Tuesday

How Long Have You Owned Your Car? Maintenance Matters

If you take care of your vehicle, it will take care of you. The longer you take good care of it, the longer it will last. Here's proof.
Allen Swift and his 1928 Rolls-Royce Picadilly Roadster

Mr. Allen Swift ( Springfield , MA.) received this 1928 Rolls-Royce Picadilly P1 Roadster from his father, brand new - as a graduation gift in 1928. He drove it up until the age of 102. He was widely reported to be the oldest living owner of a car from new up until his death in 2010.  He donated it to a Springfield museum after his death when it had only 170,000 miles on it and was still running dead silent at any speed and in perfect cosmetic condition. 

82 years of ownership is a record and means he drove it about 2000 miles per year. He obviously did all the routine regular maintenance and more and that kept it running like a fine Swiss watch.

As the Fall and Winter seasons approach, now is a good time to remember that experts agree that if you do all the regular routine maintenance on your own car or truck then it will last longer and run better. That is certainly one way to avoid going into debt to buy a new car every few years or when your old one breaks down prematurely.

An easy way to remember it is that when the schools open back up, get your car checked out by a qualified mechanic. Experts also agree that finding and fixing a problem sooner is always better than finding yourself stranded out of town when a failure happens. Here are a few tips -

1. Get comprehensive maintenance work done - including battery, cables, fluids, filters, a tune up if you need it and a safety check too.

2. Check your tire tread, pressures, and condition too. If you live in the snow, think about getting snow tires before the first snowfall leaves you stuck.

3. If you live where the winter gets bad, put a cold-weather emergency kit together and keep it in your car - including a spare ice scraper, a small shovel, extra gloves, boots, a spare blanket or two, a flashlight and spare batteries, flares, and 100 feet of heavy rope in case you get stuck so someone can pull you out.

Still thinking about getting a new car? Well if your mechanic tells you the old one won't make it through another winter, then go through the buying process slowly and with a lot of research and planning. Pick your vehicle, then pick your lender that you want to use, then shop around on the internet for the best deal you can find nearby - always buy local. 

And if you buy from a car dealer, be very careful what you sign and make them put all promises in writing. And be sure that the dealer gives you a warranty - never buy a car as is from a car dealer.

And if it still turns out to be a lemon? Well, we can help you with that too.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves for more than 30 years.