Promote the longevity of your vehicle

Avoid the high cost of car repairs by using these simple tips


Harleigh Carlson

The poor 2011 Pontiac G6 sits in the shop waiting for someone to take time to fix it. Its owner waited a little too long to do their oil change and was not checking the oil level. The car blew a head gasket and needs repairs. Now when the owner gets their vehicle back they will be left with a $1,500-$2,000 repair or the need for a new vehicle if they don’t want to pay for it to be fixed, and with the current price of vehicles, lots of money is going to have to be spent. 

There is no denying that the price of a used vehicle has risen in America. According to Kelley Blue Book, as 2021 came to a close, the average used vehicle sold for around $28,205, thats a whoppping 42 percent more than December of 2019. With used vehicle costs rising, many people are looking for ways to help keep their current vehicle or a new/used vehicle running for longer. 

Bethany Lang, who works in the service department at Stevens Point Honda, said, “Performing general preventative maintenance is a good way to increase the life of a vehicle. Regularly changing the fluids, filters, and rotating the tires can help a lot.” Dustin Maluka from Stevens Point Auto Center agrees: “Most issues can be avoided by doing the simple maintenance on time,” said Maluka. 

Oil changes and tire rotations are not all that a vehicle needs from production through its life though, according to Brian Carson, a Portage County Highway Department mechanic. “Every vehicle has some sort of manufacturer service manual. Following that to a tee is the best way to get the most out of your vehicle.” Vehicles may need specific parts replaced after so many miles, not doing so could result in costly repairs or damages that could decrease the usable life of your vehicle. 

Keeping service records will help you remember and prove when maintenance was done if the vehicle is ever sold. Richard “Buck” Packer, Co-Manager/Technician at I39 Repair LLC, whose current truck has around 450,000 miles, says regular maintenance and records of the maintenance are the best way to help your vehicle last longer. “Keep service records to help prove oil change and maintenance intervals, also keep any receipts for repairs,” said Packer. 

Oil changes are probably the most common type of maintenance that a vehicle needs. “I personally change my engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles or three months. But to find the right service intervals for fluids and other services, it is best to check the manufacturer’s service manual,” said Lang.

There are also times when oil change intervals should be made more frequently.  “Some manufacturers recommend different oil change intervals if you are towing, hauling, or going on long trips, so check your service manual for special circumstances that may alter the oil change interval,” Carlson said.

Something that was mentioned by all of the professionals was to check your engine oil frequently. Maluka, Packer, and Lang all recommend that the engine oil level should be checked each time you fill your gas tank or at least once a week. The main thing to take away from the expert mechanics is look at your service manual and do your replacements and maintenance on time. It will not only promote the longevity of your vehicle but also help prevent costly repairs.