A vehicle in many ways can be compared to the human being (body). In fact, most vehicles have similar corresponding features of a human. The brain can be compared to the ECM (electronic control module), the heart to the engine and the tyres to the human limbs. Intake and exhale of oxygen and carbon dioxide can be compared to an air mixer drawn into the engine and the exhaust gases through the exhaust tube. The comparisons can go on and on.
And it will be appreciated that as a person ages there will be weakness in body and strength – the same with a vehicle. Things will never be the same as when you drove it from the showroom or garage.
The following are major changes as your vehicle racks up the mileage:
Increase in engine oil consumption
As your vehicle racks up the mileage, components in the engine will start to become rusty and will need more lubrication just for moving smoothly.
Also, there will be wear in the cylinder-bore of the engine due to the up and down movement of the pistons. This means that you will need more oil for lubrication. This is the reason cylinder liners are placed in the bores to make up for the degree of wear. So, if you have an older engine, you should be ready to buy more engine oil than is usual.
Wear and tear of movable parts
As stated partly above, just as the human body starts experiencing weakness in the knees and other joints as age catches up, vehicles also experience the same. The most affected part is the suspension systemm which includes the lower and upper arms, connecting rod links, stabiliser bar, tyres etc. The transmission system – especially a manual gearbox – also experiences a greater degree of wear as the mileage goes up. This affects gear-changes and smooth-ride of the vehicle. When they are used in a rough terrain, they wear faster.
Higher risk of accident and fatality
There is a higher possibility of accidents for older vehicles. This is due to deterioration of the old vehicle’s safety features and the body itself – parts like the brake system.
Research also shows that passengers in old vehicles involved in an accidents stand a higher risk of fatality than those in new vehicles.
Higher cost of maintenance
My grandmum always complains about the amount of money she spends anytime she visits the hospital, and how frequently she does so. Anyone who owns an old vehicle will testify to this. This is because all the individual components have their life-span, and it’s something you cannot run away from. And once the vehicle functions as a unit, a defect in any part will affect the overall performance of the vehicle.
Also, parts for older vehicles which are out of production are very difficult to come by. It is mostly the open market and a few dealerships which will have them available.
Outdated technology and safety features
Years ago, air-bags were a luxury, but now they’re a mandatory safety feature. The push to start/stop button was only found in the ‘super cars’, but it’s now a general feature. As the years pass on, technology and safety features are improved by various manufacturers. You can buy some accessories to make up for the gap, but it can never be as a new, improved model from the manufacturer.
In as much as vehicles getting old and losing their touch is inevitable, it can however be managed such that their longevity and lifespan can be prolonged.
Regular adherence to the following 5 essential tips is guaranteed to increase mileage and consequently life-span:
- Don’t Ignore maintenance schedules
- Make a habit of checking your fluids
- Drive carefully and listen for unusual noise
- Rotate your tyres and check their pressure regularly
- Wash and wax regularly
About the Author
Edmond Nana Cabir Flynt is a vehicle sales advisor and consultant based in Takoradi-Ghana. He is also a volunteer, an entrepreneur, and an auto show radio presenter.
For further enquiry, consultation, advertisement, product promotion (vehicle related), vehicle and accessory sales, contact him on the following numbers +233(0)209461930 /+233(0)548383591 and email firstname.lastname@example.org
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