Cars are central to modern life. Whether you simply rely on them to get around town or love them like a member of the family, keeping your car in good working condition is important. A car that is not working properly can cause unnecessary stress and hassle and may even lead to an accident that ends up costing you a lot of money. Unless you have plenty of money to burn, you want your car to last for a good while. So how can you keep your car in the best condition for as long as possible?
Choose the right car
Choosing the right car is one of the most important decisions you can make. You want to choose a car that meets your needs and suits your style. One may take precedence over the other, but there is often a middle ground that will work well for you. After all, it would be silly to purchase a luxury car just to use it to ferry goods or drive around muddy country roads. At the same time, you do not want to settle for a cheap car that will not last very long and cost you more money in the long run.
Consider passengers that you will have such as family members, colleagues, and even pets. What sort of cargo will you carry? If you need to haul heavy items and items that are likely to be dirty, then a large SUV is clearly a better choice than an expensive sports car. Choose a reputable manufacturer and model. Make sure you find out how easy it is to source spare parts for the vehicle, or have it serviced when you need it. All these factors affect how easy it will be to keep your car in good condition.
Get an extended warranty
Since the long-term cost of owning a car can be much more than the initial cost, it is a wise idea to get an extended warranty to protect your vehicle against unexpected repairs. After all, you have already invested a considerable amount of money into buying the car in the first place, so why not spend a little more to keep your investment safe? A good extended warranty will protect you against problems that would otherwise cost you a significant amount of money to address.
Car manufacturers offer standard warranties, but these often do not cover major repairs such as engine and transmission problems. An extended warranty like the BMW extended warranty will cover the cost of maintenance and repairs as well as any parts that are required to perform those repairs. Several dealers offer extended warranties at competitive rates. However, be sure to read the fine print carefully so that you understand exactly what the warranty covers and what it does not.
Stick to the service schedule
Take the time to familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s service schedule. A new car can feel invulnerable at first, but it needs regular service to maintain peak operating efficiency. Neglecting to keep up with routine maintenance can result in damage to the engine and other expensive components. Typically, most vehicles need a full service every 12,000 miles or 12 months. Regular servicing will ensure that any developing issues are rectified before they cause serious damage.
Aside from heading to the service center on schedule, you should carry out basic safety checks at home. Check your oil and coolant levels regularly, as well as the tires and brake pads. Keep an ear out for any strange sounds such as rattling and grinding or weird smells that may indicate a problem under the hood. If your car is not running as smoothly as it used to, get it checked out as soon as possible by a professional mechanic who can help you identify what is wrong.
Cover yourself for accidents
Accidents happen. You may generally be a careful driver, but this does not account for other drivers who share the road. Protect yourself by making sure that you have adequate liability insurance coverage. This is especially important if you are financing your vehicle through a bank or lender as this is usually a condition of the loan agreement. It is also a good idea to have collision coverage so that if your car or another vehicle is damaged in an accident, you are covered for the repair costs.
There are several types of car insurance coverage offered on the market so make sure that you understand your options carefully before deciding which type of coverage to purchase. Be sure to keep a copy of your proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times. If the accident occurred due to a mechanical failure of a component of your car such as the engine, then your extended warranty will come into play and help you to pay for repair costs as well. Also, commercial fleets could benefit from consulting with a company such as Traffic Angel that specializes in safety systems to keep insurance costs under control.
Keeping your car in top shape requires a good measure of common sense and diligence. Choose a car that can easily withstand the kind of use that you require. Keep to the regular maintenance schedule and pay attention to how your car runs. Extended warranties and comprehensive insurance coverage will save you a lot of money in the long run and keep your car running as good as new for years to come.