Once you purchase a vehicle and drive it off the dealer’s lot it depreciates in value immediately. However, there’s lots you can do in order to maximize the value of your vehicle and keep it running in good running condition for a long time.

Properly maintaining your car is one way to maximize its lifespan. Maintenance may include oil changes, tire rotation, cleaning the interior, cleaning the radiator, flushing and clearing the cooling system, checking the air filter and changing the timing belt. Some items are do it yourself items, however some should be left to either a mechanic or even the auto dealership.

So how do you distinguish between tasks you can take of yourself and which one require the dealers help? Well the easiest way to break this down is ask yourself two questions. First, are your mechanically inclined? If you answer yes then there are many items you can and should take care of yourself, from oil and filter changes to exterior maintenance. By doing it yourself you save tons of dough plus you know that it was done correctly.

The second issue to take under consideration is, “Is my car under warranty?”. If you have a new car warranty then any and all items that are covered under the warranty should be taken care of by the dealer. Many automakers will allow for factory authorized mechanics to perform the warranty items. Check your warranty documents to be sure. If it is covered by the dealer then by all means, you should let them take care of it for you.

It is strongly suggested that you follow the scheduled maintenance outlined in your new car documents. Keeping up with these items and keeping track of when they were performed is a valuable record that documents the proper care you have given your car. With the proper documentation there is no question as to the maintenance history of your vehicle.

Cleaning your car on the exterior and interior is super easy. If you would rather have someone do this for you there are many detailers that will come to your home or office and keep your car looking good as new. If you care to tackle this yourself there are many great products to help you maintain your vehicles appearance. Just make sure you follow label directions and if you want you can purchase a small log book to record when and what type of exterior / interior cleaning was performed.

Your car will eventually lose value, there is no doubt about it. How much and how quickly it does so has a lot to do with how well you take care of your new cars’ maintenance. If you keep it in good condition and maintain it regularly, your car will work for many years to come. It makes sense to take good care of your car because it will perform better plus you will be able to resell it at a higher value, if you choose to do in the future.