How to Treat Your Used Car Right with Maintenance
Owning a used car can be a great way to save money on transportation. With the increased reliability of modern cars, it is not at all uncommon for them to last 200,000 miles or more with regular maintenance. Here are a few tips to keep your used car running smoothly.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule – The manufacturer of your car created a schedule for how often to maintain the car and how to do it. Follow the schedule reliably to ensure that the car not only works well but also that any issues get identified and fixed.
Keep the Car Clean – New cars typically have coatings that help them to repel salt from the underbody, dirt from the paint, and stains from the interior. In addition, their seals prevent dust and dirt from entering both the interior and mechanical parts of the car. Over time, these coatings and seals break down, leaving the car vulnerable. Keeping the car clean protects it from these elements.
Check Your Fluids – Many new car owners fail to check oil, coolant and other fluid levels assuming that since it is new, the car will be fine. While this is a foolish assumption with any car, it is especially dangerous with a used car. Keeping an eye on your fluids (most of which can be checked while you fill your gas tank) will let you spot and fix issues quickly.
Wax Your Exterior – The sun and elements are hard on your car’s paint. Keeping your car waxed does more than give it a nice shine. It helps to repel water and protects
car’s surface from dirt, acid rain and road chemicals. This way, the elements wear down the wax, instead of the paint underneath.
Use a Professional Mechanic – Unless you have earned an automotive degree, it is best to have a professional mechanic repair the vehicle when there is a problem. Having a pro perform procedures as simple as changing your oil also ensures that it gets done right, and also gives them a chance to look at your car to spot other problems.
Budget for Major Services – People who buy and trade in new cars on a regular basis have likely never had to change brake rotors, flush a transmission, or replace a
serpentine belt. As a car ages, additional maintenance items arise. If you budget
for these expenses, you will be able to properly take care of your car.