Used cars are obviously in a worse state of health than brand new cars, and the older they get, the more mechanical problems they’re likely to experience. Sometimes the owner just might not have taken great care of their vehicle before you got it.
As they say… when you buy a used car, you buy someone else’s problems.
Car inspections are a good idea for when you buy a used vehicle, and you can read more about car inspections here. However, what about routine maintenance and care for your used car you just bought?
Here are 5 car maintenance tips for when you buy a used vehicle!
1. Inspect the tires
First things first, you need to check the tires for tread depth, condition, age, and general wear and tear. Drivers often forget about their car tires and neglect them for a long time, not realizing that they are driving dangerously on bald tires.
Even if the tires on the vehicle look fine, it’s advised to change tires on a car every 5,000 to 10,000 miles regardless of how old it is. If you think the used cars tires are looking worse for wear, consider getting a brand new set.
2. Change the oil
Topping up your engine oil is important, but every now and then you need to change the oil completely to give the motor a fresh start and improve its running condition. You can change your oil yourself, though it’s complicated. Most people take the car to a mechanic when it’s time for an oil change.
On the topic of oil, make sure you’re using the best motor oil for the vehicle’s type of engine. A lot of people will choose the cheapest option (because they’re being cheap!) but sometimes it’s best to choose quality over price.
3. Check your lights are all working
It’s only a matter of time before one of your bulbs gives out, and then suddenly you’ve got a dangerous situation on your hands.
It’s essential to regularly check that your hazard lights, headlights, hi-beams, turn signals, and any other lights on your vehicle are working.
You don’t know when the lights were last changed on a used vehicle – one faulty turn signal could easily cause a major accident if you’re unlucky.
4. Change the windshield wipers if necessary
Lots of older vehicles have the same windshield wiper blades that they’ve used for years – a lot of the time, they’re just not very good. You might find that these blades leave your windows smudged with water or they reduce your visibility during storms and snowfall.
If you live in a snowy part of the country, it’s even more crucial to ensure that your windshield wipers are in good working order – you need to maximize your visibility in bad driving conditions.
New windshield wiper blades are usually quite cheap and could improve your driving experience exponentially.
5. Wash your car regularly
It may not seem like an important piece of maintenance, but getting your car regularly washed is a crucial part of vehicle maintenance for new or used vehicles alike.
This is very relevant once again for those who live in snowy areas, as melting ice and road salt can start to corrode the car’s frame and cause serious structural damage if not addressed.
It’s also crucial to properly clean and polish the vehicle if you’re trying to prevent the paint finish from fading in the sunlight.
Used vehicles always have some challenges not shared by off-the-lot vehicles, but hopefully these 5 tips will help you to make the most out of your used car!