This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sam’s Club. All opinions are 100% mine. Looking for ways to make your car last? Here are some practices and tips our family has done to help our cars last as long as possibe.
When we buy a car and love it, we want it to last a long time! Kids can be tough on a car and the early years are often full of errands and going to and fro from practice, games, and other school events. There are definitely things you can do to keep your car in good shape and things you can do to bring its demise on early.
We personally like to buy relatively new, and drive it until it starts costing a lot of money again. Because of that I’m careful to take good care of the car in hopes that it’ll be a good car for many years without any payments ;)
Here’s how you can make a car last.
1. Get it serviced regularly.
Make it a habit that every few thousand miles (or sooner depending on your make and model) you take the car in for a service. Get the oil and filter changed, refill any fluids that are low, and keep an eye on anything that has been acting strangely. The best way to keep your car running well is to not let it get in bad shape in the first place. Just like weight loss, it’s easier to maintain. ;)
Also, keep an eye on your tires and whether or not they need to be rotated. When I was in high school I remember a friend’s dad looking at my purple orchid Chevrolet Cavalier (oh yeah, baby!) and telling me that I was in serious need of a tire rotation. I haven’t forgotten since. Everyone who buys their tires from Sam’s Club actually gets lifetime tire balance, rotation, and flat repair. Most places don’t have this good of a deal, and this is a fabulous way to keep your car in good shape.
2. Keep a log.
Our most recent car purchase was made easy because the previous owner had kept a detailed log. Keeping a log will help you know when you’ve done what. Also, writing down what you’ve done will help you “own” the car and realize that no one else is taking care of it but you. Additionally, it’ll help remind you of what things you need to look out for like warning lights or leaks.
3. Make wise decisions.
After the purchase of the car you’ll have many decisions to make regarding its care and upkeep. Think wisely and long-term so you get the best deal for the best price. Don’t make hasty decisions without thinking just because you passed the first car mechanic on your way from a break down.
Get a reputable company that gives you a great product for a good price. And if there’s a warranty then all the better. My mom just had to get all new tires on her car and it’s a big purchase! Don’t be afraid to shop around and find a good deal, and don’t be pressured by the need for it “immediately.” Instead take a day or two to call around and compare. #DareToCompare is Sam’s Club’s slogan and I think it’s wise advice.
4. Keep it clean.
This may not have anything to do with the engine, but I’ll tell you, the better care you take of your car physically the more you’ll care for it mentally. Anytime I start to feel down and think I need a new car, a good wash and vacuum will always make me appreciate my current car again. I studied criminology in college and there’s a theory called the Broken Windows theory. Basically, if a neighborhood has broken windows it’ll get more broken windows and become even more run down. Same with your car. Keep it looking nice.
5. Pay it off quickly (or buy it in cash).
We paid 1/3 of our last car in cash and paid the remainder over the next 6 months. The next car we buy will be in cash. Now, we’re not buying $40,000 cars, okay, but it is a huge relief. Not having a car payment just makes us want to take even better care of our car because… well… because no car payment is no car payment. Enough said!
6. Watch for warning signs.
When I was in high school I had a picture stuck to the front of my dashboard near the speedometer. I, therefore, did not notice the ‘check oil’ sign that was trying to warn me of a leak. I cracked the engine block and had to work hard to pay for it on my own. A good lesson learned. Any time a light on your car comes on and stays on, get out the manual and do some research. Don’t let a problem linger.
7. Find a mechanic you trust.
Years ago, when helping my mom buy a new car, my financial adviser said something I’ll never forget. “A good warranty is a sign they trust their product.” If there’s a good warranty then you know they have confidence in their product or, at the least, they’ll keep fixing it until it’s right. If you find a good mechanic or servicing place that provides reliable and guaranteed results, stick with them.
Sam’s has an awesome “all-in” deal right now with their tires. If you can find a better “all-in” deal (meaning they install them and maintain them for the life of the tire) they will match your price! And to give their deal more buzz they are hosting a twitter party and giving away a LOT of awesome Sam’s gift cards.
The twitter #DareToCompare party details are:
- March 11 from 1:00-2:00pm EST
- Hosts are @DealSeekingMom and @MomSpark
- Prizes include (4) $50 Sam’s Club gift cards, (3) $75 Sam’s Club gift cards, (2) $100 Sam’s Club gift cards, and (1) $500 Grand Prize Gift Card.
- If you’ve never gone to a Twitter party (this will be my first!) then here’s a link to some instructions.