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Unusual Ways to Make Your Car Last Longer

Auto mechanics reveal unusual ways to make your car last longer—and what you might be doing wrong with your machine.

Cars, to a point, are bad investments. Even with the utmost care, your car will have signs of wear and tear. Eventually, even the most well-maintained car will break down. 

Reliability is a huge part of getting the most out of your car. That's why so many people struggle with finding reliable, inexpensive cars, and why so many articles abound about the most reliable cars for commuters. 

Though wear and tear is unavoidable, there are ways to make sure your car lasts longer. Here are some of the more unusual ways to make your car last longer—obvious maintenance aside 

Keep your car clean.

Yes, cleaning your car actually can help it last longer—though it might not be one of the more unusual ways to make your car last longer. Regular washes help prevent corrosion from harming your car's exterior, and helps get rid of dust that could end up clogging up machinery underneath the hood. 

Mechanics say that you should wash your car during the winter to help prevent the salt that melts the snow from rusting away your car's underbelly and help keep it the well-oiled driving machine that you love so much. 

While you're wiping your car down, you also might want to make sure to get the spots in your car everyone forgets to clean. (Hey, crumbs in the seat aren't sexy!)

Lighten your load.

If you love following the best NASCAR drivers on the tracks, then you already have heard that professional drivers take weight into consideration when they're working to keep their cars in peak racing condition. 

One of the more unusual ways to make your car last longer, believe it or not, is to lighten the load the car's carrying. The less the car has to carry, the less stress its engine will have. Since it's not stressed by heavy performance requirements, your car will have less wear on the engine. 

Idle your car for a couple of seconds before you hit the road.

This is one of those things that people often debate. Many people believe that car warm-ups are unnecessary while others will claim they're one of the easiest yet most unusual ways to make your car last longer. 

Physics says that your car will need a moment to get the oil in all the right places, which is exactly why you need to let your car idle for 30 seconds or so before it starts zooming off. By letting your car warm up, you're able to let the motor become better oiled, which in turn means you have a smoother, less stressed ride. 

If you can't guess, that means that this car "myth" is more of a car fact.

Have a moderate driving style.

Believe it or not, your driving style can seriously impact your car—for the better or worse. A conservative drive will put a lot less pressure on the car's engine, and also will wear breaks down much more slowly than a person who wants to re-enact Speed Racer

If you want to keep your car driving well, you should drive it carefully and also make a point to be gentle on your brakes. 

Once in a while, floor it.

Don't tell police we said this, but once in a while, having your car reach high speeds can help it preserve its motor. According to mechanics from Popular Mechanics, flooring it allows your car to go through the entire drive train—and clears out all the gunk from your system when done occasionally. 

That being said, it's a good idea to do this in a safe environment. Otherwise, it may turn into one of the most dangerous car maintenance ideas you'll ever hear. 

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