When it comes to keeping up with regular car maintenance, there are, realistically, three kinds of people. The first kind doesn’t really keep up with maintenance at all. When things start to go wrong, they’ll spend the money necessary to get their car running again then wait until the next issue. The second kind treats their vehicles very well. They keep up with all the necessary maintenance and will catch problems before they become big problems. The third kind doesn’t have any big investment in the condition of their car because they trade in their vehicles every 3 or 4 years, once they realize it isn’t running as well as it used to.
We cannot stress enough that, while it might seem like you’re saving money by not maintaining your vehicle’s health, you’re really just setting yourself up to spend larger amounts of money in shorter periods of time later on. Vehicles have lots of moving parts. Whether we want to believe it or not, every time we drive our cars we cause just a little more wear and tear on those parts. Eventually, if not addressed early on, one or more of those parts will cease to function properly.
The cost to replace or repair those parts will outweigh the costs of regular maintenance. Guaranteed. Many people don’t seem to realize this. It helps to compare a vehicle’s health to a person’s health. Over the course of a lifetime, a person will spend much, much more money if they neglect health issues to the point of needing major surgeries. It’s much better to just do a regular checkup with your doctor! And, to be honest, repairs are hard work! We would much rather do all of the regular maintenance for a vehicle over its lifetime than have to ever repair its transmission. That way, you don’t have to ever deal with the stress of that kind of situation and everyone is happier. On top of that, regular maintenance ensures that your vehicle will be worth substantially more when it comes time to sell or trade it.
Some of the missed regular maintenance for vehicles comes from general misinformation or lack of knowledge about when maintenance is actually necessary. For example, you should never believe the phrase “lifetime transmission fluid.” What this really means is “the life of the fluid until the transmission goes bad.” Realistically, you should have your transmission fluid serviced once every 15,000 to 20,000 miles for the best transmission lifetime. Up to 30,000 miles isn’t bad, but when manufacturers start talking about 80,000 to 100,000 miles, you know that something isn’t right. Oil changes are another subject for which there seems to be a lot of confusion. Check out our <link to oil change blog> for tips on proper oil change maintenance.
No matter how long you plan to keep your current vehicle, regular maintenance is a must. In the end, you’ll save yourself tons of time, frustration, and money if you keep your vehicle in good condition. Do some research and talk to your mechanic to determine what your vehicle needs serviced and when. Remember, the highest priority is always keeping yourself and your passengers safe.