Did you know that the average car owner spends over $8,000 a year per vehicle? Needless to say, a car is a huge investment, but a necessary one for most Americans.

To get the most out of your investment, it’s important to do everything you can to extend the life of your vehicle. Small adjustments in how you look at car care can make all the difference. This can affect both the cost and the health of your car.

Learning how to make your car last forever (or at least much longer than it would otherwise) is an essential part of responsible car ownership.

Discover everything you need to know below

1. Pick a Car That You Love

Yes, even a car on the lower end of the cost spectrum is a large purchase, which means that buying your ultimate dream car may not be an option. However, it’s important that you choose a car that you can see yourself forming an attachment to.

If you love your car, you’re more likely to be passionate about caring for it!

2. Set Aside Money for Incidentals

When you purchase a car, you’re of course prepared for monthly payments, but you need to start building a repair fund as well. If you intend to keep your car for many years, you’ll be putting money into it long after you’ve paid it off.

And even if you treat your car with the utmost care, it’s inevitable that parts will eventually begin to break. By setting aside a small amount of money every month, you’ll be prepared for these repairs.

3. If You’re Buying Used, Assume the Worst

Buying a used car is an excellent way to save money while still getting a quality vehicle. However, if you’re buying a car that isn’t brand new, you need to assume the worst.

This doesn’t mean that you should assume it’s going to breakdown as you’re driving it off the lot, but you should be prepared to do all of the regular maintenance on it as soon as you get it home.

For example, you should get the oil changed, install a new timing belt, and rotate the tires. Not only will your car benefit from the attention, but you will have peace of mind knowing that you did a thorough inspection.

4. Make Maintenance a Priority

The best thing you can do to extend the life of a ford car or any other model is to make maintenance a top priority. Your car should be treated as your most prized possession, meaning you have your manufacturer maintenance regimen down to a science.

Read your owner’s manual and follow the instructions to the letter. You should also keep a record of all receipts and maintenance records in your car at all times.

Be hyper-conscious of how your car looks, sounds, even smells! Any subtle change can be the first sign of a problem. Procrastinating repair is the worst thing you can do as bad parts can cause unnecessary wear on others.

Remember, that’s what your repair fund is for!

Last, take the weather and your environment into account. If you live on a dirt road, your air filter will need to be changed more often. If you’re in a colder part of the country, consider undercoating your car to protect it from the salted roads.

5. Drive on the Highway

Nothing abuses your car quite like city driving. This is because the stop and go driving necessary for driving in a city wears down multiple parts of your vehicle from the brakes to the transmission.

To avoid this wear and tear, drive on the highway as often as you can. Not only will you be protecting your vehicle, but you’ll be saving money as well!

Cars are more fuel-efficient in highway miles because there is little to no accelerating and decelerating. You’re at a constant speed the entire time.

6. Clean Your Car Often

While your car’s paint adds beauty, it’s actually a vital part of the exterior. The paint protects your car from rust and wear!

Protecting the paint is easy, all you have to do is wash and wax your car on a routine basis. You should be washing your car at least once a month and waxing it every six months.

Do your best to make cleaning the inside your car an automatic task. Make it a habit to empty your car of any trash and clutter every time you get out.

It’s also a good idea to protect your seats and floors with covers. Seat covers will keep your seats clean and free from sun damage.

When choosing floor mats, ensure that they’re waterproof. These will protect your floors from moisture, which can rust your car from the inside out.

7. Keep Replacement Parts on Hand

If you see a critical replacement part on sale, buy it! Remember, you’re trying to make your car last forever—you’re going to need spare parts.

Now, don’t buy every single part you see. But if and when you come across a factory part needed for engine rebuilds or body repairs, pick it up. Dealerships will stop carrying factory parts for your car about 10 years after its made, so stock up.

Put These Tips on How to Make Your Car Last Forever into Action

Researching how to make your car last forever is an excellent first step, but now you need to put your findings into action!

As you can see, extending the life of your vehicle doesn’t a great deal of effort, and will actually save you money in the long run. So there’s no reason not to give your car the care it needs to stay healthy as long as possible.

To learn more tips and tricks to better care for your car, be sure to take a look at our blog!

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