Making the Most Out of Your Family Vehicle

The family vehicle is both a functional and sentimental item for the household. It takes the family to work, school and extracurricular activities. With new vehicles costing $20,000 or more, it’s critical to take good care of your car for as long as possible. Take a look at how you can make the most out of your family vehicle. Driving it to 200,000 miles might be possible in this modern age.

Your Family Vehicle

Prioritize Maintenance

Many new cars have a maintenance schedule that differs from the standard, 3,000-mile oil change suggestion. Drive cars 5,000 or 10,000 miles before an oil change is necessary, for example. Always follow the suggested maintenance schedule for your make and model. Common repairs that arise over time include:

  • Tire rotation
  • Oil changes
  • Brake adjustments

When you prioritize minor repairs, major problems don’t have a chance to build up. Keep the maintenance schedule close to your calendar so that it’s always on your mind.

Pay the Balance Off

For most families, financing a vehicle is the only way to outright own one. These contracts last for three to five years, but they can be paid off earlier. To make the most out of the family vehicle, pay off the balance as soon as possible. You’ll save hundreds of dollars in interest costs as well as insurance premiums. Put that money into a savings account for maintenance instead.

Clean it Up

Making the most out of the vehicle means being mentally happy with the car. Be sure to clean the car on a regular basis. Concentrate on the exterior with washing and waxing chores. You’ll reduce the appearance of rust with these habits. The interior requires dusting, wiping and vacuuming too. Removing grime and stains from the interior will keep the car looking newer over time, which contributes to your happiness with the vehicle as it reaches the 10-year mark and beyond.

Use it as Collateral

With a car completely paid off, you can use it for a title loan. Families will need some emergency cash at some point, and these loans give you a chance to borrow funds. The vehicle becomes collateral while you pay off other commitments. As long as you pay back the money within the specified time, your vehicle is still yours to keep. This perk of car ownership is definitely a great way to get the most out of its value.

Keep it Filled

You’ll get the most out of your vehicle when it’s filled up with loved ones, proper fluids and air. If you own a large vehicle, fill it up with friends and family so that the gas mileage is worth the trip. Fill the oil, transmission and radiator with the proper fluids. Replace the fluids on a regular basis too. Don’t forget the tires need the right air pressure because safe driving and peak gasoline efficiency are coveted by any family.

Reduce the Miles

Get the most out of your car by reserving it for everyday travel. If you have a road trip coming up, rent a car as an alternative. Build up the miles on this car instead of your own. As a result, you’ll see the family vehicle lasting for many more years without the additional mileage.

Although you may treat your car with the best care imaginable, every machine will eventually reach their final days. If a major repair costs more than the vehicle’s value, it’s time to think about a new- or used-car purchase. Continue to practice solid, car-care skills with the next vehicle so that it can last another 200,000 miles.

About Peter Christopher

Peter Christopher is the Editor to Finance care Guide and a guest columnist for many blogs that deals with financial issues. He has devoted himself to full time speaking, writing and consulting on personal finance management. Visit him on Google Plus and Twitter.