They say that a vehicle is the worst kind of investment one can make as a car will depreciate in value as soon as it is driven off the dealership lot. While this is true in many respects, our modern way of life necessitates a vehicle — for this reason the investment hardly feels like a waste. While extravagance may demand that one buys the latest models packed with high-tech features, a majority of vehicle sales take the form of used cars. Just because a car is used doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be treated right — who knows, one day those used cars may net an adequate return but only with constant love and maintenance.
Like any machine, a vehicle is the sum of its parts; those parts in question have a tendency to wear, corrode, and die out as time ticks on. Back in 2011 the annual maintenance cost for a vehicle was just $514 — some reports estimate that the cost rose to $5,371 just one year later in 2012. Experts suggest that this rise is attributed to a greater consciousness throughout the population as faulty parts and vehicle neglect contribute to a significant number of auto accidents. By periodically checking vehicle belts, hoses, and other essential parts of the engine and vehicle systems, vehicle owners can help prevent breakdowns and stave off the need for expensive repairs.
Keeping Appropriate Fluid Levels
For the most part, we as a collective whole have gotten used to the idea of an oil change every 3,000 miles or every three months — usually whichever comes first. Interestingly enough, oil technology is a part of a dynamic field that has made leaps and bounds over the past 30 years, making the typical 3,000 mile rule-of-thumb unnecessary in almost all of today’s vehicles. The truth of the matter is, there are so many variables with respect to vehicles and oil types alike that it is difficult — if not impossible — to determine a universal oil schedule; for this reason vehicle owners should always defer to their vehicle manual in conjunction with research on different types of oil to determine what is best for their vehicle. Newer used cars are equipped with state of the art oil life monitors that can automatically determine when the vehicle is in need of an oil change — these monitors are utilized by 16 out of 34 surveyed automotive manufacturers in 2013, and that number has likely grown over the past few years.
Polish and Shine
The inner workings of your vehicle are essential to the life and value of your vehicle, but this doesn’t mean that you ought to neglect your vehicle’s exterior. People tend to buy using their eyes, which means that a more attractive vehicle can sell for a higher price than a rusty clunker despite performance. Taking early steps in the life of your used vehicle to preserve its condition can go a long way to ensure that you get the most out of your vehicle when it comes time to sell. To this end, maintaining a wax coat twice per year can help protect your vehicle’s painted surfaces for contaminates and oxidization. In fact, many dealerships offer an extra protection package for new and used cars — although these packages can help, they ought not be considered a permanent solution to the question of vehicle maintenance. By taking precautionary steps to ensure the longevity, performance, and lasting appearance of your used car, you too can regain losses and prove to the world that there are far worse investments than a vehicle!