In my many years here on MotorWeek, I’ve been giving you pointers on how to make your cars last longer. And that comes down to a very simple rule: Preventive maintenance. Take care of it so it doesn’t break instead of waiting until it does break and then fixing it.

Well that means things like oil changes, and flushing the automatic transmission and flushing the power steering if you have that type of steering. Differential services and all of these things...flushing the cooling system, keeping the proper coolant in the vehicle all the time. Well, some of you have given me comments that I may over-exaggerate these things. Well, here we have an example. 

This vehicle belongs to a friend of mine who has adhered to the rules that I suggest as far as preventive maintenance goes. This car is ten years old, has 215,000 miles on it, has never had any kind of major repair to it. The engine is all original, has the original transmission and the original drivetrain in it. So, it’s a classic example of what you can do with preventive maintenance. So, the big thing here is to remember that oil changes are critical, especially on these newer vehicles. You’ve got to change the oil, you want to use the proper oil filter and also always use the proper oil. Remember, thicker is not better as some people would have you believe.

Now along with that, transmission flushes and all these other t hnings that go along with flushing and maintaining a vehicle. If you do that, you can double or triple the life expectancy of your vehicle, and let’s face it: It’s a lot cheaper to do preventive maintenance than it is to buy a new vehicle. And if you have a question or a comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.