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Taking Care of the Old Lady: Loving Your Aging Car

More and more of us are driving older and older cars. Nowadays, the average passenger vehicle is 11 years old, up from nine years of age at the turn of the millennium. This comes as no surprise – after all, 6-year auto loans have become almost the norm in and of themselves, and everybody wants to get a few years out of their car after she’s paid off, right?

If you are driving an aged lady, and odds are you are, you need to do what you can to keep her ticker ticking. There are a few tasks you should make a habit of to keep her alive.

The first section of her inners that you need to concern yourself with is her cooling system. Engine cooling hoses have it tough carrying high-pressure, steaming-hot fluids. Since cooling systems tend to fail on the hottest or the coldest of days, you need to replace all of your car’s coolant and heater hoses before these days arrive. If you cannot remember your hoses ever being replaced, get them replaced now.

Used cars often have worn brake systems. If you have just purchased an aged vehicle, bleed its brakes. If the brake fluid you see is clear like a lager, you are good to go. Conversely, if it as black as your ex-wife’s soul, you probably need a brake overhaul. Once your brakes are in good shape, continue to replace the brake fluid every 24 months.

Make sure the oil in your car is clean. If it has recently been changed but still has that dark black frightening color, have the oil pan removed and cleaned, the oil filter replaced and the crankcase filled with the proper oil.