New Car Maintenance Tips and Advice

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After months of careful research and planning, you're the official owner of a new car. 

A significant portion of a car's value depends on the regular care and maintenance it receives throughout its lifetime.  That's why it's important to protect your new car investment over the long haul with these simple new car maintenance tips.

Service the engine.

The most important way to protect your new car investment is by maintaining the condition of its engine.  Routine service appointments, either at a franchised dealership or an independent repair shop, are essential in keeping your engine running right.  Don't forget to keep detailed maintenance records since cars accompanied by service histories and an original owner's manual can bring a higher resale price than ones without.

Care for the transmission.

Transmission repairs are extremely costly, so don't neglect to have your new car's transmission routinely serviced. Most manufacturers recommend a schedule of every 30,000 miles, in addition to a fluid and filter change.

Maintain your brakes.

Have your brakes checked on a regular basis as part of a maintenance schedule.  When brake pads become too worn, the rotors can sustain damage resulting in expensive repair bills.

Check the fluids.

Motor oil loses its viscosity as it ages, preventing it from properly lubricating a new car's internal engine components.  That's why it's important to change the oil on a regular basis.  If your owner's manual doesn't provide you with a suggested oil change schedule, use the industry standard of every six months or 6,000 miles to be safe.

What's more, antifreeze plays an important role in keeping your engine running properly since it protects against extreme heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter. Routinely check your antifreeze and refill it when levels run low.

All of your new car's fluids, such as oil, antifreeze, power steering fluid, brake fluid and transmission fluid, are important.  Be sure to have them regularly checked, changed or filled.

Detail it regularly.

From a condition perspective, your new auto's interior and exterior should be routinely detailed.  Outdoor elements such as the sun, rain, ice and snow can damage your car's finish, while spills and stains can wreak havoc on its interior. 

Protect your new car from inclement weather by routinely applying a coat of wax and storing it inside. Buff any surface scratches and have deep scratches or dents repaired as soon as you can.  Rust can form quickly, causing expensive and unsightly body damage if left unattended.

The use of color safe upholstery cleaners and sealants is a sure bet when it comes to maintaining the overall condition of your car's seats and carpets.  Leather and vinyl conditioners should also be used to protect against cracking, fading and discoloration.

Drive it less.

Excessive mileage can negatively impact a car's resale value.  Whenever possible, avoid racking up unnecessary miles on your car.  Good rules of thumb include carpooling or telecommuting to work, using public transportation such as buses, trains and subways whenever possible, biking short distances versus driving and combining multiple short trips, like errands and shopping, into one longer trip.  If you're planning a long distance driving vacation, rent a car versus driving your own.  

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