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5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Used Car in Kansas City

Number 5 Will Change the Way You Drive! 

If you’re like most Americans, you spend a lot of time in your car. In fact, the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration says drivers in the U.S. average more than 13,000 miles per year.

So, what can you do to protect your used car as the number on the odometer increases? Keep up on your routine maintenance, of course!

May is a perfect time to get a head start on summer maintenance. Our buy here, pay here dealership has the inside scoop on the top tips you need to keep your used car in Kansas City on the road - number 5 will surprise you!

closeup photo of a mechanic pulling the dipstick from a car engine

1. Stick to the Recommended Service Schedule

Just like you need to go to the doctor for a regular check up, your car does too. Your owner’s manual will suggest the ideal schedule for your used car. It’s one of the best ways to increase the lifespan of your car, and prevent minor problems from becoming much bigger ones. 

However, life is unpredictable. Here are some signs you should schedule a check up for your ride before it’s recommended scheduled service:

  • Check engine light appears

  • Low oil light appears

  • Tire pressure light appears

  • Grinding metal

  • Screeching brakes

  • Unusual engine noises when idling

  • Whining noise from under the hood

Strange smells, smoke, or steam coming from the hood of your car are a sign that you need more than routine maintenance. Although it may be possible to get around in it, you’re still putting yourself at risk and causing further damage to your car.

2. Change the Oil to Maintain a Healthy Engine

Regularly-scheduled oil changes are vital to routine car maintenance. Oil changes keep your engine parts well-coated and protect them from heat and friction. 

If you’re driving a used car in Kansas City that has more than 75,000 miles, it’s important that you always use a high-mileage oil that’s specifically designed to address potential problems high-mileage engines encounter. This oil minimizes leaks, reduces smoke and emissions, and decreases oil consumption. 

You should expect to need an oil change every 3,000 miles or six months, depending on what your owner’s manual says. Keep in mind this always varies with your driving habits, the age of your vehicle, and the quality of oil you choose.

3. Keep an Eye on Your Tire Pressure

It’s easy to take your tires for granted, but they deserve your attention just as much as any other part of your car. After all, you can’t operate your vehicle without them.

Maintaining the correct tire pressure not only extends the life of your tires, it also enables better handling of your car, which leads to better fuel efficiency. Your owner’s manual has the details on the appropriate tire pressure for your vehicle. You can either check your pressure on your own, or take your used car to a mechanic to make sure they are properly inflated.

You need to keep an especially close eye on your tire pressure when the weather makes its seasonal shift from cool to warm and vice versa. That’s because your tires either lose or gain one PSI (pound per square inch) for every 10 degree change in temperature. Check out these signs you need to look at your tire pressure:

  • It feels strange when you make a turn

  • You hear a flapping sound while you’re driving

  • Your vehicle takes longer to stop than usual

  • You’re getting much lower gas mileage

It’s also important to keep your wheels aligned. If your vehicle is pulling in one direction or vibrating strangely on the road, ask an expert to check your alignment. You’ll notice your used car handles a lot better and your fuel economy improves.

4. Don’t Neglect Your Air Filter

While it seems like your air filter plays a minor role in how your car operates, it actually keeps your vehicle’s air-fuel balance in check. A dirty or damaged air filter prevents optimal air flow to your engine, which could cause your engine to miss or have a rough idle. 

Dirty air filters also decrease your fuel economy and allow dirt into your engine. This could lead to costly repairs. Take a look at these signs you need to replace your vehicle’s air filter:

  • Black smoke from the exhaust

  • Check engine light appears

  • Odd engine noises

  • Poor fuel economy

  • Weak performance

It’s never a good sign when you see dark smoke from your car’s exhaust. This is a common sign of a very clogged air filter, and that you need to have a mechanic replace it immediately. 

5. Always Keep Your Cool in the Car

Even though this isn’t technically routine maintenance, aggressive driving still takes its toll on your vehicle. Hard stops and rapid accelerating or decelerating can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your used car. Try to avoid the need to slam on your breaks or the gas pedal, and you might be able to prolong the life of your car. 

Bonus - Find the Best Used Cars In Kansas City When You Shop at Auto Bank

One way you can have a vehicle that will last for a long time is by choosing a reputable buy here, pay here dealership that sells high-quality used cars. Auto Bank of Kansas City has two buy here, pay here car lots near you with affordable used vehicles to suit your style and your budget. 

From used trucks to economy cars, our buy here, pay here dealerships have the used vehicles in Kansas City you’ve been looking for. To learn more about our inventory or ask us questions about our in-house car finance options, call our East Truman Road location at (816) 241-7880, our East Front Street dealership at (816) 231-9300, or send us a message online.

Don’t forget to use our online credit approval tool to make it even easier to handle all the car finance intricacies before you shop at our buy here, pay here dealerships!