There was a time in life when the largest amount of money you would spend on one particular item was for a house. Today, buying a brand-new vehicle is more than many people paid for their first house.

There's no doubt that vehicles are expensive and taking care of yours will help it last longer.

What are some easy steps to making sure your car, truck, suv or van has a long life? The simple answer is...taking care of it.

Think back to the first bicycle you had. Your parents always stayed on you to make sure you took care of it. Put down the kickstand, keep the tires aired up, oil the chain and keep it covered in the rain. If you listened to them, your bike lasted way longer and helped to create memories for a long time.

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If you take care of your vehicle, you can have the same results.

I get it, we all have busy schedules with work, school, kids, golf, hunting, hiking, skiing, housework, caring for your lawn and any other tasks life throws at you. If taking care of your vehicle isn't one of your main priorities, it's going to make life a lot harder without your vehicle.

Personally, I have a 2010 F-150 with almost 150,000 miles. I bought it used with 30,000 miles in 2013, and have had many adventures in the Gray Ghost. Every time I think about all those adventures, it makes me start thinking of things I need to do to make sure I can get another 150,000, or more, miles out of it.

Randy Bloom is a mechanic who has been part of the journey of MANY vehicles over the years, but one really stands out. He's been the mechanic on a 1993 Suburban that crossed the 1-Million-mile mark earlier this year.

The owner of that suburban's name is Ben Welch and he bought the vehicle in 1994. According to a press release, Ben wondered how many miles he could get out of his new vehicle if he did regular maintenance on it. Ben did regular maintenance and trusted his mechanic, Randy, over the years and because of that, his Suburban is still rolling.

Here are some of the tips that the pair has offered to all of us, to keep our rides on the road.

Change the oil at the manufacturer’s recommended mileage intervals.

This is extremely critical for today’s newer engines with variable valve timing components and turbos.

Change the antifreeze every three years.

This will keep things lubricated properly. Ben uses Conklin Safe Radiator Conditioner in his cooling system.

Fix any cooling system leaks promptly so the engine will not overheat.

Heat causes friction and friction causes wear.

Keep the engine properly tuned.

Most engines today will have 100,000-mile spark plugs. If a problem comes up with loss of performance, it’s critical that it is taken care of properly. Ben requests Conklin’s Gold Guard Plus gear lubricant for differentials, and ATF Xtra MS transmission fluid.

Fuel quality can affect an engine’s longevity.

I believe you get what you pay for. Use Conklin Fuel Mate Plus fuel conditioner each time you fill up, and 4Power Fuel System Cleaner every 4,000 miles or four months.

Consistently use a service shop you trust.

Knowing a customer, their car and driving habits can be very helpful in maintaining it for a long period of time.

 

This video shows many of the maintenance practices for a long vehicle life.

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