How do I maintain my vehicle so it will last for years?
It’s hard to imagine with all the new vehicles sold every year that the average vehicle on the road in 2013 is 11.4 years old. This is an all-time record. We are proud to represent two of the companies that are known for their longevity—Volvo and Toyota. With the economy still struggling and the high reliability of vehicles, the prediction is the average age will continue to increase.
Technological advancements affect how long people keep their vehicles. On average, the owner of a new vehicle will keep it for 71.6 months (nearly six years), whereas used-car buyers typically keep their vehicles for 50.7 months (just over four years).
At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we are here to help you properly maintain your vehicle and assist you in deciding when continued improvements make sense and when it may be best to consider replacement. Mileage used to be a common way people evaluated whether or to keep their vehicle or replace it. The reality today is many vehicles are designed to last well over 100,000 miles if they are properly maintained.
So how do you protect your vehicle, which truly now may be considered an investment? It may seem obvious, but these tips bear repeating if you want to extend the life of your vehicle:
1. Maintain your oil change schedule according to your owner’s manual. It’s also a good time to rotate your tires and check all fluids.
2. Check the air pressure in your car’s tires at least once a month in order to prevent unexpected flats and excess tire wear. Vehicles that do not have the correct air pressure will have lower fuel economy.
3. Especially with a high-mileage vehicles, check out any symptom, sound, smell, or just a feeling that seems the slightest bit out of the ordinary. Like your body, you know your vehicle better than anyone.
4. Have your vehicle tuned up and have the fluids checked regularly. Check your driveway or garage to be certain you’re not leaking any fluids.
5. Keep your air filters clean and replace the fuel filters at regular intervals.
6. Nothing is more important than your vehicle’s ability to keep you and your passengers safe. Your vehicle’s brakes, air bags, and any other safety features should be carefully checked on a regular basis. Think of it the same way as you age and find it more important to get that yearly check-up!
What are the parts that are worth changing if your plan to keep your vehicle?
1. You may want to replace hoses, particularly coolant hoses, fuel and brake lines.
2. Put new seals on everything — basically anything made of rubber should be changed.
3. New valve gasket
4. Timing belt change
5. New spark plugs, plug wires 6. New shocks: the old ones are probably shot.
Depending on how hard you drive your vehicle, you’ll probably have to replace the following at some point: a new water pump, a new fuel pump, new brakes (possibly new calipers, probably new pads) and a new exhaust.
In last week’s Ask Gary, I discussed the importance of preparing your car for the winter months ahead and this is even more important with an older or high-mileage vehicle. Bring any vehicle into Jaffarian Volvo Service Toyota Scion Service Departments for your maintenance and we will maintain all of your service records. We happen to be running a Volvo High-Mileage Vehicle Special. We’re also offering various service specials on Toyotas and any vehicle brought into our Service Department. Depending on how long you plan to keep your vehicle, we can help you determine whether or not it is worth making certain maintenance decisions. Let us help you protect your vehicle as well as its warranty so you’ll be driving it for many more years to come!