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Car age is big predictor of what a mechanic will need to do

To those who get new cars every few years, a trip to the garage usually entails fairly standard procedures like oil changes and the occasional brake job. People who keep their cars longer, however, know that the oil change is just the prologue to a long story. Have you ever wondered what your mechanic would be working on if you kept your car for a decade or so? Here is the typical life cycle of a car, from someone who usually chooses to "drive it 'til it dies:"

  • Youth: This is the stage that everyone is familiar with. Regular oil changes are all that is needed on the maintenance front for most people, but those who live in dusty areas may also need to get a new air filter every so often. Eventually, a brake job will likely be needed.
  • Middle Age: This stage is often heralded not by trumpets, but the roar of a failed exhaust system. Those who don't want to have to spend much money on repairs are advised to get it fixed and then sell, because it is the advance guard of a rather extensive amount of other things that will soon be getting you and your mechanic together. Depending on your driving habits, it may take a few months to a couple of years before you need things like tie rod ends, new ball joints, more-extensive brake work, wheel bearings, and other such items that will add up to a decent investment in the vehicle. Fortunately, all of these things don't up and die at once.
  • Old Age: This is when you should really think about retiring the vehicle, because this is when the heavy-hitting mechanical problems show up. One morning, you'll probably notice white smoke billowing out of the exhaust pipe - the signature of a failed head gasket. Alternatively, you may step on the gas only to have not much happen; the transmission is on the bum. These things typically cost over $1,000 to fix. Of course, just like with elderly human bodies, the arrival of big problems doesn't mean the end of the small ones. A car that's been driven this long will also likely need another set of parts that have been replaced at least once before.

Would you like to learn how to keep your car in great shape as long as possible? Book an inspection with us to learn about proper maintenance techniques, garaging tips, and driving habits that will prolong your car's "youth" stage and keep big repair bills to a minimum.

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