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| Education and Financial

04/11/15

Car sorted: How to keep you car for as long as possible

Who doesn't want to keep their car forever?
Yes, of course, that isn't realistic or possible, but what about those stories you hear of consumers who boast about how their vehicle just hit the 200,000 mile mark, and you sit, stare and wonder in amazement?
How did they do it you ask? Now a lot of what defines the longevity of a vehicle is the vehicle, model and manufacturer. Chances are, you've heard plenty about which cars rank as the winners and losers respectively as it relates to how long they stay on the road.
But most mechanics and experts agree that your car's life is only as good as the owner, more specifically the notion that routine maintenance and other tricks of the trade allow you to keep the vehicle beyond the term of your loan, and thus saves you money in the form of a monthly car payment every month for the rest of your life.
Ask yourself, as far as maintenance goes, whether you're doing everything you can to ensure the car can give you some break between going from one car payment to the next? The maintenance portion goes beyond the basic oil changes and tire rotations, as most consumers tend to forget about transmission fluid, tune ups and anything else that can be scheduled and controlled. And even the so called simplicity of the oil change often goes off course. Some car owners, in fact, change their oil once every 3,000 miles but never bother to check the levels between oil changes. That leaves oil levels dangerously low and also doesn't allow you to check how clean the oil is, perhaps even before that 3,000 mile mark. That ignorance component often is the difference between a finely tuned and running road machine or you have to repair and replace more frequently than you'd like to.

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You can't, for instance, ignore lights on the dashboard in the hopes that they'll go away. How many times have you heard someone say, "oh that light always comes on," and assume that it is just nothing and go about their day?
Those lights, those fluid levels and keep tabs on what goes on under the hood, particularly looking for battery corrosion, or outside the confines of the engine (tire rotation and buying good tires comes to mind) is going to be the difference between carrying that car into another decade or watching it die along the side of the road, along with dreams of ever not having to pay a monthly car payment for the foreseeable future.

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