problems. If that's what you're experiencing, we advise that you evaluate whether it's worth selling your vehicle and using its money to purchase a better car. Yes, the current used car market is significantly high, but dealing with major mechanical problems might cost you more money.

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  • Describe your car’s type and condition
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