Top 5 Ways To Protect Your Car And Prolong Its Life

By Lesley Green
A mechanic running diagnostics on a car that is in the shop for repairs.
  • Frequent rapid acceleration and hard braking can take its toll on your car.
  • Fuel up your car with the appropriate grade of gasoline per the owner’s manual.
  • Prolong your tires’ life expectancy and rotate them every 10,000 kilometres driven.

There is never a convenient time for car repairs and breakdowns. They always seemingly happen out of nowhere to ruin your day and lighten your wallet. However, there are ways to protect your car so you can avoid the pricey garage. Stay safe and keep that money in your bank account with the help of these five tips to protect your car.

1. Drive with intelligence and care

Much like the human body, cars shouldn't be constantly pushed to the limit. Frequent rapid acceleration and hard braking can take a toll on your car (and possibly affect your discount if you're enrolled in a usage-based insurance program.) In case of an emergency, it is good to know the car is capable of such feats but should only happen when it is entirely necessary, like avoiding a collision.

In addition to driving smoothly, you can also minimize your car's wear-and-tear by:

  • Following the owner’s manual recommended maintenance schedule. One of the keys to keeping your car running at its best is to take care of it. Regular visits to your mechanic can help you avoid bigger, more expensive repairs later on.
  • Minimizing how much extra weight you add to your car. Using your trunk as storage not only adds weight to the vehicle putting more strain on it, but it also decreases your fuel efficiency. Remove roof racks and cargo carriers as well when not in use.
  • Paying attention to the lights on your dashboard. The lights on your dashboard are there for a reason, and some are meant to serve as a warning system that something is not quite right. Even if the light goes off, it’s time to take the car in for a check-up.

2. Choose the right gasoline

Going back to the human body analogy, humans and cars both require the right fuel to operate at peak levels. For humans, if all we eat is junk food, we’ll eventually feel sluggish. Cars are no different. Fuel up your car with the appropriate grade of gasoline as recommended in the owner’s manual.

If your car requires premium gasoline, putting in a lower grade can result in your engine producing odd sounds that are often described as a ping or knock. If you regularly use a lower octane of gasoline than required, it can lead to engine damage, loss of performance, and decreased fuel efficiency.

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3. Detailing and rust-proofing your car

Winters last nearly half of the year, and snow, sleet, road salt, sand, and gravel can wreak havoc on your car. All of this gets into every crack and crevice of your car and could cause rust. Minimize the chance rust will ruin your car’s body and undercarriage, and have your vehicle detailed and rust-proofed occasionally.

4. Show your tires some love

It's often said, the only thing between you and the road is your car’s tires. Properly maintained tires are essential to your safety on the road as well as your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. To keep your wheels in tip-top shape:

  • Ensure your tires are properly inflated. You should check the air pressure of your tires at least once a month. Tires that aren't inflated properly are naturally more susceptible to flat tires and blowouts.
  • To prolong your tires’ life expectancy, rotate your tires about every 10,000 kilometres driven. This is important because the tires will wear differently on the front of the car and the back, and by rotating them, you’ll even the wear-and-tear out.
  • Have your wheel alignment checked yearly.

5. Buy the right car insurance coverage

Sometimes it’s not about maintenance, it’s about repairs, and often repairs are a result of a collision or some other damage your auto insurance will cover. Your car insurance policy is there to help your car get back to normal, so make sure your car has the protection it needs with the proper coverage — but don’t overpay for it. Compare car insurance quotes to find the best auto insurance price for the coverage that gives you the protection you need.