“With a long life I will satisfy him, And let him behold My salvation.”
Keeping your car running like new and with the body still pristine after ten years is no mean feat.
However, it is doable even in a chaotic city like Lagos – peopled by insane drivers.
Of Course you save a tonne of money the longer you can maintain not just your car, but anything else (I tend to use my smartphones for a minimum of three years, averagely, for example).
Apart from your house, the other major item that takes so much money from you is your automobile… to procure, maintain, run. We spend this much money on an object that depreciates very quickly.
“Truth is , as soon as. a vehicle leaves the dealership, it loses about 20% of its value,” says an expert. It is also estimated that after only three to five years most vehicles have lost half their value!
Therefore, depreciation should be considered as the most important cost of a car. The way to lessen the impact? spread this depreciation while keeping your car as long as possible.
It’s always more economical to keep your car than to buy a new car.
Of course, a time will come when repairs become mandatory. As a car gets old, these repairs are ineluctable. Despite this, with careful analysis, we realize that these costs are always lower than the depreciation that a new car undergoes The maintenance of a vehicle that is amortized over its years of use proves to be far more cost effective than procuring a brand new car.
Also, repairs stabilize when the car reaches eight or nine years of age, Honda, for instance, tells you that the engine seats properly only after you have done like 200,000km with the vehicle!
Remember that our focus is to hold on to our car as long as possible? (it makes lots of economic sense)
Outlined below, according to experts, are the most likely gestures to help us achieve this.
Experts are unanimous: the rule number one to keep our vehicle in good condition is to strictly follow the maintenance schedule
recommended by the manufacturer.
This schedule can always be found in the owner’s manual, which contains a wealth of information on how to pamper your car.
Mainly, the maintenance schedule consists of a list of tasks to be undertaken at regular intervals or after a certain number of kilometers: drain oil, replace filters, check fluids, rotate tires, etc.
Like the human who does regular checkup, thus discovering whatever is wrong early, your car would serve longer with the habit of not waiting for something to break before visiting the repairer.
A logbook should be maintained in the car. After each repair / service, the mechanic or you should affix a sticker indicating the date (or mileage) of the next service . It is important to follow the service intervals religiously. Modern vehicles have an indicator light that reminds us of when a service is due, and with Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) , maintaining a car in tip-top shape is a lot easier than it used to be.
A bad mechanic would cost you his weight in gold
A good, experienced and honest mechanic is needed to assure the longevity of your vehicle. A bad mechanic can ruin your car faster than you can pronounce tiptronic.
You should also make the effort to be as familiar with, and as knowledgeable about your car – as possible.
Handle the things you have the expertise to handle – yourself. No one can love your car, and take care of it as much as you can.
Pay attention to unusual or suspicious noises or symptoms before they balloon into bigger problems. A stitch in time really does save money.
Regular close look under the hood or under the vehicle may reveal split wires, leaky pipes, loose straps or loose fasteners. If this is the case, do not wait: a visit to the garage is necessary – if you cannot handle it yourself .
Maintain the fluids of the car at their appropriate levels, otherwise the various components of the vehicle could be damaged – the coolant, transmission, brake fluid etc should be checked regularly and maintained. . Like oil, appropriate greasing where necessary is vitally important.
To correctly check the level of the engine oil, ensure that the vehicle is on a flat surface and that the engine is warm (for example, coming back from work). If you can afford it, go for synthetic oil. It costs far more than the price of mineral oil, but the long term advantage is worthwhile because it is suitable for all temperatures and maintains its viscosity under all situations , which is not the the case with traditiinal oils.
With the rain, mud, slush, salty water that the car gets driven through, a regular rustproof treatment is necessary if we want to make the car last. This protects the vehicle and delays corrosion.
Just like a human who maintains a healthy lifestyle by eating properly, exercising moderately and sleeping adequately, a car that is rust proofed and kept clean would manifest the care in later years.
REGULAR WASHING & WAXING
This is obvious, but too few drivers regularly wash their cars. A good car wash is an effective way to keep your vehicle running well. By eliminating the dirt that is housed under the car, especially, corrosion is avoided, which can cause the car to prematurely age. Pay particular attention to the underside– where calcium, sand and gravel get lodged. Also, clean the wings and fenders, where water and dirt tend to form sediments.Water projected at high pressure should eliminate all the debris.
GET A CAR WITH REPUTATION FOR RELIABILITY
A poorly built car with poor reliability would keep giving problems and wouldn’t last that long no matter the attention paid to maintenance. So, go for a reliable brand. A brand that has available original parts. That is easy to repair, and understood by the local mechanics.
KNOWING WHEN TO CALL IT QUITS
It’s all well and good to have a vehicle last more than a decade, but when repairs cumulatively become more expensive than the car is worth, then, it is time to say.. au revoir.
The engine of a vehicle and most other parts can easily be removed and replaced as necessary. But the chassis / frame can not.
You can replace all the doors, bonnet, boot, fenders, etc. Engines often outlast the body of a car that is not carefully cleaned and regularly painted as scratches appear.
To make your car last as long as possible, pay particular attention to the body. Like the human, the body must be alive for the spirit to have a place to dwell. The car chassis /frame has to be in good shape to have necessary replacements tagged on.