Did you know that one in four Americans keep their cars for an average of seven years or more? Nearly another third (29%) say they typically own their car for three to four years. With Americans keeping their vehicles on the road for the better part of a decade, it's important to implement consistent maintenance habits to ensure a smooth ride.
Hankook Tire, whose latest Gauge Index survey examined how long drivers keep their cars, rounds up tips for drivers looking to keep their cars cruising well into the 2020s:
1. Keep it on the calendar
Whether consistency comes based on a mileage amount or a specific date on the calendar, setting and keeping regular tune-up appointments is a simple way to keep your car healthy. Regular maintenance inspections can be a great time to evaluate other parts of your car, not just what's beneath the hood. For example, most drivers (78%) also use their maintenance routine as a chance to check their tires. And, be sure to examine your windshield wipers and headlights to see if they need to be replaced.
2. Adjust for the seasons
Hankook also found that over two-thirds of Americans (69%) say all-season tires are interchangeable with winter tires. In some cases, that might be true, but if you live in a climate with drastic weather swings as the seasons change, that can be like saying your favorite T-shirt is suitable for a frigid winter storm. Winterizing your vehicle when the temperatures drop can help it last not only through the colder months, but also avoid potentially bigger problems down the road. Consider swapping the all-seasons for a set of winter wheels.
3. Repair and replace (when needed)
Sometimes, a routine oil change will shed light on a maintenance issue that requires more attention. In that event, consider your repair vs. replace decisions carefully - is the option you're choosing a temporary bandage, or will it help lengthen the life of your vehicle in the long run? For many, this depends on what needs replacing, and whether that part is considered "essential." For example, only 30% of drivers will replace their tire pressure monitoring system sensors if they were to break. However, these sensors can offer vital information about the pressure in your tires, which has a lasting impact on your entire driving experience.
4. Clean it up
Keeping your car clean is about more than just appearances - it can also help keep it running smoothly for much longer because dirt and grime can cause corrosion to the paint and even more, especially if it gets into the mechanics of the car. For those driving over salted winter roads, regular car washes become an even more significant step to extending your vehicle's lifespan, as winter road salt can be particularly corrosive.
No matter if your vehicle is brand new, or you're looking to hold on to an old-timer a little longer, these tips from Hankook tire can keep you steering straight into the next year, decade and perhaps even beyond.