Buying a new car is very expensive these days. It’s even a challenge to find affordable used cars. At City of Firsts Auto, we do our best to offer quality used cars at competitive and affordable prices. But once you’ve found a great used car, you want it to be roadworthy for as long as possible. Because today is National Tune-Up Day, we’re going to focus on what you can do to keep your used car on the road.

Before You Buy: Check the Maintenance History

Preventative maintenance starts before you even purchase a used car. You want to check the maintenance history of any vehicle you plan on buying. That way, you will know what repairs are coming down the pike and if there are any recurring problems that you need to watch out for. The maintenance history should also tell you if the vehicle was checked according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

After You Buy: Stick to the Maintenance Schedule

Regardless of what the previous owner did, you should always stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This schedule is usually based on the car’s mileage. Most parts of a car wear out due to use and driving rather than time. There are some exceptions, however, like the battery. A car battery usually lasts three to five years, no matter how many miles are on the car.

Continue Preventative Maintenance

Once you know that you are on track with your car’s maintenance schedule, you need to stay on top of the preventative maintenance. There are lots of things you can do to keep your car running well, but here are some of the crucial maintenance items:

  • Rotate, balance, and align the tires: Tires are expensive to replace, so you want to keep them in good shape for as long as possible.

  • Check and replace the spark plugs: You need spark plugs to start your engine. Copper spark plugs usually last 30,000 miles, but iridium spark plugs can last up to 100,000 miles.

  • Replace the air filters: There are air filters in your engine and your cabin. Both of them contribute to the efficiency of your vehicle.

  • Check the battery, fluids, and belts: We mentioned that the battery lasts about three to five years, but you should check your fluids, especially your oil, more often than that. Keep an eye on your belts as well. The serpentine belt is responsible for the operation of many of the systems in your engine.

Looking for good “used cars near me”? Check out City of Firsts Auto! We have used cars in our inventory for every lifestyle and budget.