When you bought your car or van, you probably had the naive hope that it could last forever or almost. Or maybe you thought you could use it for a long time and then resell it for a reasonable price. Well, believe it or not, it’s possible, but there’s only one way to do it: with lots of regular maintenance.
Although many people would have you believe that today’s cars and trucks require less maintenance than older vehicles, that’s not true. Maintenance can be lighter, yes, and most of it will be done by the dealer under warranty. But you, as the owner, will also have to do your part to keep your car running well for a long time.
The old recipes for running a car well still apply to new products, and most of them are very simple to follow. Take, for example, oil change intervals. They can be done as instructed in your owner’s manual, but if you use your vehicle primarily for short trips, these oil changes should be done sooner and very regularly. Of course, all other fluids should be checked regularly. Your owner’s manual may state that the spark plugs are good for 100,000 miles, but it may be a good idea to have them removed at times to be cleaned and replaced with anti-seize products.
Other regular maintenance includes washing the vehicle often, especially in the winter, protecting it with rust remover, keeping the tires in good condition, aligning and balancing the wheels, and keeping the interior as clean as possible. It may seem time consuming and will likely incur some expense, but the bottom line is that the car or truck will last longer and its resale value will be higher.
The only secret to a vehicle’s longevity is regular maintenance.