Used-Car Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Whether you’re buying your used car online or from a car dealer, it’s important to consider how you’re going to maintain your pre-owned car. Follow these tips to keep your car running well after you take it home.

-Priority One: Safety. If there is anything wrong with your car that could cause an accident or could cause you to lose control while driving, these things need to be taken care of before you drive an inch. Brakes, tires, windshield wiper blades, and steering/suspension issues all fit into this category.

If you live in a state that requires annual car inspections, oil changes fit into this category as well. Getting your oil changed gives a mechanic a chance to do a once-over on your car, allowing them to alert you to any potential safety issues of which you may be unaware. While you’re shopping for your used car, ask if they offer a maintenance package after you purchase a vehicle.

– Priority Two: Reliability.┬áIf there is anything wrong with your car that could leave you stranded or with a car that won’t start, that needs to come next. Hoses, timing belts, and batteries all fit into this category.

– Priority Three: Nice-To-Haves. Sure, it’s great if the air conditioning unit is blasting you with cold air the minute you get in the car, but it’s not a make-or-break issue when it comes to your safety or the reliability of your car. Same goes for issues with speakers or cosmetic issues. While these things are nice to have taken care of, they shouldn’t be put in the same category as things like maintaining tires or brakes.