Congratulations- you've just bought a new Toyota car! Whether it is brand new or pre-owned, it's new to you, and you want to keep it looking and driving that way for as long as you can. After all, by taking good care of your vehicle, you can expect it to take good care of you!

But what steps can you take to set your car up for a good future? What can you do now that will make the biggest difference in how well your vehicle serves you for years to come? Buckle up- we've got some pro tips from seasoned vehicle owners on how to preserve and extend the life of your vehicle.

Don't Skip Oil Changes

Even if you've never owned a car in your life, you probably already know that the first and most important step in keeping it running like a dream is to prioritize those oil change appointments. The old rule of thumb of bringing your vehicle in for scheduled oil changes and routine maintenance every three months or 3,000 miles has relaxed a bit, with most auto manufacturers recommending bringing your car in for an appointment every 5,000 or even 10,000 miles, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

However, this doesn't diminish the importance of bringing your car in as recommended for an oil change. Not changing your car's oil often enough can lead to a number of expensive and serious problems with the engine, as well as reduced efficiency of the vehicle's overall performance. It's critical to stay on top of the oil change schedule and treat the appointments as if you were bringing your baby in for a check-up because, in many ways, you are!

Scheduled Maintenance is a Must!

Along with your car's oil change appointments, it's a good idea to get manufacturer-recommended routine maintenance when you take it into the shop. At the time of an oil change, your auto technician has a list of other things that should be inspected on your vehicle. Depending on how many miles are on the car, this list can change to include a number of important checks that are vital to the health of your vehicle. Some of the routine checks performed by auto mechanics during these check-ups include tire rotation, air filter changes, spark plug inspection, and more. Additionally, at every appointment, your mechanic should be topping off any fluids that are running a little low in your vehicle, as well as ensuring that your tire pressure is appropriate and that there are no visible underlying issues such as leaks.

While this is a crucial matter to ensure that your vehicle stays running at its peak, some car owners tend to forego these important routine maintenance visits or decline the recommended service in an effort to save money. However, it is absolutely necessary to have your mechanic perform all recommended services at the time they are scheduled in order to avoid any serious problems occurring down the road.

Invest in an Extended Car Warranty

When you first bought your car, chances are the salesman talked to you about purchasing an extended warranty through the dealership or manufacturer. If you chose to waive the coverage and play the odds that your car will remain in good shape for years to come, you might be in for a bit of a shock when the bill comes due for an unexpected repair. However, even if you declined the dealership's warranty, don't worry. You still have a chance to get an extended car warranty through a reputable insurance company. Since these types of plans often are paid through monthly premiums rather than in a single lump sum, people sometimes find that an extended car warranty through an insurance agency makes more sense for their budget. You can find extended car warranty plans that cover virtually every repair or replacement that your vehicle will ever need over its lifetime, all for a relatively low monthly payment and an affordable deductible. Opting for an extended car warranty, either through your auto dealership or via an insurance company, is a good way to ensure that you will always be able to afford any mechanical breakdown that may come your way.

Extended warranties are actually either Mechanical Breakdown Insurance in California or a Vehicle Service contract (in the rest of the USA). If you are in California, be sure to check out Olive's article for toyota extended warranty here.

Keep it Clean

Now that you have a sweet ride, it's up to you to keep it clean, inside and out. No, we're not just being neat freaks here. A clean exterior and interior are important to the health of your vehicle, not just its appearance. In the winter, chemicals and salt that are used to melt icy roads can form a buildup on the exterior of your car. This buildup can lead to erosion of paint, not to mention rust that can actually eat holes in the metal of your car! (If you've ever heard someone say that a car has "cancer" on it, this is what they are talking about.) Preserving the interior and exterior of your car by keeping it clean can also help retain its resale value when you decide it's time for an upgrade. Cars that have been kept clean and well-maintained tend to do a whole lot better as a trade-in since dealers have that much less work to do before they can turn it around and sell to a new owner.

Read the Manual (We Mean It!)

We know, a car manual is not exactly a thrilling read. However, it is important to read through your vehicle's operating manual to know exactly what makes it tick. This way you can be sure you're following manufacturer recommendations for the best possible care and maintenance. If there's ever a question you have about anything to do with your car, there's a good chance you can find it in your manual.

By taking the right measures to preserve the life of your car, you can do everything in your power to ensure that you are setting it up for a bright, long future ahead. And that's great for peace of mind!

Author's Bio: 

The write has written about car insurance.