Checking oil in car engine
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How To Make Your Car Last a Lifetime, According to Redditors

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Checking oil in car engine
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Car Care

Taking care of your car pays. Each oil change, transmission flush, and car wash extends the life of your vehicle, stretching your investment for thousands — even hundreds of thousands — of miles. But knowing what to do and when to do it isn't always intuitive. Luckily, some of Reddit's most knowledgeable money-saving members shared their top car maintenance and care tips to keep most rust buckets running for years.


Related: Tire Installation Cost Comparison: What's the Best Place to Get New Tires?

2021 Toyota Corolla
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Woman repairing a car in auto repair shop
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Perform Scheduled Maintenance

Follow the car's scheduled maintenance "religiously," one Redditor writes. Others agreed, with multiple car enthusiasts reminding drivers to keep up with oil, brake, and fluid changes. "Oil is cheap. Engines aren’t!" as one commenter puts it. Performing scheduled maintenance goes hand in hand with reading the owner's manual, another top tip from Redditors.


Related: Cheapest Oil Change: Jiffy Lube vs. Valvoline vs. Walmart and More

Blizzard on the road.
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Apply an Undercoat

Drivers should apply an undercoat to protect their cars from rust. This is especially true in colder climates, where road salts, snow, and rain can corrode the underside of your car. "Cold climate salts the road, warm seaside climates have salty moisture air from ocean. Oxidization kills everything," one Redditor writes.


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Man after washing wipes white car with a rag at car wash.
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Wash Your Car Regularly

Washing your car isn't just about your pride and vanity; it can also protect the metal underneath from corrosion. Plus, regularly keeping your car clean will extend the life of your car's paint job, which is a bonus if you ever plan to resell it.

Photo of an Experienced Car Mechanic who is Looking for Car Part in Large Store.
ProfessionalStudioImages/istockphoto

Buy Good Parts

When you repair your car, don't skimp on parts, Redditors say. "Avoid parts stores, and get OEM parts if you can afford it," one user writes. If you can afford it, you can also head to the dealer for maintenance, where they'll use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts designed specifically for your car.

In the Parking lot.
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Park With Care

One Redditor writes that they're "meticulous" about where they park to avoid unwanted dings and fender benders. "I'm in great shape, and I park away from everyone whenever possible," they write.

driving car on highway
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Drive Carefully

Bad driving habits — racing over speed bumps, slamming on the brakes, etc. — can damage your car. Multiple Redditors reiterated this point, discouraging "aggressive" driving. Or, as one commenter put it, treat your car "like you can't afford to replace it."