How to extend the life of your car

October 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Jon Guzik, the editor-in-chief of DriverSide.com, a new Web site that has everything consumers need to know about car ownership, has tips on how to extend the life of your current car.

TOP 10 TIPS

1. Drive gently. Adjusting your driving style to minimize wear and tear on your ride can not only give you a few more years of happy motoring, but it can also save you cash in repairs and replacement parts.

2. Keep up with fluid changes. Mark one day on your calendar each month to make sure all of your fluids are topped off. It's quick, easy and can save you some serious repair dollars down the line.

3. Know what weather does to your car. While a garage is the ideal storage solution for your investment, other options exist to protect your vehicle from the sun's UV rays, drastic temperature changes, water and salt.

4. Clean the interior. Excess dirt and grime can act like sand paper, creating unnecessary abrasion that can wear down upholstery and carpeting.

5. Maintain the paint job. Touch up any and all nicks before rust can get started and always make sure to wax your vehicle with a high quality product at least twice a year.

6. Flush the engine and top it up with mileage-appropriate fluids. Use specially designed fluids that keep buildup in check, improve fuel economy and restore lost power. As your vehicle ages, make sure to use high-mileage engine oil.

7. Check on your tires and wheels. If your tires have worn unevenly or your wheels are unbalanced, vibration can cause excess stress on suspension components.

8. Schedule checkups twice a year with a mechanic you trust. Taking the time to schedule a checkup with a good mechanic twice a year may seem obsessive, but preventative maintenance at the hands of a qualified professional is cheap insurance.

9. Address minor problems early. Don't put off minor maintenance or easy repair work. Doing so can lead to larger problems and larger repair bills in the end.

10. Be aware of new sounds and vibrations? And learn how to replicate the noises for your mechanic. The more your service center knows about the problem, the more likely they are to fix it right the first time and for less labor costs.

For more information, visit www.driverside.com

About Jon Alain Guzik
Jon Alain Guzik is a journalist and cultural critic based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Currently, he is the Editor-in-Chief and Director of Editorial Development for DriverSide.com, a new site that focuses on everything consumers need to know about car ownership. Prior to joining Driverside.com, he was the Editor-at-Large at Yahoo! Autos - the most trafficked web site on the Internet - where he developed and wrote the portal's original automotive content. His content was featured weekly in Yahoo!'s front page to a global audience of billions of viewers.

Throughout his career, Guzik has written on subjects ranging from art, architecture and popular culture to media convergence, sports, fashion, video games and automobiles for 0-60, Rides, L.A. Weekly, Variety, Los Angeles Magazine, Dazed and Confused, Dwell, McSweeney's and The Los Angeles Times, to name a few.

He was a contributing editor at Stuff, Maxim and Complex magazines from 2003 to 2008. Guzik has also worked as an editorial and brand management consultant to numerous media companies and websites.

Mr. Guzik has a B.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Critical Studies with a supplemental certification in Integrated Media.

He is currently at work on a non-fiction book, The Rhetoric Of Speed, about the history - from World War Two to present day - of youth subcultures and the automobile. He dreams of one day owning his own NASCAR race team. Said Mr. Guzik of this automotive aspiration, "It'd be awesome."


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