Buying a new car can mean thousands if not millions of pesos worth of investing. With that much money at stake, you need to be sure your vehicle runs smoothly through the next few years of ownership. However, what happens when you want it to last longer than its model life expectancy? What if you want it to last maybe 15+ years or more? What do you need to do? Don’t worry we have got you covered with how and why maintenance can increase your vehicle’s life expectancy. For this example, we will be using a fan’s vehicle as a reference, of which he has lovingly kept running in excellent condition longer than its model life cycle.
Maintenance and extending your vehicle’s life expectancy
There is a saying that goes the longer you keep a vehicle with you the more it becomes family as you begin to form treasured memories with it. However, what can you do to make sure your vehicle runs smoothly for as long as possible? The key here is keeping up with maintenance schedules even after the warranty has expired.
For this example, we will be using a 2003 Isuzu Crosswind which has kept running in excellent condition for 17 years up to this day. A bit of background first, the Japanese AUV has been used as a daily commuter vehicle, as a cargo transporter, and has even survived flooding during the Ondoy Typhoon and still runs to this day.
How do you keep your vehicle in top condition?
Your owner’s manual, which we highly recommend reading in your spare time gives you a general guide as to what your vehicle will need replacing after a certain amount of time. This, however, will only cover up to maybe the first five or so years of ownership and will cover only a certain amount of kilometers. After that, the guidance stops and you’re on your own. However, don't throw the manual away after its usefulness expires. Make sure to keep it with you and follow the general pattern it shows as to when it comes to when to have oil changes and which parts you will need to replace. There comes a time when a well-taken-care-of vehicle can even outlast its owner’s manual, so it will be good to keep this document in a safe place.
We asked the owner of the Crosswind what he did to keep his vehicle in such good condition after it aged past what the owner’s manual can provide. His simple reply: regular oil changes every 5000 kilometers, transmission fluid replacement every 30,000 kilometers, replacement of broken or worn out hoses and lines, cleaning of the sedimenter, regular cleaning of its oil catch can, and the replacement of the fuel filter when needed. It sounds like a lot, however, these are all crucial things needed when you want your vehicle to last longer.
What about emissions?
As a vehicle ages, it tends to slowly lose power and to be left behind by emission standards. The Crosswind after all does run a Euro II engine and if not maintained well can often fail emission testings quite easily, also given that it is a diesel motor. This isn’t the case however, for the 2003 Crosswind as it regularly passes the LTO emissions testing with flying colors. It can even beat out more modern diesel motors that run on a much more “eco-friendly” common-rail direct-injection system (CRD-i) as many manufacturers would say in their brochures.
Case in point, a properly maintained modern Hyundai Starex will score about 0.55 on Lambda coefficient measurement on the LTO’s emission testing. The much older Crosswind, on the other hand, was able to score 0.49 for Lambada. This indicates that it was able to be more environmentally friendly compared to a more modern motor. Perhaps it’s magic, but the test is verified and has been performed at an LTO-certified testing location.
What if I want to know more about maintenance?
If you want to know more about your vehicle and which parts to replace, we recommend joining a car club or looking through forums. A group of like-minded people with experience in your vehicle can easily help you in keeping your vehicle maintained. They will easily address problems you might have and recommend shops for you that can aid you in your servicing and vehicle care endeavor. It goes to show that with proper care and servicing your vehicle will be able to last beyond its intended life cycle.