Maintaining a New Car in Good Condition after You Buy It

January 12, 2017

Purchasing a used or new car is a great feeling. However just like your parents may have told you when you drove your first car, a car means responsibility. Except in this case, your responsibility is to yourself. Maintaining a car in good condition helps save its value from depreciation, which is going to save you money it the long run; especially when you decide to replace it. There are a few simple steps you can take to keep your car looking and running like new for as long as possible:

Maintenance

This is the most obvious thing when it comes to pride of ownership in a vehicle. Look in the owner's manual for the car so you know the manufacturer's recommended service intervals and do your best to follow them. Unfortunately, maintenance can be costly; but it's much cheaper and easier to budget routine maintenance for a car then having to pay for major repairs. The owner's manual usually has a place where you can record the services you perform. It's a good idea to save your receipts each time you have the vehicle repaired or have maintenance done; even a simple oil change. This will come in handy when you sell the car in the future; it shows that you've done your best to keep the car running well.

Keep it Clean

These days a lot of us are pressed for time and it's hard to make the time to do something as simple as vacuuming your car's floor, or wiping off the dash. However, the reality is that keeping your car clean will keep it looking newer for longer; not just because there's not dirt and trash laying around, but because leaving these things contribute to wear and tear on your car's interior. Old drink cups and cans leak, leaving stains. Dirt and grit in the carpet has an effect like rubbing the floor with sandpaper, wearing out the fibers much faster than they would otherwise. Use armor-all or a similar cleaner/protectant on the vinyl and leather surfaces in the car. This helps protect them from wear and sun damage. You can tell when a car's interior has been properly taken care of, because it stays looking great for years.

Pay Attention

Listen to what your car is telling you. There are a variety of different warnings that your car will give you if something is wrong. Get out of your car every once in awhile and listen to the engine for any noises. Even keep a record of what you hear so you can check for changes. There's probably a "notes" section in the back of your owner's manual so you can track of this. Check your fluids on a schedule; it's easy to do and it's one of the most important and most neglected aspects of car care. You don't have to do it every day, just do it periodically. Try doing it every third fill-up of fuel to make sure you're keeping everything in the car at the proper levels. ALWAYS pay attention to the lights and indicators on the dash. These are your last warning that something is seriously wrong. If one of these warnings is activated, you should stop driving immediately and look in your owner's manual so you know the proper steps to take to avoid damage to your car.