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Tips to Maintaining a Used Vehicle

With manufacturers of cars, trucks, and SUVs improving their products’ build quality every year, it’s a better idea than ever to buy a used Toyota, used Honda, used Dodge, or used Chevy for your daily commute or drives around the country. However, even though they last longer, used SUVs, cars, and trucks require a little extra tender loving care than their new counterparts.

When you buy a used truck, car, or SUV from one of Tonkin Automotive’s dealerships, you can be confident that you’re buying a car that’ll last you for years at a much more affordable price than a new vehicle. Here are some tips to ensure that you’ll be driving that used Jeep, used Kia, or used Nissan around for as long as possible.

Monthly Maintenance Checks You Can Do at Home

As often as you think of it, or at the least every month, you should check your tire pressure, oil level, and coolant level. If your oil needs topping off, do so with a specially-formulated high-mileage synthetic brand. Also, be sure to clean your backup camera lens if your car has one (which all cars built after 2018 should).

In addition, washing your car isn’t just for its good looks. Wash the accumulated dirt and grime off your used car monthly to protect the paint from peeling, rust from forming on exposed metal, and generally keep the body in top condition.

Change the oil regularly

Motor oil can be called the lifeblood of any vehicle: it keeps all the moving parts within the engine moving smoothly and prevents costly seizes, binds, and other major issues. However, engine oil itself degrades over time and protects the engine-less against those ravages.

Every 3,000 miles or so, it’s vitally important you replace the oil in your car to keep it running smoothly. While you’re at it, you should also check the engine oil filter and washer fluid and replace those if needed. After an oil change, add a fuel injector cleaner to your gas tank the next time you fill up, especially on an older car.

Rotate the tires semi-regularly

Because of the weight distribution of any vehicle, the tires wear unevenly depending on which corner they’re attached to. Because of this, rotating your tires is another important way to make them last as long as possible, which can also help your axles last longer.

We recommend having your tires rotated every 10,000 miles or so and replacing them every six years.

Other common maintenance tasks

Vehicle Maintenance

There are several other maintenance tasks your car needs. While this list contains a good amount of them, your owner’s manual should also list what services it needs specifically.

  • Check the power steering every six months and top it off if needed.
  • In manual transmission vehicles, adjust the clutch every 5,000 miles, unless it’s self-adjusting
  • Every 10,000 miles, inspect all the engine belts and replace them if frayed or stretched out.
  • Every year, inspect the brakes and brake fluid level, clean the battery connections, inspect hoses and clamps, check the coolant strength, back-flush the radio and rinse off the A/C condenser.
  • Every 30,000 miles, check your spark plugs and replace them if need be, change the transmission fluid, bounce-test the shocks, clean the throttle body, replace the PCV valve and fuel filter, and flush the coolant system.

Whatever the task, get it done at Tonkin Automotive

If you’re looking for a used Jeep to drive through the Cascades, a used RAM for your construction job, or a used Hyundai for the daily commute in Hillsboro, you can find what you’re looking for at one of Tonkin’s 15 car dealerships in the Portland area. We carry all the most popular car, truck, and SUV brands around, and with our great prices and easy financing, we make it easier than ever to make one your own.

When your used car, truck, or SUV needs a tune-up or even a major repair, our factory-trained service technicians are here to answer questions, fix up your car or help with pretty much any other car problem you may have. Bring your vehicle to our service center today, or schedule an appointment online!

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