Preowned Cars: Keeping your Car Healthy at 10 Years Old and Beyond

St James Preowned Car Dealer | Suffolk County Used SUVs

For most Americans, their vehicle is a critical component of their everyday life. Our cars and trucks get us to work, out and about for recreation and everything in between. While everybody enjoys a new vehicle, the majority of Americans own a vehicle that is several years old, often well over a decade. As such, proper maintenance and upkeep have become the chief method for keeping down repair costs and extending the life of the vehicle. We’ll discuss below three key areas to focus on when maintaining your vehicle:

st james preowned car dealer

External Care

How your vehicle looks can often reflect directly upon you, so you want to ensure it looks decent and well maintained. The single most impactful thing you can do to prevent undue wear and tear is to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. The powerful rays of the sun will fade and damage not only your exterior but also the interior of the vehicle as well. Occasionally applying a UV protectant to your cabin surfaces will help prolong their life.

Protecting the outside of your vehicle can be achieved by washing and waxing it often. Then, properly applied wax will seal the surface of your vehicle from water and dirt, allowing it to remain unscathed from the elements and looking like new.


Just like a living creature, your vehicle is full of vital fluids that keep its internal parts functioning. Without these fluids or too little of them, your vehicle will begin to damage itself and could lead to serious mechanical issues.

First and perhaps most vital of all is oil. Oil keeps your engine lubricated and prevents it from seizing up. Changing your oil can be a simple task at home if you are comfortable with it, otherwise, a skilled mechanic can perform the job in a short time. Keep track of your mileage and the date of your last change to determine when it’s time to take it in again.

In addition to engine lubrication, your transmission and differential need protection as well. These components don’t dry out as quickly and only need to be changed occasionally, which can cause them to be overlooked in the long run. Consult with a local mechanic to get on a schedule for changing these out.

The last item on this list is brake fluid, which is the material used in your braking system to operate the brakes. Over time, this fluid can build up water that erodes and degrades your brakes. A skilled mechanic can flush your brake system and replace the fluid on a periodic basis.


In addition to fluids and everyday care, there are a few steps you can follow to ensure your vehicle stays in top shape. Paying attention to your local conditions and understanding your vehicle’s needs will go a long way to helping this. Variations in weather will force you to make changes to your vehicle to accommodate them.

During normal operation, your engine generates a tremendous amount of heat that must be absorbed to prevent damage. Your vehicle’s cooling system is designed to handle this, generally using water to handle the task. If you are in a cold climate, especially during winter, the water in your system must be combined with antifreeze to prevent ice from forming. Each vehicle has an optimal mix of water and antifreeze to accomplish the task, so be sure to consult your vehicle owner’s manual or a skilled mechanic to achieve the best result. Additionally, if you live in an area with snow, be sure to frequently wash the undercarriage of your vehicle to ensure salt residue from the roads doesn’t accumulate. This can create rust and seriously damage your vehicle if left unchecked.

Following the simple measures, we’ve discussed here can go a long way to ensuring that your vehicle maintains a long and healthy life. With Americans frequently relying on their cars for several years, and even decades, it really pays to keep up with maintenance.

Should you find yourself looking to replace your existing vehicle and you live in the St. James area, please consider Certified Headquarters as your dealer. Our showroom is located at 873 Middle Country Road and we’d be delighted to show you our offerings.