Youve finally done it. Whether it was a matter of saving those pennies for a rainy day or settling in to that new, better-paying job, you were able to obtain the car of your dreams. And while its always entertaining to envy the curvaceous lines, sexy sweeps and raw curb appeal your new toy exhibits while it sits on your driveway, eventually youre going to have to take your baby on the road and ultimately maintain it. Make no mistake this goes beyond the weekly driveway wash and occasional tire pressure check, and the more stringent you keep to a maintenance schedule the longer you will keep that fantasy ride running and looking like new.
Lets take a look at some ways you can keep that dream car up and running.
Observe Patience During the Break-In Period
While you are, of course, tempted to get in that cockpit and put the pedal to the metal especially if its a high-performance car its important to, during the first 1,000 miles (or 1,600 km), keep your speed under 55 MPH (or 88 kpm) or to the speed recommended by your vehicles manufacturer. This will avoid heavy loads on the drivetrain, especially if youre careful not to load the roof rack or trunk with heavy items like construction materials.
Also important during this break-in time is to avoid idling for long periods the oil pressure generated by doing so may not send oil to every part of your engine. Additionally, use only light acceleration back to the aforementioned pedal-to-the-metal concept again keeping the engine RPMs below 3,000 for the first few hours of use.
Utilize Everyday Care While Driving
Its been proven by those who drive with consideration that a car will reward you with longer intervals between repairs. This includes avoiding racing the engine during startup especially during cold weather and slow acceleration when you begin your drive, minding the age-old proverb that says most wear to the engine and drivetrain occurs in the first 10 to 20 minutes of operation. Further, the classic recommendation of warming the engine by letting it idle in the driveway is actually bad advice the engine doesnt operate at its peak temperature this way, resulting in incomplete fuel combustion, soot deposits on cylinder walls and more.
Buy Gas at Reputable Service Stations
Dont be shy, and go ahead and ask your local station whether the gas they buy is filtered at the pump, and if they adhere to a policy of changing the pump filters regularly. Many stations dont have pump filters, making your vehicle susceptible to dirty gasoline; other stations may not mix alcohol and fuel properly, or worse, water down their product.
There are a myriad of other tips to keeping your car running right for years to come, but following common sense is a theme that runs rampant throughout all of these. In addition to the suggestions weve just outlined, also consider where your replacement parts are coming from if you own a Monte Carlo, for example, it would be better to locate a reputable dealer that sells SS Monte Carlo parts, not one that makes generic promises of satisfying all makes and models.