Cars are big investments. And as the car owner, it is your duty to make sure that your car is always in its best condition. This isn't only for the good of your car. But much of it is for your safety as well. Cars should be sent for preventive checkups every once in a while to ensure that it is on its prime condition all the time.
There are different ways to maintain your car. First off, you can go ask your car dealer where their authorized repair shops are. It is best that you take your car to the people who were certified service engineer of the make of your car. That way, you will know for sure that only the right parts are going to be used for it. Inferior car parts can lead to accidents on the road and that can cost you your life and your investment.
Maintain your car by observing it every time you drive. You are the user of the car. Surely, you know how it feels like when it is working well and when it is not. You should not ignore minor disturbances when you're driving the car. These minor things could transform into a bigger problem if not addressed to right away. Anything odd in the sound of your engine should be considered. Whenever this happens, it is best that you take you car to the mechanic right away.
You should also check your oil level at all times. As much as possible, use synthetic oil for your car's motor. This way, you are sure that your engine is clean and up to par. You should also change oil regularly. You can do it yourself if you know how. Else, park by the nearest gas station's maintenance bay and ask the attendant to change the oil of your car. This process shouldn't take long.
Also, don't leave your car unused for long periods of time. If you have more than one car, try to use them alternatively. Leaving an old car in the garage and not using it for a long time is not a good idea. Its engine would only gather rust, making the car a big useless machine altogether. Driving your old car thrice a month should be enough to keep it in good running condition.
The brake should always be checked as well. Make sure that there's enough brake fluid in your car. If your brake isn't as good as it was before, chances are you might need to replenish the fluid. Else, there's something wrong with the braking system that an expert would have to check.
The outward appearance of your car is secondary. You should invest more on the running condition and the safety of your car rather than on a new pair of side mirror or a different coat of paint. While these works would add value to your car, they shouldn't be your first priority. You might as well invest on a good alarm system rather than an advanced stereo system.