5 ways to extend the life of your vehicle
Congratulations: you’ve just purchased a car! Whether it is brand new or used, it’s new to you, and you want to keep it looking and driving that way for as long as possible. After all, if you take good care of your vehicle, you can expect it to take good care of you
But what can you do now to set your car up for a good future? Which steps can you take that will make the biggest difference in how well your vehicle serves you for years to come? Buckle up- we’ve got some of the best tips from seasoned vehicle owners on how to preserve and extend the life of your vehicle.
Don’t Skip Oil Changes
Even if you’ve never owned a car in your life, it won’t surprise you to know that the first and most important step in keeping it running like a dream is to prioritize those oil change appointments. While the old rule of thumb used to be to bring your vehicle in for scheduled oil changes and routine maintenance every three months or 3,000 miles, depending on which comes first, today’s cars are capable of going longer between oil changes, and most auto manufacturers recommend bringing your car in for an appointment every 5,000 miles, with some manufacturers even saying that coming in every 10,000 miles is sufficient! Be sure to check your vehicle’s manual to see what the manufacturer’s recommendations are for your specific make and model of vehicle.
Regardless of how often your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends an oil change, as a car owner, your responsibility is to make sure it happens. Not changing your car’s oil often enough can lead to a number of expensive and serious problems with the engine, as well as reduced efficiency of the vehicle’s overall performance. It’s important to stay on top of the oil change schedule and treat the appointments as if you were bringing your baby in for a check-up because, in some ways, you are!
Scheduled Maintenance is a Must!
Routine maintenance recommended by your auto manufacturer goes hand-in-hand with your car’s oil change appointments. At the time of an oil change, your auto technician has a list of other things that should be inspected on your vehicle. Depending on how many miles are on the car, this list can change to include a number of important checks that are vital to the health of your vehicle. Some of the routine checks performed by auto mechanics during these check-ups include tire rotation, air filter changes, spark plug inspection, and more. Additionally, at every routine appointment, your auto technician should be checking the fluid levels in your vehicle and topping off any that are running a little low, as well as ensuring that your tire pressure is appropriate and that there are no visible underlying issues such as leaks.
While this is a critical matter to ensure that your vehicle stays in tip-top shape, some car owners tend to forego these important routine maintenance visits in an effort to save money. However, it is absolutely necessary to have your mechanic perform all recommended services at the time they are scheduled in order to avoid any serious problems occurring down the road.
Invest in an Extended Car Warranty
When you first bought your car, chances are that you were offered an extended warranty through the dealership or manufacturer. It can be tempting to waive the coverage and play the odds that your car will remain in good shape for years to come. What a lot of people don’t know is that it is possible to get an extended car warranty through other reputable companies also, and also at competitive rates!
Extended warranties are actually either Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (in California) or A Vehicle Service contract (in the rest of the USA).
Not only that but you can find extended car warranty plans that cover virtually every repair or replacement that your vehicle will ever need over its lifetime, all for a relatively low monthly payment and an affordable deductible. For example, here is a great extended warranty for Nissan: https://gogetolive.com/extended-car-warranty/nissan/. Looking into an extended car warranty that fits your budget is a good way to ensure that you will always be able to afford any mechanical breakdown that may come your way.
Keep it Clean
Now that you have a sweet ride, it’s important to keep it clean, inside and out. No, we’re not just being neat freaks here. Having a clean exterior and interior is important to the health of your vehicle. In the winter, chemicals and salt that are used to de-ice the roads can form a buildup on the exterior of your car. This buildup can lead to erosion of paint, not to mention rust that can actually eat holes in the metal of your car! (If you’ve ever heard someone say that a car has “cancer” on it, this is what they are talking about.) Additionally, preserving the interior and exterior of your car by keeping it clean can help retain the resale value if you decide it’s time for an upgrade. Cars that have been kept clean and well-maintained tend to do a whole lot better as a trade-in since dealers have that much less work to do before they can turn it around and sell to a new owner.
Read the Manual (Seriously)
We know, a car manual is not exactly anyone’s choice for preferred reading. You aren’t alone: A recent poll showed that 60% of people don’t know how to change a tire. However, it is important to read through your vehicle’s operating manual to know exactly what makes it tick so that you can be sure you’re following manufacturer recommendations for the best possible care and maintenance. If there’s ever a question you have about anything to do with your car, chances are you can find it in your manual.
By taking the right measures to preserve the life of your car, you can do everything in your power to ensure that you are setting it up for a bright, long future ahead!