The travel plans are in place. They are a little crazy, but manageable. Your college son has two baseball games in the next few weeks. Saturday afternoon at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs; Monday evening back in Shreveport, Louisiana. Turns out, when you add in the staring point of Omaha, Nebraska, the routes make a nice triangle. A big triangle, but the forecast for good weather is in your favor. That, and the fact that your 83-year-old father does not really like to fly anymore, motivated you to plan the road trip.
You plan to be gone six days, four of them with about six to eight hours of driving. The route is planned and you only have one major thing left on the to do list. You recently bought new tires for the van, so all that is left is to make sure the van is in good shape for the long trip. With your dad as the only passenger you will have plenty of room in the car, but your dad will want to know that you have made all of the regular checks:
- Oil change. Because technology has changed so much in the last few years, getting the oil changed every 3,000 miles is no longer needed. The new standard is 5,000 miles between changes.
- Brake check. Brakes in today’s cars last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles. Often the mechanics check brake pads and brake wear at the same time they change oil so this is something that is constantly monitored.
- Tire alignment and rotation. Since the tires are new, this will not need to be done before the trip. By the time you return, however, it will be worth a trip in to have the mechanics see if the new tires wore evenly on their first big trip.
- Belt check. In a national study, researchers found that at least one belt was reported as unsatisfactory in nearly 20% of the vehicles inspected. Another 17% of the vehicles required at least one new hose replacement. Like any other maintenance, checking the belts on cars is a preventative measure. Noticing problems early can avoid costly repairs later.
- Battery check. Like new tires, it is always better to replace a battery before you need to. The last thing you want to find out when you are on a road trip several hundred miles from home is that your battery is dead.
- Car wash. Although this is more of a cosmetic car check then some of the other items on the list, many car dealers and car owners feel that it is just as important. A well maintained paint job often has as much to do with resale value as many other aspects of a car. The most meticulous car owners pay for a high gloss wax coat twice a year. This extra layer of sealant protects the paint from oxidation and other road wear issues. Although a car dealership may provide an extra sealant upon purchase, this is not a permanent solution.
Studies show that neglecting vehicles costs the American economy more than $2 billion a year. Besides the fact that a car is a major financial investment, well maintained vehicles run more efficiently. The wisest buyers research before any car purchase, and finding a car with a great maintenance record is a goal of many new car owners. While we may have all had a car once in our lives that always had something that needed fixed, the goal of today’s car consumer should be to purchase a car that can last.
One car model that has a strong track record for maintenance is the Kia brand. It is considered one of the leading car brands across the world. It is also one of the leading Asian cars sold in America. As an indication of its growth, consider the following statistic. In 2013, for example, Kia Motors sold almost three million vehicles to its world wide customers, generating $43 billion.
Whether you are getting ready to purchase a new car, or just impress your father on the next road trip, considering car maintenance, everything from buying new tires to changing oil, is a necessary requirement.