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Your body is your temple…but so is your car.

Everybody wants to live a long, healthy life. Longevity is a natural motive; we seek it for ourselves, our family and friends, even our pets. And by making good choices, we increase the likelihood that we’ll achieve that goal. It takes effort, but isn’t a longer, healthier life the ultimate return on investment?

The same logic applies to your vehicle. Effectively, the better you treat it today, the better it will treat you so many kilometres down the road. And there’s plenty of proof out there on the highways—many a Honda has lived to see 500,000 km+ roll by the odometer. Perhaps the most famous example is “Million Mile Joe,” a man from Maine who earned his nickname by driving—you guessed it—a million miles in a 21-year-old Honda Accord, a feat that earned him a new Honda courtesy of the local dealership.

 

 

There’s insight to be gleaned from the accounts of Million Mile Joe and his fellow pilots of seemingly unsinkable ships. Here’s how to make your car last longer.

Read the owner’s manual:

The better you know this piece of literature, the better you’ll be able to care for your car, whether you’re the one servicing it or not.

Follow the manufacturers maintenance schedule:

There’s a tendency to ditch the instructions and do things your own way, but when it comes to the health of your car, it really is best to do it by the book. The owner’s manual is basically a built-in maintenance schedule that’s perfectly tailored to each individual vehicle. Use it.

Be religious about oil changes:

Is it going to kill your car dead if you drive it 800 km past what the oil change sticker says? Probably not. But we’re talking about longevity here and every choice has an impact. Stick to the schedule—every 5,000 km for most—and run better, longer.

Keep fluids at optimum levels:

Keeping your machine full of all fluids including oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and even wiper fluid will stave off unnecessary wear. Get in the habit of checking the levels regularly.

Guard against rust:

Rust proofing is a must in Ontario, and much of Canada and the US, if you want to keep your vehicle on the road in one piece for an extended period of time. Fortunately, modern rust-proofing such as is included in the Honda Plus Appearance Protection Program, is highly effective and can stave off the corrosion for ages.

Take care of your tires:

Tire or rim issues will impact your mileage and threaten safety, but it can also lead to other issues elsewhere in the vehicle, like the suspension. Keep tire pressure where it should be and replace and service your tires according to the owner’s manual.

Replace filters:

The purpose of the filters is to keep whatever particles are floating around in the air from getting into the important bits of the car. Sounds important because it is.

Service at a dealership or find a long-term mechanic you trust and that knows the brand inside out:

If your mechanic is your car’s medical team, then consider finding a family doctor rather than going to a different walk-in clinic each time it’s sick. Dealerships like Family Honda offer fantastic service for all Honda vehicles; as dedicated experts, they have all the tools, parts and training to get the job done the right way.