You spend enough money on a car, you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth out of it. Choosing a good vehicle, to begin with, using reliability indexes and the like is a fine start. But that’s not where your efforts to keep your car for longer end. You’re going to have to look at how you treat it in the day-to-day.
Create a general maintenance routine
There are plenty of jobs that you can’t do yourself when it comes to looking after the car. But the simple fact is that most car owners haven’t gotten to learning the simple DIY maintenance and checks they could make a routine out of. It only takes ten minutes to replace an air filter every 12,000 miles. Spark plugs are easily changed if you bear in mind the order they have to be taken out. Everyone should be changing their own oil. Keep building on that DIY knowledge and it will be a lot easier and cheaper to keep a car running smoothly.
Clean it properly
The paint on the car protects the body from degradation. Fail to look after the surface and the bits beneath will start to rust and break down. From there, you’re at serious changes to the bodywork of the vehicle. Rust can even spread throughout the rest of the vehicle, creating a much more fragile car. Sites like waxit.com.au make it easy to always keep a supply of wax on hand. Scrub down the car, using an old toothbrush to detail the little nooks and crannies. After it has dried, get to waxing.
There are some parts of the car that, when they get compromised, they tend to compromise the rest of the vehicle. How your vehicle handles the road plays a big part in that. Poor tire pressure or alignment, for instance, can affect the brakes, too, for instance. Tire failure can be pricey enough. So, it pays to know services like safe-t-tyre.com.au and get the pressure checked from time to time. Besides pressure, alignment and rotation keep tires living a lot longer and make driving a good deal safer.
Keep a repair fund
An important part of keeping the car living for longer is ensuring that you’re able to handle the costs that it throws at you. If a repair has you taking out a loan, for instance, then you’re not going to have as much financial freedom to get your tires checked, to get the oil changed, to buy wax and so on. Keep repairs separate from your regular finances. Set up a car emergency fund so you always have money set aside to deal with the car’s little surprises. Figure out how much should be in that fund by looking at repair costs in previous years, for instance. Then you find the average repair costs per year. Divide that by twelve and that’s how much you should set aside each month.
Cars degrade over time and there may very well be a time where you have to make a decision as to whether it’s really worth continuing to repair and maintain a car or simply to replace it. But don’t let that moment come too soon.