Tough Times Ahead And You Might Have To Keep Your Car For Longer. Here’s What You Can Do.
Let’s face it. With trade and business and workforce disruptions occurring worldwide due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re going to have come out of this only to face a major recession. As evidenced by downturns of the past, car sales are going to take a hit (it was already on the way down) as automakers struggle with recovering supply chains and aggravated costs of materials, and the average consumer being extra careful how and where they spend their money, if they still have any.
This writer, for one, has changed her mind about buying a new car this year and is going to keep her already old car for just a bit longer. It is perfectly fine to keep an outdated car around as long as you change the way you maintain and use your car. Here are a few things you can do if you want to keep your car running longer:
1. Reduce the Length of Service Intervals
You might already be bringing your car in for its regular service as recommended by the manufacturer for “normal driving”. But unless you spend most of your days cruising down uncongested highways, it’s anything but normal. If you live in the city, you’re probably driving in “severe conditions” most of the time, ie. sustained start-stop in traffic jams, in extreme weather or for short trips.
And if you drive an older vehicle, you’d probably notice a drop in performance long before the next service is due. While you might be tempted to stretch your dollar by stretching the service interval, know that the purpose of an oil change is to remove the harmful contaminants that have accumulated in the engine and to replace depleted additives in the oil. Your mechanic might also discover any problems early, which can be fixed instead of having to be wholly replaced and end up costing a lot more.
2. Give It New Parts
If you have been putting off replacing worn-out parts and since you’ve decided you will be keeping your car for another year or two or more, now is the time to do it to still make it worthwhile. Small replacements—such as the cabin air and fuel filters, coolant, transmission, brake and power steering fluids, windshield wipers, spark plugs and coils, tyres, and timing and serpentine belts—could greatly improve driving performance and experience. Of course, replacements cost money, but since the cost of buying a new car is at least RM500/month (approx. US$115/month) for the next five to seven years, then consider it a cost-saving decision.
3. Thoroughly Clean and Treat Your Car
Over the years, deposits and contaminants would have accumulated in your car systems and reduce their effectiveness. Even if you have given your car timely and regular oil changes, there are gum, grit, varnish and other by-products of combustion that cannot be fully flushed out of engines without some extra help.
We recommend using the X-1R Engine Flush to effectively clean the gunk out of your engine, followed by the X-1R Engine Treatment to bring its performance back up to what it was once before; maybe even the Fuel System Cleaner if you want the car’s throttle response to revert to as it was when “younger”. There is no need to put up with old-car performance when there are inexpensive ways to rejuvenate them.
4. Use Public Transport or Walk When You Can
When you already have that many kilometres on the odometer, you’d want to add onto it sparingly. Not only do we have buses, taxis and trains, we also live in a time when ride-sharing exists and is accessible from your doorstep. Give your car a rest once in a while and hop into a stranger’s car (wait, that doesn’t sound completely right) or take a stroll when you just need to go down the road for a loaf of bread.
5. Rent a Car For Longer Trips
You probably don’t want to undertake long trips with a squeaky, clunky old car (seriously, you should get that checked)—it’s not a pleasant driving experience and it’s more likely to break down while on the road. Besides the usual daily or half-day rental car services like Hertz and Avis, here in Malaysia, we have So Car and Go Car (Really, guys? Couldn’t think of less similar-sounding names) that lets you book, pay and rent by the hour, day or even month, all from your phone.
So folks, if you are going to keep your car for another few more years, some extra loving care and consideration are due.