Making the decision to buy a new vehicle can be a stressful task. According to Consumer Reports magazine, keeping your car for 15 years, or 225,000 miles, may save you up to $31,000 when compared to the cost of buying a similar model every five years, which is the tendency for many auto consumers. When calculating the costs involved in buying a new mid-sized sedan or pickup truck every five years for 15 years, including depreciation, taxes, fees, and insurance, it was estimated that the cost would be approximately $20,500 more than it would have cost to maintain one car for the same 15 year period. Add to that up to $10,300 in interest that could have been earned on that money, assuming a five percent interest rate and a three percent inflation rate, over that time.
To reach or exceed the milestone of 200,000 miles, a vehicle needs to be well-maintained. Below are listed a few simple steps for maximum performance and longevity, not to mention savings.
- Read and follow the maintenance/service guide in your owner’s manual and have the suggested services made promptly.
- The use of recommended types of fluid, including oil and transmission fluids is always the best practice.
- Have the engine compartment checked regularly. Listen for strange sounds, take note of odd odors, and look for fraying or bulges in pipes or belts.
- Keep your vehicle clean inside and out. Use a quality wax on the paint surface (think of this as sunscreen for your car.) Clean the underside of the vehicle with a pressure spray regularly.
- Don’t ignore odd noises and pay attention to vibrations.
- Have a proper diagnostic scan conducted when the Check Engine light is on.