We build a lot of custom vehicles here at the shop, but as owners ourselves, we also have to keep them up to date. The longer they sit, the more problems come up — something we dealt with just recently here at the shop. So how do you keep your cars and trucks running well so you can have them longer? Let's talk it through.
Change your fluids regularly.
This may seem obvious, but you should always keep your fluids fresh and clean. You probably know about changing your oil regularly, and although the duration between changes varies from car to car, keeping yourself up to date is important.
What people don't think about is changing other fluids, like transmission fluid, coolant and even brake fluid. Each one of these components has a maintenance schedule that's in your user manual. Look it up and see what you need to do and when.
Keep your ride clean.
For car and truck people, this is a no brainer. Of course you want to clean your ride regularly, and you should always use the best products. But why? First off, running your hands over your car is a good way to find spots that you didn't know were problems. Maybe some rust is creeping in somewhere or you find leaves built up in your cowl, which will retain moisture and cause rust. Just going over the car regularly will help you learn more about your car.
Then there's the paint. If you're planning on keeping your car for a while, you want that paint to be in good condition. Deep scratches can turn into rust over time, and you don't want an ugly ride, do you? Wax it regularly, make sure everything is maintained on the inside and out, and you'll feel better about the car overall. Plus, it'll last longer.
Follow your schedules.
Every car has a maintenance schedule, and if you don't have your factory manual, google it. These are the things that most people don't think about maintaining: Rubber brake lines get old, body mounts wear out, door pins go bad, ball joints fail — stuff like that. Keep in track with those things and you'll be in a better place overall.
Get after it.
Keeping up with your car's maintenance doesn't have to be a slog. Just follow the schedules that the factory set from the start, and you'll have a long life with your vehicle.