When we buy a vehicle, we expect it to last for at least a few years. That’s true whether it’s new off the lot or has had one or two prior owners. One surefire way to lessen our car’s lifespan, though, is to fail to keep up with proper vehicle maintenance, or to let critical repairs go by the wayside because they’re too costly. Cars can be like humans in that regard: A human who never goes to the doctor may find him or herself dealing with serious health issues down the line, and a car that never goes in for maintenance may break down a lot sooner than expected.
Oil changes and more
One of the most important things you can do for your car is to get the oil changed regularly. You can change it yourself if you know how, but one survey from 2016 found that only about 26 percent of drivers are confident in their ability to change their vehicle’s oil, while another 15 percent felt “somewhat confident.” A whopping 36 percent said they had no idea how, and generally speaking, younger people are less likely to know how to do things like change their car’s oil or change a flat tire. If you’re one of those people, it’s a good idea to find a trustworthy oil change place and take your car there regularly. Ask your friends and coworkers where they take their cars, since chances are most of them can’t handle changing their own oil either.
Be glad you aren’t a truck driver, either, since they have to deal with maintenance issues while on the road. They use resources like FleetPal’s tank wash directory to find reliable service providers regardless of if they’re in Oregon or Ohio. People who aren’t constantly on the move can get by through word of mouth and search engines like Google.
A clean car
Not everyone wants to take their car to the car wash and grab a hose. Some people would much rather just wait for the next rainstorm. That’s well and good, but beware of certain contaminants that can stick to your car’s surface, including tar, oil, cement, and even acid rain. Those things are known as overspray and can’t be washed off very easily, so you should look into overspray removal if your vehicle has been exposed.
Try to keep the inside of your car relatively clean as well. You don’t have to be able to eat off the floor mats (because who would want to do that anyway?), but the car should be relatively free of trash and clutter. You shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed if you need to give a friend a last-minute ride to work one day. A lot of clutter inside your car can also be hazardous to your health when it leads to distracted driving. Think of it this way: One day, you’re driving down a main thoroughfare after work, when suddenly a car in the next lane veers over and crashes into you head-on. Later, police tell you the driver was digging through papers in the passenger seat looking for something when they lost focus and swerved. If that happened, you probably wouldn’t be too inclined to forgive and forget. Instead, you might start looking for a car accident attorney to file a lawsuit against the driver. The messier your car is, the more likely it is to distract or frustrate you when you’re inside of it. It can be hard to focus in that environment the same way it’s hard to focus when your home office is stacked to the gills with paperwork that hasn’t been relevant in years. A clean, well-maintained car is one you can use proudly for years to come.