Driving a used car entails a greater set of responsibilities. This becomes especially true if the vehicle has seen some mileage. If you don’t want to be left stranded in a deserted highway or in the middle of busy city traffic, keeping it in tip top shape should be a priority.
Know Where To Direct Resources
Prioritize on what you should be maintaining, repairing, or replacing. The first and foremost priority is your second hand car’s braking system, tires, and steering wheel. These parts allow you to control the vehicle and losing this control can possibly lead to an accident. Get them regularly checked by a capable mechanic and have them replace if needed.
The next things you should be maintaining are those that will cause other parts, like the engine, to stop working. The timing belts, constant velocity joints, radiator tubes, and fan. The last items on your list should be the changing of your car fluids including oil, coolant, and transmission fluid.
It is good practice to not only have your second hand car checked at least twice a year but also to proactively monitor its condition. Many car problems are only brought to light once they’ve already caused a breakdown or accident. Regularly check your brakes and see if you hear grinding noises. If you do, it may be time to bring it to a mechanic.
Worn out tires should also be checked for unevenness and tread health. It can cost money to replace all four tires, which usually cost around $300 for a non-performance set, but it is better to replace it sooner rather than later. A road accident caused by neglected tires can cost much more than replacing the tires.
Grow Your Car Knowledge
Not all car owners are experts. Some of them know only how to operate one, but not the underlying mechanics that make it possible. While you can’t learn everything about the automotive industry, make an effort to learn about your car, its make, model, engine, transmission, etc.
Protect It From External Damage
Aside from breaking down from the inside, your vehicle is also vulnerable to external factors including acts of God and men. Natural calamities like hurricanes and blizzards can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Make sure to keep it inside the garage during harsh weather conditions. Cover it with a tarp and fold the side mirrors inwards when parked.
Know When It’s Financially Bleeding You
Know when to get rid of your 2nd hand car. Some debate that forking out $3,000 to replace your transmission is a better option than taking out a loan to get another vehicle. If you can sell your existing vehicle for a reasonable price and enough to fund another car purchase, then why not? If the car is consistently breaking down on you and requires major repairs and replacement parts, perhaps dumping it for a new used car is better.