Car maintenance can be a challenging prospect, especially as we get older. Drives to work diminish as retirement sets in and driving instead becomes a more leisurely activity for running errands or visiting family. However, in recent years, elderly drivers are driving longer into their senior years, with more than 3.5 million Americans still driving at age 85 and older. Following specific car care tips for seniors is imperative to driving safely. As driving becomes less of a daily occurrence, it can be easy to forget about the importance of car care.
Change Oil Regularly
Clean oil is a necessity for a smooth-running car. Depending on the car make and model, you may need to change your oil every 3,000 to 10,000 miles. It can be easy for an older or more forgetful mind to lose track of when their car is due for an oil change. Thankfully, most auto shops will provide a small windshield sticker that reminds you when your next oil change is due. Because oil changes are based on mileage, not date, it can be hard to rely on something like a calendar to remind you of an oil change. Using the provided auto shop sticker is the best way to keep track of oil changes. However, you can always use a calendar with a few suggested dates reminding you to check your mileage and mileage sticker to stay on track.
Check Light Functions
Venturing out at night is less likely for senior drivers, meaning their car’s headlights experience less frequent use. Senior drivers may not realize when a headlight burns out. Check often to ensure headlights still work properly as a proactive maintenance measure.
Check Tire Pressure
If you are a senior, having to change a flat tire by yourself is not ideal, and sometimes not even within your physical capabilities. Having to wait for roadside assistance can also be dangerous, especially if you are stuck in extremely hot or cold weather. Check your tire pressure as often as you check your headlights to make sure your tires are fully inflated and show no signs of harmful wear and tear.
Driving safely is certainly its own form of car care. Be sure to follow various safe driving tips for seniors, such as always driving the speed limit, to eliminate potential damage that may occur on the road. Such mishaps may include tire damage from hitting potholes at high speeds, getting into a fender bender due to slower reaction times, or driving too close to other vehicles.
Dirty oil, malfunctioning lights, poor tire conditions, and failing to drive carefully can all create car damage that will likely impair driving abilities and safety. Following these car care tips for seniors will help you or a loved one stay safe behind the wheel for many years down the road.