Keeping your current car in good shape is more important now than ever. Food and houses are not the only things that have increased in price during the pandemic. Used car prices have gone up more than 30% in the past year, while used car inventory is down 15% in the same time frame in most areas. The average age of available used cars has fallen too, with older, less expensive cars less available.
You may have driven by a car dealership and noticed that there are no cars on the lot. Computer chip and part shortages are causing low inventories across manufacturers. With supply down and demand high, what’s the best way to avoid having to pay a premium for a new or used car or conducting a nationwide hunt for your next car? Keeping your old one as long as possible.
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 which can lead to desperate measures, like trading in a vehicle that could and should have been kept in service for a long time.
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.
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.
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!