When it comes to car care, the easiest things to do are sometimes overlooked by car owners. If you’re wondering how far good car maintenance habits can take you, consider this story.
In 2002, Irv Gordon’s 1966 Volvo P1800, entered the Guinness World Records for having “the highest certified mileage driven by the original owner in non-commercial service.” It had 2 million miles clocked on the odometer. Irv’s P1800 has since clocked up to 3 million miles.
While most people, unlike Gordon, are unlikely to want to drive the same car for so long, there’s still a lot to be learned in the interest of car longevity.
A well-maintained car delivers good returns in the form of lower fuel consumption and fewer maintenance bills, so why not take heed of these six simple things you can do to maintain your car and keep it in good running condition for a long time.
1. Change your oil and filter regularly
By regularly changing your vehicle’s engine oil and filter, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, you will be taking the most effective step towards ensuring that your engine keeps running well. Gordon also suggests conducting weekly checks on oil levels, belts, and hoses, as well as listening out for unusual noises.
2. Don’t be late
Don’t delay your regular services and always refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended periodic service intervals. “Read the owner’s manual, and do what it says. It’s written by people who know what they are talking about,” advises Gordon.
3. Fuel-up at high volume stations
Gordon recommends refueling only at petrol stations with high traffic and frequent customers, as this indicates that the fuel being pumped into your vehicle is free from vehicle-damaging crud, which might develop in fuel kept in storage for too long.
4. Don’t buy fakes
Although they might cost more, always insist on using genuine parts. Countless hours and resources have been spent by the auto manufacturer to make sure that these parts work exactly as they should together with the rest of your vehicle.
5. Use one brand of oil
Gordon also recommends using the same of oil for consistency and to avoid nasty surprises. Be mindful that engine oils come in many different grades, so if in doubt, refer to your owner’s manual for the best type of oil for your car.
6. Develop a good relationship with your mechanic
As you will have to service and maintain your car regularly, Gordon recommends developing a good, trusting relationship with a single mechanic or car dealer. He reasons that if the car dealer or mechanic values you as a serious, regular customer, they will be better incentivized to give you the right assistance and advice. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your car is in the hands of someone reliable whom you trust.
Incorporating these six simple steps into your vehicle maintenance habits can take you (and your car) a long way. And when it’s time to sell your car and get a new one, you’ll be glad that you did.