If you've ever bought or sold a vehicle, you know how important the number of miles on the engine is. That's because most vehicles have a generally agreed upon life span. However, there are many steps you can take to improve a vehicle’s life span.
The first and most important step you can take is ensuring your vehicle is properly maintained. Many drivers go the entire life of their vehicle without ever changing anything but their oil. While your oil does need to be changed more often than other maintenance areas, that doesn't mean other fluid levels and parts should be neglected. Most vehicles with manual transmissions should have their transmission fluid changed every 30,000 - 60,000 miles, varying based on the strain your vehicle is put under. Another important fluid to check is your brake fluid. While brake fluid isn't something you'll need to regularly change, it can be a good indicator of a leak or other problem with the brakes. The same is true for the power steering fluid and coolant.
While the easiest steps you can take to improve a vehicle’s life span involve maintenance, the way you drive plays an important role as well. Some causes of wear are more obvious, such as frequently towing heavy objects, while others aren't as common knowledge. For example, when buying a brand new vehicle, there is a break in period. It's especially important to drive carefully and avoid putting excess strain on the vehicle during this time. Aside from that, it's good practice to drive your vehicle carefully in general. This includes moderate acceleration, reasonable cornering and proper use of the brakes.
With implementation of proper vehicle maintenance and driving habits, many vehicles have been known to easily exceed 300,000 miles. While it's sometimes difficult to find the time and money to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained, doing so will increase the vehicle's life span and ultimately save you money that you would have spent on a new vehicle.