Car ownership is a big responsibility. It can be stressful, but it can also be fun. Being able to choose the type of car you drive is a very appealing process for many people. Regardless of the type of car you drive, everyone should put some effort into taking care of their vehicle. Taking care of your vehicle can be as simple as wiping it down after a rainstorm, or a quick soap scrub every few weeks. The biggest issue that comes with owning a car is that it depreciates over time. Very unlike real property, which can double in value over the years, most cars do the opposite. But, there are many ways to slow down the aging process of your car and ensure that it’s running smoothly and to the utmost of its ability. You’ll thank yourself in the long run when your car retains a higher value point.

Follow the doctor’s orders

In this case, the doctor is the mechanic or your favorite local service center. We all have different preferences as to who and where we bring our cars to for maintenance and service. But, the important thing is the act of actually making time to get this chore completed when necessary.

When is it necessary? Every six months to a year, probably. Most cars average around 10,000 miles before service is due. Most manufacturers will recommend having your car looked at around that point of mileage. Some people drive tens of thousands of miles in one year, so those people should probably get their cars serviced every six months. But, most people drive less than that, so don’t stress too much about it.

The whole point is to make sure your car is running properly and that nothing is wrong with it. It’s quite simple. Service centers and mechanics look at the overall health of your vehicle to diagnose any particular issues. Diagnosing certain issues can save you a lot of money down the road, so to speak. For example, while looking over your car, the service center may see a nail in the tire, or a crack in the headlights. Being able to fix these issues before they become overbearing and even more expensive will save you time and money in the future. A simple crack in a headlight or tail light will not get better on its own, and usually must be fixed right away so that the crack doesn’t become bigger or shatter. Oftentimes, service centers will tell you that replacing the headlight or tail light is the right move — otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to drive at nighttime, if at all.

Your car’s health, unfortunately, cannot always be perfect, but you can keep it as close as possible by having it serviced and maintenanced periodically.

A clean car is a happy car

Besides getting your car regularly serviced and maintenanced (have its oil changed, tires rotated, brakes checked on, etc.), the easiest way to maintain a well-working car is simply by keeping it clean. Washing your car and spending some extra time removing built-up dirt will not only keep it looking good, it’ll prevent harmful aging. Most people don’t know that built-up dirt damages cars. It’s a common misconception that the only reason there is to clean your car is for aesthetic purposes. This is simply not the case. Dirt can cause rust and deterioration of metals, substantially hindering the performance of your vehicle. So, the dirtier your car gets, and the more dust it collects, the higher the likelihood that you are slowly but surely damaging your car (and its retention value).

Pay close attention to your car’s most important parts

Unfortunately, dirt attaches to your vehicle wherever you go. Unless you have your car parked inside of a garage for the majority of its life, even driving down the street will get your car dirty. The entire exterior of your car starts to build up dirt just by using it for its intended purpose of getting you from Point A to Point B — and that goes for your headlights and tail lights as well.

Keeping your headlights and tail lights clean is extremely important. Arguably, they are some of the most important parts of a car. They keep you safe at nighttime and act as a warning sign to others on the road. Without headlights and tail lights, we wouldn’t be able to drive at night. But in order to keep them working properly, they have to be cleaned so that the light bulbs can shine through the plastic. By removing the dirt off of your headlights and tail lights, you’re able to drive safely and keep those parts from aging. When headlights and tail lights age, they become less bright, making them less noticeable on the nighttime roads. This is why keeping them clean is imperative. Safety first.

Cristofer Montel
Cristofer Montel is a South Florida Native, swearing that Boca Raton is much more than just a retirement destination for Northerners. He went to Florida State University for his Bachelors degree and then on to Nova Southeastern University for law school. In his spare time, he scrolls through pages and pages of car content on Instagram. When he’s not drowning in legal work, he writes for a marketing and advertising consultancy

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    1. when you wash your car dont use dish soap and use a NEW car wash mit .. use car soap for cars. dish soap is horrible and ruins the paint on your vehicle …just some words from the wise.

    2. Washing and waxing are super important, Keeping the paint protected is essential. The correct washing procedure is also key, you never want to cause swirling scratches of the paint.

    3. If something is faded by the sun and can’t be cleaned to look like new, replace it. Replacing signs of wear and tear is the best thing you can do for its value.

    4. I am terrible about keeping my car clean and maintained as I should. Putting off some maintenance can certainly cause a more costly repair later. I never have considered how avoiding a wash can really affect the car. This is definitely some valuable information. I imagine the same goes for the interior of the vehicle. Keeping your interior clean and being mindful of what products you are using to clean certain surfaces is something I will be more mindful of.

    5. One should also remember to start one’s car regularly during this period of quarantine and isolation.

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