Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Older Car Running Smoothly (so you can make it to Grandma's house for Christmas)

Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Older Car Running Smoothly (so you can make it to Grandma’s house for Christmas)

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I drive a 17-year-old SUV with over 100,000 miles on it.

Because we have such a large family, when we take a trip we HAVE to drive to our destination. It’s just too expensive to fly a family of seven anywhere. So before we hit the road to grandma’s (a 16 1/2 hour drive without stopping), I make sure my car is in tip top condition. The one time I didn’t take it in for a tuneup before we took off on a road trip, my brakes went out 3 miles down the road from our house.

Thankfully, we weren’t on the interstate when it happened! But we were stuck on the side of the road until my husband could leave work and come pick us up (he had to make more than one trip to fit us all in his car!) Because it was just before the holiday we couldn’t get the car in to be repaired right away; that was the first time we didn’t make it to grandma’s house for Christmas.

Now every year my car goes in for a tune up. And every 5,000 miles, I take my SUV to the Walmart Automotive Care Center (find the one nearest you here) for a Pennzoil® Platinum Full Synthetic oil change (on Rollback–$49.88 Rollback to $44.88–through December 27, 2016!).

When someone learns how old my car is, they are usually very surprised because it doesn’t look like the typical 17-year-old car. They always ask me for the “secret” to keeping my car looking and running great. The “secret” is, there is no secret to getting a vehicle to last a long time, just keep up on the recommended maintenance.

You need to take care of your car just like you would take care of yourself! Regular checkups, a healthy diet, and exercise keep you healthy; regular tune-ups, oil changes, and tire rotation keep your car healthy.

Here are my

Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Older Car Running Smoothly

Tip # 5
Keep it clean. While washing the outside of your car is smart to keep your paint looking nice, nearly everything your car drives over gets stuck to the undercarriage and stays there. You need to rinse off all of that grime. In the winter it is imperative that you wash the road salt off your car, as road salt is extremely corrosive and over time it can cause major damage. The biggest problem is rust, which is increased by the repeated exposure to salt during the winter. Visiting a car wash with an undercarriage spray several times a month can help protect against the road salt’s effects.

Tip # 4
The Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Older Car Running Smoothly (so you can make it to Grandma’s house for Christmas)Everything your car does, it does through it’s tires. Getting better performance from your tires can be as simple as ensuring they are properly inflated. Ideally you should check the tire pressure weekly. When the tire pressure is off, even a little bit, you’ll see poor fuel economy and handling, as well as premature wear on the tires–up to 25% more wear than a properly inflated tire. If your steering pulls to the left or right, or you notice uneven tread wear on your tires, you may need to have the alignment checked. Driving your car when the wheels are out of alignment can cause a number of problems. One major problem, your tires can wear unevenly which affects how they make contact with the road.

Tip # 3
Get your brakes checked out. I found this out the hard way. You should have your older car’s brakes inspected nearly as often as you get your oil checked. Especially if you drive in urban settings (frequent starts and stops, slamming on the brakes), on very hilly roads, or tend to ride your brakes. If you spend most of your time driving long distances on the interstate you can wait longer between checks.

Tip # 2
Follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. Overlooking routine maintenance or ignoring warning lights can significantly add to your car’s wear and tear. Spending $20-50 every few months to follow the suggested routine maintenance is much cheaper than having something go wrong and pay $1,000+ on unexpected repairs.

The Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Older Car Running Smoothly (so you can make it to Grandma’s house for Christmas)Tip # 1
Check and change the oil on a regular schedule. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways of keeping your car running smoothly. As the parts of your engine move and rub against each other, the force of the friction creates heat. Oil lubricates the engine and absorbs that heat, allowing the internal parts of your car to work together effectively without overheating. As the oil circulates through your engine and ages, oil gradually wears out and needs changed. Most mechanics recommend you change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles but check your owner’s manual to see how often it is recommended specifically for your car. You should NEVER neglect the oil light on your car, especially in cold weather!

Getting your oil changed at Walmart’s Automotive Care Center is so easy and convenient, you have no excuse not to get your oil changed regularly. Especially before you hit the road to grandma’s house, or wherever you are headed this holiday season. Drop off your car at the Walmart Automotive Care Center for an oil change while you grab everything you need to make your trip as smooth as possible. My car was in and out of the service area in less than 30 minutes. Giving me just enough time to grab the last few things I needed for Thanksgiving dinner!

The Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Older Car Running Smoothly (so you can make it to Grandma’s house for Christmas)One of the benefits of using Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology, is it keeps your car’s pistons up to 20% cleaner than required by the toughest industry standard, and keeps your engine cleaner than any leading synthetic oil. It is designed for complete engine protection, without compromise. Pennzoil Full Synthetic Oil provides unsurpassed wear protection: No other leading motor oil provides better protection from friction. And now through December 27th, 2016, a Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic oil change is on Rollback to just $44.88. 

Walmart Automotive Care Centers in the following states are now able to benefit from oil changes with Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. If you live in one of these states share your excitement that you can now get Pennzoil at your local Automotive Care Center, along with the rest of the nation.

receipt

I was very impressed with the service technician at Walmart’s Automotive Care Center. He explained exactly what was included with my oil change, and then showed me how grimy my air filter was, and recommended I have it replaced. The technician checked all the fluids, checked my tires and inflated them to the recommended PSI, checked my windshield wipers and filled my windshield washer fluid, and tested all the lights to make sure they were working properly. I felt very safe driving my car out of the parking lot.

Don’t miss out on the Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic oil change Rollback, it’s just $44.88 until December 27th, 2016. Giving you plenty of time to get it done before you hit the road to visit family and friends for the holidays.

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Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Older Car Running Smoothly (so you can make it to Grandma's house for Christmas)

Comments 41

  1. These are all awesome tips. We have all older vehicles and if you keep up with maintenance, they last forever! Our Excursion is a 2005 with 140,000 miles on it but runs like a dream!

  2. Great tips. I am about to buy an older car for work after having brand new ones. This is great to know. My first stop is good tires!!

  3. I love getting my oil changed at Walmart. It makes everything so much easier for me. I have a 10 year old car with over 200,000 miles so I have to keep on top of things.

  4. This tips will be very useful for those who have cars. They have to maintain it regularly so they can use it for long time.

  5. These are great tips for keeping your car in great shape. I bought a warranty on my car that lasts 10 years so I plan on having it for quite some time. These tips should help keep it like new for a long time.

  6. Such great tips here! I think getting your oil checked on the regular and when needed is soo important for a car – I think it really can keep the car running smoothly!

  7. These are all great trips. I had a SUV that was over 100K miles and almost 15 years old. If you take care of cars, you can keep them for a very long time. I did end up trading that SUV in for a car a few years ago. And now I use the same habits of care on the car.

  8. I give you a lot of credit for doing a 16+ hour road trip with 7 people in one car. Before any road trip I also make sure to take my car for an oil change and have any additional work done that’s needed in hopes of having a smooth trip.

  9. These are some great tips. My car is 16 years old. I’ve taken care of it for so long. I think it’s very important to make sure to keep your car very clean.

  10. I am currently driving our SUV that is 10 years old. It has a little over 100,000 miles too and I really hope I can get it to last several more years. I need to take it in for an oil change. Plus, it needs new tires soon too. 🙁

  11. These are really great tips. People who own older cars need to consider the safety and maintenance on their vehicles. Thanks for sharing these important tips.

  12. My brother has an old car that he loves and will not part with. He is always doing things to make it last as long as possible in good health. I will share this with him.

  13. I like what this article mentions about following the maintenance schedule in the owners manual. It makes sense that this could be helpful to keep the car running well because the manufacturer would know what needs to be done. Even though there will still be repairs outside the schedule, it could significantly reduce the chances by just following the manual. Thanks for the post!

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