If you have a family and travel any great distance for work or food, you understand the importance of having a trustworthy and solid family car that can take on all the different demands of your life. Whether it’s shuttling your kids to and from soccer practice or taking mom shopping for groceries, it’s important to have a car that can do it all and not break down in the process. We need to consider many things when buying a new car, but we often don’t think about how long our family cars will last. Consider these tips on how to extend the life of your current family car, so you don’t have to worry about an expensive repair bill any time soon.

Regular Maintenance

Many people believe that today’s vehicles can push maintenance limits like heavier, less-safe vehicles of generations past. This belief isn’t true. Today’s vehicles have many sensors and computer systems to measure fluid levels, temperature, engine performance, braking systems, safety assist programs, and other items. Regular maintenance is the most inexpensive way to keep your family car running in tip-top condition for years to come. Still, studies show that around $60 billion worth of vehicle maintenance is ignored by vehicle owners every year. Ignoring these maintenance needs adds unnecessary wear and tear to your vehicle and related components.

Regular maintenance includes things like oil changes, tire checks, air filter changes, cleaning fuel injection systems, tune-ups, seal replacements, fuse replacements, lubricating joints and steering pieces, and more. Your car may require more or less maintenance, but these are the general basics. The manufacturer provides a manual for each vehicle that recommends a maintenance schedule based on your driving habits and conditions. A service technician at the manufacturer can help you understand any notifications being displayed by the computer.

Small Windshield Repairs

There are roughly 2.6 million miles of paved asphalt roads in the United States. Even if the roads are clear, a car’s windshield can still get damaged. Dings, scratches, nicks, and cracks can all spell disaster for a windshield. Weather changes and temperature fluctuations can worsen the windshield damage and cause unsafe driving conditions for your family. Take your family car to a qualified windshield replacement service provider for repair whenever you see small chips or spider cracks. Small repairs can be free with certain programs or insurance carriers, saving you around $300.

Be Familiar with Your Insurance Coverage

Most people don’t think that their insurance coverage can help them extend the life of their family car. Ask your insurance provider questions surrounding your main usage of the vehicle and any other extenuating activities your family might enjoy.

For example, if your family enjoys spending weekends camping, you’ll want to make sure that your insurance policy covers any injuries or damage due to off-roading, exploring down roads that may be marked as closed, or driving in extreme conditions. The terrain is not always predictable due to changing weather, climate, and road conditions. Suppose you experience an accident, and these things aren’t covered. In that case, you may be stuck paying out-of-pocket for the repairs or not getting your family car back if the insurance company decides the repair cost is more than the car’s value.

Replacement Parts with Better Quality

When the family car needs replacement parts, consider replacing them with better quality parts. Better quality parts are made for high-performance scenarios and will last longer in your vehicle, even if your family car has zero high-performance needs. Better quality parts are made differently than some standard parts. Standard parts can be made from plastic or aluminum. Better quality parts can include metal joints or pieces that have been normalized. Normalizing is a technique used during the heat treating process that subjects the piece to extreme temperatures, sometimes as high as 1700°F. Then the part is air-cooled to increase the amount of strength-bonding grains in the metal itself.

Take some time to learn about your family vehicles and the maintenance they might need and customize your insurance coverage to make sure you’re protected. When replacing parts, consider using better quality pieces. These things and others will help extend the life of your family car.