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Published November 7, 2012

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Tips for keeping your older, high mileage vehicle on the road.

At some point in time, everyone owns a car that’s old, either a hand-me-down from an older family member, the first car you buy for yourself, a “junker”, or a car that hasn’t been well maintained and has received a beating over time. How you care for your older car makes all the difference in how long you’ll get to drive it.

I’m Bob Ciasulli and I own several car dealerships in northern New Jersey. At some point in time, everyone owns a car that’s old, Either a hand-me-down from an older family member, the first car you buy for yourself, a “junker”, or a car that hasn’t been well maintained and has received a beating over time. How you care for your older car makes all the difference in how long you’ll get to drive it. Neglect your car and you’ll find yourself with a crash or breakdown that’ll cost money you’re not looking to spend. If you’re driving an older vehicle, follow these tips and give your car or truck some love. For not much money, you can run your old car safely as long as possible and perform any necessary repairs and maintenance yourself.

When you own an older car, maintaining it to ensure your safety is priority. I encourage older car owners to be proactive. Have your vehicle checked and inspected regularly for damage and necessary repairs. If any of the following is wrong with your old car, spend the money to get it fixed promptly.

Safety First: The safety of yourself, your family, and other drivers is a priority. Frequently check and maintain car parts that could contribute to an accident and loss of control on the road. This means your breaks, steering system, and tires. If you’ve budgeted money for car maintenance, it should go towards that.

Breaks: Your breaks are absolutely crucial to your safety. If you’ve got an older car, don’t wait till you hear “grinding” or other unpleasant noises before bringing your car into the shop. I encourage you to be proactive about your breaks—how are your break pads? Is there enough remaining material? Do you see fluid leaking? If you spot a break fluid leak, you’ll need an immediate repair.

Steering System: Have a mechanic check your steering system and suspension. They’ll be able to tell if your suspension is poor due to uneven wear and tear on your tires.

Tires: Do not neglect your tires. Old tires cause accidents. Although replacing tires can take a real bite out of your wallet, it’s worth it to replace them before you put yourself and your passengers in a dangerous position.

I also suggest replacing headlights and taillights in older cars because over time, these lights become yellowed and dim with age. If another can’t see you coming, you’re more likely to be involved in an accident.

Learn more about maintaining your older car by reading Bob Ciasulli’s Tips: How to Maintain Your Old Car and Keep it Running As Long As Possible Part #2.

Bio: Bob Ciasulli owns and operates several car dealerships in northern New Jersey and is very interested in automotive maintenance and safe driving habits. These tips are based on what he’s experienced on the road. He encourages you to drive safely and protect yourself and your fellow drivers
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