How long can your car last? As long as you want!

With proper care and use, a vehicle can outlive generations of owners. According to the Car Care Council, other than a major accident just about the only reason for a vehicle to go to the recycling yard is neglect.

Alarming fact: every 20 minutes Americans dump enough cars into junkyards to form a stack as high as the Empire State Building.

A new vehicle is for most people their second biggest investment next to a home. Keeping your current car through the period of time after the payoff when your car is still in great shape and needs only modest repairs is the best way to maximize that investment. Recent figures show that trading a vehicle every eight years instead of every four can save more than $2,481 a year after payoff. That includes repairs and maintenance, license, registration, taxes, and insurance. For a lot of vehicle owners, simply allocating the equivalent of one new car payment will cover an entire year’s worth of basic maintenance for a vehicle in this “Cinderella Era” time frame.
How do you get the most out of your vehicle?

Practice good driving habits.

Short stops, punching the gas, riding the clutch, driving with improperly inflated tires, overloading the vehicle, and running the gas tank regularly down to empty all contribute to more wear and tear, more expensive repairs, and a shorter lifespan for your car.

Regularly clean both the interior and exterior.

Maintain your car’s value by washing the exterior often and polishing it every six months. This prevents road salt, acid rain, and other contaminates from ruining your vehicle's finish. Repair any paint chips before they begin to show rust. Regularly vacuuming the interior will reduce the grit ground in to your carpet and decrease wear. Use products designed for automobiles to protect your dash and leather from sun damage and cracking.

Perform maintenance on a schedule suited to your vehicle and driving habits.

A well maintained vehicle is more dependable, safer, more fuel efficient, less polluting, and more valuable. Most drivers know that they need to change their oil regularly, but don’t necessarily know or follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for their car. Performing fluid flushes or replacing belts, filters, shocks, and brakes at certain mileage markers are essential in saving you from unexpected large repair bills or being stranded on the side of the road. That periodic maintenance bill is easier on the bank account than monthly payments, taxes, and insurance for a new car. The key is to prevent an accumulation of postponed repairs. This can lead to desperate measures, like trading in a vehicle that could and should have been kept in service for a long time.

The ASE Certified mechanics at Hillside Automotive Center are here to help. We know that purchasing a vehicle today is a significant investment and we want to help you make that vehicle last longer than you ever thought and run better than you ever hoped. Give us a call at 860-951-1083 for all your automotive needs!

Written by Hillside Automotive

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