Unless you have a vehicle that is considered a “classic,” the value of your car will likely decrease over time. Additionally, the daily wear and tear the vehicle faces while on the road makes it necessary for drivers to keep up with repairs. That way, the car remains in working condition and is safe for everyone to travel in. As most drivers know, what you put in your car determines what you get out of it, and for those of us who depend on our vehicles to get us to and from places, a little bit of maintenance can truly go a long way. Although each manufacturing company has different requirements to keep the vehicle running, by doing simple maintenance checks, your car can continue to run like it did when you bought it.
But what if your vehicle has been experienced damage from a natural disaster? Although knowing the proper maintenance procedures helps, the truth of the matter is, disasters like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, twisters, and wildfires threaten our vehicles from just about every angle. While residents are rushing to their basements for cover or climbing on the roof to escape by helicopter, for example, our vehicles are on the front line. They remain uncovered and in most cases forgotten until Mother Nature is done.
So, how do you protect your vehicle after a disaster has hit your community? Here are three ways you can extend the life of your car even after a disaster has hit your area:
Like most parts on a car, the transmission can be easily repaired but is expensive to replace. So it only makes sense to maintain the transmission now rather than waiting to be caught off-guard by a disaster, right? No matter what kind of vehicle you’re driving — whether automatic or manual — a transmission is basically a gear shifter. While the automatic transmission changes gears using the vehicle’s CPU system, manual ones depend on the driver to change gears using the clutch.
Regardless of the type of transmission your vehicle uses, it’s important for drivers to do the following before a disaster strikes:
- Check fluid levels. That way, the gears located in the engine and transmission have lubricate.
- Consider using synthetic fluids. Synthetic fluids are not only thicker, but they’re also better in the long run, and last longer.
- Do regular maintenance. Regular maintenance can save you a lot of money and keep your vehicle from being stranded after a disaster.
Why is this important? Well, because these practices will not only help your transmission last longer, but they will also increase the likelihood of your gearbox surviving a disaster. Synthetic fluids, for example, allow the transmission to resist things like extreme temperatures and oxidation, and they also protect the gears. Disasters come in all shapes and sizes, which is why it’s important to keep your vehicle in good working order.
Considering Using Vehicle Accessories
While some vehicles are built to perfection, others require aftermarket accessories to help them perform better in the long run. That’s because, throughout the years, cars have been developed to meet strict government standards — ones that involve reduced emissions, increased reliability, and better gas mileage. This means hardly any room is left for additional improvements.
Nonetheless, there are things that drivers can change to make sure their vehicle is both reliable and dependable in the case of an emergency — or in this case, after an emergency. What are some accessories that can improve the vehicle’s performance and reliability?
It all comes down to the make and model of the car. Certain BMWs, Subarus and Mercedes brands, for instance, can flourish off of small modifications. Doing things like installing wider tires, and installing high-temperature brake pads will help the vehicle slow down at a faster rate and never lose traction throughout the process. This means that if there is a flood in your area, your vehicle will be able to withstand the flood until conditions worsen. Other manufacturing companies like Honda and Jeep, for example, can also benefit from small modifications.
The major difference here, however, is that these car manufacturing companies can really benefit from added accessories as well. In fact, the Jeep manufacturing company has so many added accessories, drivers can easily become excited about the breadth of choice to sift through it all, which means motorists should only add accessories that are beneficial to the car’s performance. In other words, before buying cool stickers for your car, consider doing other things like installing adjustable struts, or anti-roll bars — if you’re a Jeep user. These changes will allow your car to stay level to the ground, and avoid the possibility of returning to a vehicle that has been swept away.
Practice Safe Driving Habits
Practicing safe driving habits can truly go a long way, especially during the winter months. That’s because more than 116,000 Americans are injured every year in car accidents related to ice, slush, or snow blizzards. Some basic safety driving tips usually involve wearing your seatbelt at all times and being well rested. While these techniques are life-saving, they can only help if passengers are in the car.
If you want to extend the life of your vehicle, be sure to do the following: avoid aggressive driving and stock your car with emergency items. Aggressive driving is not only dangerous during stormy conditions, but it also prematurely wears out components on your vehicle. In other words, when motorists are racing through the streets, they cause their engine and transmission to work harder. As a result, parts are much more likely to break and need replacement sooner than expected.
Doing little things like stocking your car with emergency items can also help. These items may include flashlights, small shovels, jumper cables, blankets, canned food, and floor mats. Even if your vehicle is reliable and prepared for disasters, you can never be too careful. So make sure you practice safe driving, and always be aware of your surroundings. That said, avoid parking under bridges, large trees, near cliffs, and large buildings. Disasters like earthquakes, flash floods, and wildfires can strike without warning and damage countless homes in a matter of minutes, which is why staying prepared, practicing good habits behind the wheel, and maintaining your vehicle is so important.
Brooke Faulkner writes and raises her sons in the Pacific Northwest. She is always looking for ways to make healthy living an accessible part of every day life. Find more of her writing on twitter, @faulknercreek