Used vehicles are much better from the stand point of value for your money. A properly maintained pre-owned car should lead you to the same comfort as that of a new one. Keeping that in mind, once you choose to invest in a pre-owned vehicle, it is important to take certain points into account when it comes to vehicle maintenance.
A used vehicle requires more frequent checks for any defects, as well as frequent replacement of parts which can be costly when compared against the preventative maintenance a new vehicle requires. To begin with, the initial purchase cost of a used vehicle may be a little less than that of a new one, but, as years roll on, the maintenance costs continue to grow at a faster rate than you would encounter with a new vehicle.
Although there are routine maintenance checks and services that any vehicle will require, your pre-owned one will most likely call for more frequent service appointments and a more detailed level of care. With that being said, there are specific points that will help you maintain your used vehicle's condition and bring small issues to light before they turn into larger, more costly ones.
Don't Drive Excessive Miles at High Speeds
If you properly maintain your pre-owned vehicle with periodic checkups, there is a greater guarantee that your car will last longer. Try not to give in to the 'need for speed' as this will lead to excessive wear on the tires, clutch, and other parts. On the other hand, also avoid keeping your vehicle idle for long periods of time.
Get Regular Oil Changes
Vehicle makers advise to change the oil in your car once a year. Alternatively, you can even do so after you drive 7,500 miles. Still, for best results, it's recommended to change it after every 3,500 miles. Changing the oil is essential as it affects the performance of the engine. As you drive more miles, the blow-by increases. This, in turn, results in unburned fuel dumped into the crankcase which leads to dilution of the oil. Because of this, the oil breaks down and consequential wear and tear increases drastically. Over time this leads to the engine breaking down.
Check Your Fluid Levels
It's crucial to check fluid levels such as power steering fluid, coolant, and oil regularly. These liquids are essential to a properly running engine and a low level often signals bigger issues internally. If you're not sure how to check or what to be looking for, ask the mechanic during your next oil change. These are all items that should be checked during this service appointment anyway, so it's no inconvenience to ask.
Check Tire Conditions
It is important to check the condition of your tires and, after a certain period of time specified by the manufacturer, get them replaced. Be sure to inspect the air pressure in the tires including the spare once a week. Low pressure will lead to increased fuel consumption and low life of tires. Similarly, high pressure would lead to less stability and grip on the road. Also check the wear with tread wear indicators. These are located in the form of small ribs in the bottom of the main tread grooves. When the tread surface is visible at the same level as the ribs, the tires must be replaced.
Brakes are the most significant parts in controlling the motion of your vehicle. As yours is a used vehicle, you should have checked the brake pads and rotors at purchase point. Depending on the level of wear from the previous driver, you may need to replace one or the other. If not, make sure to regularly inspect the pads to see what kind of wear your own driving habits have produced. A good point to remember is that the brake pads in the front wear more quickly than those in rear. Also, always replace them with original brake pads and rotors. This also gives more safety to you while driving.
Replace Windshield Wipers
While driving, good visibility is absolutely essential. For this, each windshield wiper should be of good quality and the proper size for your vehicle. Otherwise scratches may develop on the windshield or the wipers may not perform correctly, leaving rain or snow in your line of vision. At a minimum, get the windshield wipers replaced once a year.
Keep It Clean
You should feel as if you are at home when you're in your vehicle. Don't clutter up the console, compartments, or seats. Regularly vacuum and dust the interior and only keep hoses or tools of sorts in the truck area if absolutely necessary. You and your riders should have enough space to move freely within the car.
When it comes to servicing your pre-owned vehicle, it's advised to visit a reputable dealer, as he will employ experienced technicians to take care of your vehicle. Moreover, you'll have peace of mind knowing that the mechanic will replace any damaged parts with genuine, factory ones.
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