How long can a car really last? Scott Chazdon is a mechanic in Wyoming who is very passionate about this subject. He has a website that helps consumers become more informed about their cars. Scott swears to Fab & Fru that a car can last one million miles if you do repairs, keep the mechanical parts clean and prevent them from shifting and touching each other. In fact, he sold a van last year with 1,044,000 miles on it and it was still running!
After 22 years in the business, he says the only reason the engine or transmission fails is lack of proper maintenance. Lubrication and changing the fluids is important, but so is partnering with a good, caring mechanic for inspections and maintenance routines. This way you can budget for small repairs along the way rather than ignoring the situation and getting hit with a bigger bill in the future. Scott backs his beliefs by guaranteeing his customers’ cars forever if they follow his recommended maintenance. Here is some of his advice to follow!
Top Tips to Make Your Car Last!
1. Identify Issues Before They’re Expensive Problems
Find a shop you can partner with to have a thorough inspection every 5,000 miles. Get a 47-point inspection which includes: tires, breaks, belts hoses, spark plugs, scans/computer readings and the air filter. The purpose of these inspections is to find potential concerns when they’re small because one big problem can stress every other part surrounding it – causing a domino effect of expensive issues!
2. Tires Matter!
Check your tire pressure regularly. Not only will maintenance make your tires last longer, but good tire pressure is critical to maintaining your transmission, engine and suspension.
3. Gas Matters!
Use high quality octane fuel. Scott says all gasoline is not created equal! He likes Chevron and Shell and says to stay away from discount gas like you get at Costco. Costco sells it for less because it’s dated fuel, and when fuel is older it has more sludge that can gunk up your engine over time.
4. Keep Your Fluids Clean!
Make sure you change your oil every 3,000 miles and change all other car fluids every 30,000 miles. The average cost of maintaining a vehicle properly costs between $400 to $600 a year.
Things to Look for When Buying a Car
1. Do Your Homework!
If you are buying a used car, look on CARFAX. Minimize your risk of buying a used car with costly hidden problems. Carfax provides vehicle history reports of all reported accidents and maintenance issues. Many body shops report maintenance to CARFAX so you can see the vehicle’s major repair history!
2. Pay for an Inspection
Even if you are buying a used car from a dealer, have it inspected by an actual mechanic because the dealer will change the fluids and clean it up, but won’t necessarily make costly repairs to fix underlying issues.
3. Put Reliability First!
When shopping for a car, buy something you like, but more importantly, buy something reliable! To get the most bang for your mileage buck, Scott recommends Japanese brands like a Toyota or Honda. He claims that even if you don’t follow his suggested maintenance regime, you can expect a Japanese car to last about 300,000 miles (follow it and reach 1 million miles!), while the average American made car lasts between 150,000 and 180,000 miles before most people trade them in. Scott warned us to stay away from European cars unless you are prepared for the expensive maintenance which could run between $1200 to $1800 a year!
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