Everyone loves that new car feeling when you drive your purchase off the lot. The smell, the feel, and the maneuverability are reminders that you got a great deal. Now it’s up to you to protect your investment to keep it driveable for years to come and to ensure it retains resale or trade value for your next vehicle.

While cars are well-known for losing value the second they’re driven out of the lot, there are several things you can do to maintain the remaining value.

Get the Recommended Checkups

Either the dealership where you bought the car or a reliable online source can advise which checkups your vehicle needs and when. Whether you were looking at new Ford vehicles for sale or other cars, you want your car to stay in the good condition and run effectively. It can be frustrating for your car to just not start one day and very dangerous for it to fail while you’re driving it.

To prevent either of these things from happening, don’t skip checkups. Getting your car checked for regularly will help to keep everything running smoothly. Missing a checkup could lead to a domino effect that causes several things to eventually go wrong. Often, these evaluations will find nothing that needs to be repaired, so you won’t always have to spend a significant amount of money.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

In addition to overall checkups, keep up with your car’s day-to-day needs. Check the tire pressure and get regular oil changes, for example. You will want to keep the fluid levels stable as well. Change the air filter and cabin filter periodically to keep the engine running clean and the interior fresh and wholesome for the driver and passengers. Replace broken gauges and take notice of warnings or reminders that flash on your car’s monitor.

Follow the Owner’s Manual

Browse your car’s owner’s manual to learn how your car operates. Use the features correctly so they will last longer. Follow guidelines for operating your vehicle as described in the manual, and contact the dealership if you have questions. Otherwise, accidental problems could occur, for example, when you try to fix a flat tire using the wrong tools or supplies.

Take Pride in Your Car

Keeping your new car clean and in good condition helps to build pride in and appreciation for the purchase. While you don’t necessarily have to get every ding or scratch repaired right away, larger scrapes or bumps should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid rust setting in. The more you take care of your car, inside and outside, the likelier you are to keep it well maintained for the long haul.

Enjoy your new car as both a necessity and an investment. Keep it running efficiently and looking great for lasting results.