We live in such a disposable community. It’s astonishing all the material we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just throw the old and move on. In the old days, people were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or damaged by neglect, though – they had to do without. Most people couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.
It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable nowadays. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us is that a modern car can easily go 350,000 km with proper care. Engineering and manufacturing quality are great. The missing ingredient is us “car owners” making sure we follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.
Every time you go a couple of thousand extra kilometres between an oil change, you have created an opportunity for the residue to be formed and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out quicker. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become worn, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.
It is probably even more important for older cars. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get messy, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your maintenance and to hold off additional damage.
And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full-service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Check for an oil change on time, and let your mechanics help you keep track of the rest.
Somethings are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to damage other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.