Most car owners know that their owner’s manual provides a regular maintenance schedule, listing what kind of maintenance they should perform at what mileage. When you’re reading the manual and learning how to care for your Nissan, there are some additional points that could help you prolong your car’s useful life.
Any new car has a “break in” period during which proud new owners should be especially gentle. For new Nissans, the break-in time listed in the manual will be around 1,000 miles. Stay within the manual’s recommended speed limit. Resist the temptation to immediately test your car’s towing or cargo capability by hauling heavy loads.
Dealers also recommend avoiding idling for long periods of time. When the engine idles, it may not be sending oil through all the parts, which could cause unnecessary wear. Accelerate gently and watch your RPMs—keep them under 3,000 for several hours before you decide to kick it up and zoom ahead.
Have we talked enough about how road salt, dirt, and debris can affect your wheels and mar the paint on the body of your car? Be sure to give your car a gentle but thorough cleaning, inside and out, on a regular schedule.
If you notice a new noise or vibration, don’t ignore it. If your car seems louder or rides more roughly than before, take it to your dealer or your trusted mechanic. They’ll know if there has been an issue reported with your particular model, and they can check if you’ve kept up with any recalls and address them, too.
Although newer Nissans have updates that extend the time between oil changes and spark plug replacements, the time will come when wear and mileage might require you to replace these or other parts. Your local climate may demand more frequent oil changes or replacement parts. Make sure any replacement parts are OEM or certified aftermarket parts. Wheels take a beating from potholes, curbs, and rough terrain, so check regularly for cracks and dents. If your mechanic tells you it’s time for replacement wheels, make sure you obtain them from a reputable source. This is true whether you’re looking for newer Nissan Altima rims or something like 2004 Acura TL rims.
It’s tempting to scrimp on generic motor oil and lower-grade gas, but that’s not how to care for your Nissan. If your Nissan manual says to use premium gasoline or synthetic oil, that’s what your should do. Read carefully to see if your model requires high-grade fuel or if that fuel is simply “recommended.”
Keeping up with maintenance, using quality parts, and driving gently and carefully will go a long way toward helping your car—well, go a long way.