I'm buying a new car next year. What's the bare minimum?
I love when I get asked, "I'm buying a new car next year, what is the bare minimum I can do for my current car and make it last until I trade it in?" and I love it even more they are shocked when I say just do an oil change and fix safety issues only. Unfortunately, our society doesn't value taking care of things. If only you could get more money because you cared for something. We live in an abuse-then-replace society. I feel like it's a shame we don't have things we pass down from generation to generation anymore. Heck, now we get rid of perfectly good stuff! It's just not the newest and greatest model.
Have a definite sell date. No matter what. Commit yourself to purchasing the new vehicle, because as your vehicle gets older and the more you disregard its maintenance then you are really going to need to purchase another vehicle. People will tell me "oh I'm getting rid of it next year" and then it seems every time they come in they end up spending so much money on things that could have been avoided with proper maintenance had they just stuck to their plan of selling the car when they said they would.
I view my job as an automotive professional to put the needs and desires of my clients before my own. Even if that means I don't make a sale because I know it's not in my clients best interest. It's a fiduciary duty. Unfortunately, many people do not know what they expect from their vehicle. It's okay to want and buy a new car. And if you want one every 3 years. Great! But you must understand the financial ticking time bomb you yourself create when you don't commit to that plan by disregarding your current vehicle's maintenance needs.