Since modern vehicles operate with more technology than ever and their computers advance each year, some people might wonder how long to drive a new car before upgrading. With that said, how long you choose to keep a car can have several contributing factors. If up-to-date systems mean a lot to you, you might prefer a new one every few years.
However, most financial experts agree that keeping a car running as long as possible means more value down the road. In addition, huge improvements in powertrain technology, lubricants and rust prevention mean today’s vehicles are more dependable than ever, and many modern drivers can maintain their cars up to 200,000 miles. Here’s how they do it.
Buy A Dependable, Safe Model
With enough patience and cash, almost anyone can keep a car running. The best way to do this without major time and financial commitments is to do your homework and buy a model with an excellent track record. Also, consider your lifestyle and preferences and imagine a vehicle you’ll want to drive for a long time. Compromising on features might seem practical at first but can leave you feeling slighted after a few years.
Along with upgrades, think about models with current safety features, like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot warning.
Maintain, Maintain, Maintain
The easiest way to make a car last is to keep up with the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. This helpful guide tells you when to service your vehicle throughout its life span: oil changes, tire rotations, filter changes, and timing belt replacement (to name a few). Missing even one oil change can compromise the integrity of a vehicle, so follow instructions closely.
If you’ve fallen away from this vital step, it’s not too late. Have your car inspected by a licensed mechanic and fix any obvious issues. Afterward, pick up the owner’s manual and start fresh.
Know What to Look For
Even when following the maintenance schedule, unexpected problems can arise. Make a habit of checking under the hood for any glaring issues, like strange sounds or odors, signs of a leak, or worn belts.
While driving, pay attention to odd noises coming from the suspension, engine, or brakes, and have anything questionable looked at by a professional. Having a small issue serviced can prevent catastrophes later on.
Keep It Clean
Regularly cleaning the inside and outside of your vehicle can keep the driving experience pleasant, making you more likely to keep a car. Also, washing and waxing prevent rust and preserve paint, and vacuuming dust from the interior can keep it free of odors and holes.
When to Say Goodbye
If you’re not sure when to let go, here are a few things to watch out for.
- Expensive repairs that cost more than the car’s value
- Structural integrity compromised by rust
- It breaks down even with frequent repairs
- It has been in a serious accident
For all your vehicle’s needs, remember to call Kirk’s Auto Care at 734-402-8722 today!