Car Hacks 101: Easy Ways to Extend the Life of Your Car

heavy car keys

We all know that giving your car a long and happy life boils down to two things: regular maintenance and good driving habits. But it also pays to look around for new and unconventional ways to extend the life of your car. Here are some car hacks that you may not have thought of:

Ditch the extra keys

Is your keychain unnecessarily heavy? Probably. If you’re like a lot of people, your keychain is bogged down by keys to houses you no longer own, to your garden shed, to your grandma’s house, to that bike lock you lost 6 years ago…you get the idea. You may even have a few non-key items dangling from it, like a bottle opener or that obligatory “I Heart Hawaii” keychain that everyone seems to have.

While it’s convenient to have everything all in the same place, the heavy load might be damaging your ignition. The constant downward tug on the ignition switch can wear out the tumblers inside the ignition and eventually lead to ignition switch failure.

So, lighten up! Separate your car keys from everything else on your keychain to place as little stress as possible on the ignition.

Get rid of the junk in your trunk

Tools, subwoofers, sports gear, clothes, strollers, random junk—you’d be surprised at how much all that stuff in your trunk can weigh. And while some of it’s necessary and/or good to have around (like a spare tire and an emergency kit), most of it can happily live somewhere else. Your car will thank you for it.

An overloaded trunk means your engine has to work harder to move your car, which puts unnecessary strain on your engine. And, it kills your gas mileage. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%! That may not seem like a lot, but it definitely adds up over time. What’s more, because all the weight is in the back of the car and not the front, your front tires are not going to have the proper traction or adhesion, a potentially dangerous situation.

Go for a long drive

Victoria BC is what’s known as a “severe service area.” Thanks to our short driving distances and stop-and-go traffic (thanks for nothing, Colwood Crawl), your car will most likely need to be serviced more often than a car driving under “normal” conditions.

A good way to give your car a break from all the city driving is to take it for a drive over the Malahat. That’ll cleanse your oil of unwanted contaminants (like condensed moisture) and give your car a chance to build up some speed, get nice and warm, and lubricate its parts. Your car will enjoy a constant, high-pressure flow of oil and other fluids, which makes for a healthy vehicle.

(Don’t speed, though. If you drive too quickly, your engine will be forced to work at a higher speed than is optimal. And that’s not good!)


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