I was talking to my doctor the other day about what we eat today will affect our health the latter part of our life. It made me think of our cars and how we maintain them today will affect them as they age. Granted when something breaks on our car we can just replace it but at what cost?
If you look at what is spent on maintenance over the life of a car, you will see there are smaller costs that are fairly spaced out and easy for your buget to handle. Routine maintenance will also bring dependability and a peace of mind knowing you can trust your vehicle and it will get you home safely. We have vehicles come in for the first time, we open the hood, look around and can see how well the vehicle was maintained. Usually these vehicles need a few repairs immediately to continue running and functioning properly and then prioritize a “to-do” list, and time line for the other not so pressing issues. When these vehicles come in, I am usually told that they are surprised because their car has been so dependable since they bought it that they have not had to anything to it, but that’s the reason it needs these repairs is because nothing was done.
Servicing your vehicles fluids is the best thing you can do to protect your investment. Engine oil is probably the number one neglected fluid but yet it is the life blood of your vehicle, without an engine your car will not work. We see manufactures extend oil change intervals 10-12,000 miles, while yes, your vehicle will run fine during that time but what toll does it take on the longevity of your engine? We recommend to change oil every 3-5,000 miles depending on the oil you use. We can see the results of this recommendation, when we open up and engine with 150,000 miles to replace a leaking gasket, the internal parts of the engine still look clean with very little if any sludge build up. Whereas a vehicle that uses those extended intervals will have sludge buildup and caked on gunk inside the engine. Think about it, the NEW car manufactures don’t want your vehicle to last more than 10 years because they want you to buy another car, that is how they make money.
I bought a 1996 Corolla in 1998 with 34,011 miles, I still remember sitting in the drivers seat and looking at the odometer, I had never had a car before with so few miles. I had that car until I sold it in 2018 with over 345,000 miles. I performed regular fluid and mileage services and replaced maintenance items when they were due. It left me stranded once when the battery died out of the blue. When I sold it, almost every component on the vehicle was the original part it came with from the factory. Toyota makes a great car but I can guarantee that Toyota did not intend for it to last that long with that many miles and with almost no issues. I know the longevity of my car was due to the fact that I maintained it religiously.
Just like eating correctly and regular exercise will increase your chances of a long healthy life, taking time to perform the maintenance and repairs your car needs today will increase the chances of it lasting a long time and giving you the dependability you need in your busy life.