The smartest way to get a solid return on your vehicle investment is to keep your car through what is called the “Cinderella Era.” That’s the period of time after the payoff when your car is still in great shape and needs only modest repairs.
With proper care, the typical vehicle should deliver at least 200,000 miles of safe, dependable performance, and that’s no fairy tale.
By simply allocating the equivalent of just one new car payment, motorists can cover an entire year’s worth of basic maintenance and live happily ever after with their current vehicle. The most common maintenance procedures and repairs to keep a car operating safely and reliably while maintaining its longterm value involve checking the oil, filters and fluids, the belts and hoses, brakes, tires and air conditioning. The council also recommends an annual tune-up and wheel alignment.
Whether it’s an oil change, replacing brakes, or getting new belts and hoses, that periodic repair bill is a drop in the bucket compared to monthly payments on a new car. The end of the story is that a properly maintained vehicle is safer, more dependable, more fuel efficient, less polluting and more valuable.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. Visit www.carcare.org for a copy of Car Care Council’s care guide.
Rich White is the executive director of Car Care Council.