How long your car lasts between servicing or before it dies altogether will depend largely on how well it was designed and manufactured, but you as the car owner can also do quite a bit to extend the life of your car no matter its make or model. Getting regular oil changes can be part of this, but this is not the only service you might choose to extend the life of your car overall. Note a few other, often overlooked services and maintenance tasks you might have done regularly to keep your car functioning as long as possible.
1. Tire rotation and alignment
Rotating and aligning your tires regularly is very important because this can reduce drag on the suspension components and ensure the tires don't get worn down unevenly, so that you don't have to replace them sooner rather than later. When tires are not aligned, the car may pull to one side or the other so that you put more wear and tear on the steering as you try to keep the car on the road. To avoid this, rotate and align the tires every year.
2. Power steering and transmission fluid flush
Your car's power steering fluid may collect additives and debris over time, and this puts excess wear and tear on the steering components. In turn, they may wear out sooner than they should. The same is true of the transmission fluid. As it collects debris including rust from the transmission components, it may not lubricate the chains and gears of the transmission as it should. You may then need to replace these parts long before you should. It's good to have the power steering and transmission fluid flushed regularly so you know these are always fresh and free of debris.
3. Fuel system cleaning
Your fuel system, meaning the gas tank and all the lines going from the tank to the engine, can also get clogged with rust, dirt, and other such debris. Sludge and dirt can then flow to the engine and cause excessive wear and tear. Not only might this affect your gas mileage, but this can also cause the engine to break down earlier than it should. A good fuel system cleaning additive can help to clean out this debris, and you might also consider using a quality gasoline that will burn cleaner and with fewer emissions and particles left behind.
For more tips on taking care of your car, contact a motor vehicle servicing shop in your area.