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.
Join the Sam’s Club #DareToCompare Twitter Party!
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.
Jane Fox says
Your third point is really important. Sometimes I’ve been known to make somewhat rash decisions in the interest of “saving money.” For example, when my car started overheating, I reasoned that I could keep going just a little farther and it would be fine. Next thing you know, I became well-acquainted with my towing company. Everything worked out, but making a smarter decision could have made things much easier.
Rachel Norman says
I’m like that with gasoline too! I think “I need to fill up” and wait and then can go on fumes… so bad for the engine, right?
Stephen Brown says
My dad once bought a car from someone that kept a detailed log. This man even logged every time he filled up his car with gas! I want to start keeping a log of all the repairs done for my car so I know when it’s time to get different safety systems checked and have different services like oil changes done on time.
Rachel Norman says
Stephen, yes I love when cars have a good log kept! It helps in resale, I think.
These are great tips on how to make your car last for a long time! I am going to be getting my first car soon and I want to make sure that it will last for a long time. The tip about finding a mechanic that I trust seems like a good idea. I will have to start looking for one!
Jonathan Pound says
You make a great point about keeping a log of your auto repairs and services. It can be really easy to forget when certain auto services or repairs were performed for mileage and date. This is a great way to help you to maintain your ride and keep it running great.
Logan Murphy says
I like your tip, “If you find a good mechanic or servicing place that provides reliable and guaranteed results, stick with them.” We just got a new car a couple weeks ago. Now I’ve been obsessed with finding a good repair shop, a good towing service, good insurance, and anything that has to do with cars. This may be a little extreme but I just want to make sure our car is taken care of. Thanks for the great tips!
Rachel Norman says
I hear you, Logan, once you find something good and reliable, there’s no point in hopping around and you feel much more peace of mind.
Michael Williams says
I’ve gone through about 5 cars alone this year. My wife can’t stand it and told me that I need to learn to make a car last and deal with it. I’m glad I found all of your tips, I’ll have to use them. I especially like what you said about finding a mechanic you trust, and sticking with them.
Jake White says
My wife and I just got a car, and so we definitely enjoyed this blog. We’d love to make this thing last as long as possible, and so these tips were helpful. We definitely need to find a trustworthy mechanic that we can consistently visit. Thanks for sharing!
Jordan Leavitt says
I really like how you emphasized that, “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.” This is very good advice in order to save you money on bigger issue that may arise. I always forget to service my car and every time I get my safety inspection test, I fail. Do car insurances cover preventive care costs?
Patricia Anderson says
That was really good advice to watch for warning signs. Sometimes I ignore the lights on my dash because there is always at least one that is on so I don’t notice the others. In the future I will take my car to the auto repair shop if the light stays on for more then a day. Do most of the lights mean that you are having car troubles?
Alex Trodder says
I like your tip about keeping a log of all of the services and repairs that your car has has, Rachel. I can never remember the date or mileage that I had my tires rotated at. If I kept a notepad in my glove box, I could write the date and mileage to ensure that I’m not forgetting some important repair to make sure that my car lasts. Thanks for your helpful post.
Judy Wilson says
I liked your tip to keep a log of all of the repairs and maintenance that my car has needed. You made a good point about how that would let me know about any warning signs that I might notice with my car. That would also be good for a car technician to refer to so that they’ll know its history and provide better quality repairs that will meet my car’s needs. I’ll start doing that to take better care of my car. Thanks for the tips!
Justin Knox says
Thank you for the help. I recently had some auto repairs done on my car and realized that I need to be sure to maintain it better. I agree that I need to keep an eye out for warning signs. How often should I have a routine inspection done to diagnose any areas of potential problems?
Kayla Rogers says
Getting your car serviced regularly is one of the best investments you can make. With a rapidly depreciating asset like a car, doing everything you can to make it last is definitely worth it. I like the idea of keeping a log to stay on top of everything, too! I’ll have to start doing that asap.
Tara Allen says
Car repairs are essential to the lifespan of your car. That is smart finding repairs service that is skilled and understands in depth what they are doing. I like your tip about knowing when to take your car to get serviced for an oil change or other maintenance tasks to avoid problems.
kiyel williams says
Getting the car serviced regularly by a mechanic you trust is a great idea. Even something as simple as putting off an oil change can damage your car. I will have to pass this information on to my friend who is buying a car. Thank you for the information!
Nash Rich says
I thought the tip about keeping a lot was a really good idea. I know I easily forget things that I had done, so I should start doing that. I also agree that you should keep it clean. Kids are messy, and sometimes you have to drive a guest, and having a dirty car is the same as having a dirty house. You don’t want it to be gross.
Maggie Allen says
Thanks so much for sharing! I really like your point on keeping a log of servicing and other info on your car. Like you said, it is a really great way to be more aware of your responsibility, and to own up to it. However, I also think it is a great thing to have if you want to sell you car. When you can show buyers how well you have taken care of it, I am sure that it would raise the value of the vehicle.
Gregory Willard says
I have always tried my best to keep my car running and in good condition. I had no idea that you should keep a log of all the purchases you made on your car. I think that is a great idea, that way you know what you need to do to the car. Thanks,
Justin Knox says
This is a great help because my wife and I are about to get our first family car. I definitely want to find a good mechanic to do the repairs and maintenance. How would you suggest that I choose a mechanic?
Kenneth Gladman says
I totally agree that a good warranty is a sign of great product and service. I think it is important to stick with a good mechanic and make sure you let them know you appreciate their honest work. Getting quality regular maintenance can put years on your cars life.
Danni Black says
I really like your tip about getting it serviced regularly! That can really make a difference in the life of your car. My husband and I recently bought a used car and have been wanting to take it in to make sure that everything it in check for the winter. I’ll have to keep these tips in mind for the future! Thanks for sharing!
Ricardo stephenson says
Cars will last long if we maintain and service it on time. Most of the cars are not serviced on time. First of all before going on a long trip we must check our car tires. We must keep an extra tire with us so that if there will be any problem we can change it. Some babies use to make dirty and scratch we must be aware of that. I am having a Mercedes car since 5 years and till now it is looking as newly purchased. Few days before one small baby has scratched my car with a stone. So I have given my car to the Mercedes repair Canoga Park
for removing those scratches. Then finally my car got repaired properly and scratches were removed.
Sarah Smith says
I appreciate the advice about how you should find a mechanic that you trust and provides a warranty. I’ll have to make sure that I do that so that I can know that the mechanic is trustworthy. Another thing to consider is to get an auto service that is a part of the BBB so that you can look at the reviews and make sure they are reputable.
Ridley Fitzgerald says
These are some great tips for maintaining my car. I like how your first tip is to get the car serviced regularly. That really is the best thing you can do, especially if you don’t know a lot about cars, like me.
Deedee Lewis says
I agree with your tip about keeping your clean on the outside and the inside. My car is kept clean most of the time and I love how new it looks when I get inside. I will be sharing the rest of these car maintenance tips with my husband.
Devon Horn says
In this modern era car is one of the most common necessity of every people. Some people buy a budgeted car while some of them purchase luxurious car to maintain a high profile status in the society. Technology has been improving over the years. A modern car consists of nearly 75,000 parts in its whole body. Malfunction of one part can make your car behave strangely. So, it is necessary to take proper care of our car. Your article is one which is useful as it is providing some knowledge about car maintenance. Paying whole amount while purchasing a car will surely motivates people to take care of their own car : this particular point I found in your blog is very unique. Being the owner of a Mercedes , I also want to share some tips including window, mirror, interior maintenance, check up emission control system according to location periodically etc. It is just because maintaining a car in good condition will help us to keep it safe, drive for a long time and someday we may sell it for a good price.
Cole Gray says
In this modern era car is a very common necessity of every people. Some people prefer to buy a budgeted car while some other prefer to purchase luxurious car to maintain a high profile status in the society. With the evolution of science over the years, technology has improved to an extreme level. Now-a-days a modern car consists of nearly 75,000 parts in its whole body. As a result malfunction of one can make your whole car behave strangely. Hence, it is quite necessary to take good care of our car. After going through your blog I found this one very useful as it is providing some knowledge about car maintenance. By paying whole amount (whether in cash or cheque) while purchasing a car will surely motivates people to take care of their own car : this particular point I found in your blog was unique. Being the owner of a Volkswagen, I also want to share some of my experiences including window, mirror, interior maintenance, check up emission control system according to location periodically etc. It is just because if we maintain a car in good condition, it will help us to keep it safe, drive for a long time and someday we may sell it for a good price according to our demand.
John Mahoney says
I agree that it is important to get your car serviced regularly. It makes sense that doing this can help you save a ton o f money when it comes to having big repairs. I can see that making sure you find the best car shop near you ca help you protect your vehicle and your family from accidents.
Ivy Baker says
This is some really good information about how to make car repair. It does seem like a really good idea to do what you said and keep the car clean. I am really bad at washing my car. So, I am glad that you pointed out that you need to wash your car or it can rush. I never thought about how doing something simple like washing my car can help it last longer.
Lary Cook says
A car breaking down in the middle of the road is not something new for anyone who has ever owned a car or has ridden in one before.A breakdown can occur at any time – while we are on our way to work, or to the supermarket, or returning home from somewhere. Car repairs are necessary to the lifespan of your vehicle. Getting the car frequently serviced by a mechanic you trust is a good plan. With a rapidly diminishing asset like a car, doing everything you can to make it last is surely value it.That is smart finding repairs service that is skilled and understands in depth what they are doing.
Mark Horn says
Well, it is very that with rising gas prices and costly car repairs, the last thing one wants to worry about is having his car breakdown. So, I want to suggest some car maintenance tips which I think will help everyone to protect their investment on car and take them form source to destination as reliably as possible.
1)Schedule the car maintenance according to user manual.
2)Drive with economic speed.
3)Chain the oil on a regular basis.
4)Check different fluid level minutely.
5)Flush the power steering fluid, brake fluid and coolant in every 2 years.
6)Monitor the thickness of the brake pad. Etc.
So, on a final note I can say that proper maintenance not only keep us remain safe while driving on the road but also boosts the overall performance of the car as well as increases the life span of car. Thanks for sharing.
Chris Winters says
I really appreciate the advice to have your car serviced on a regular basis. My car has recently started to make strange noises and I fear that it will be breaking down soon. I definitely think that we should find a repair service that could help to prevent any severe our permanent damages.
Mac Benton says
We are estimating our car should last a long time. So, we need to take extra care of our car whenever it requires. Family car needs special attention as it provides suitable riding experience to the family. I would like to follow the basic instructions present in this article regarding how to maintain a family for last a long time. Thanks for this wonderful article.
Tomas Killington says
My sister recently purchased a new car. She wants to make sure it lasts a really long time, so she’s looking for good advice. I didn’t realize keeping a log of what services, like brake repair, are done on the vehicle can help you remember what should be maintained. I’ll be sure to share this info with my sister.