And never use that 'engine leak fixer' fluid stuff. And DO use synthetic motor oil because you can go up to 10,000 mi before an oil change!
Most IMPORTANT service for a car is to DO REGULAR OIL CHANGES (EVERY 6,000 MI (AVG.)) AND ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OIL DIPSTICK LEVEL!!!
Oh, and.. DRIVE A MANUAL TRANS., NOT AN AUTOMATIC!!! And NEVER get a BLACK car because you will have to wash it constantly and it's about 10 degrees hotter on the inside on hot days than a white car is.
..oh, and give your car a name, talk nicely to it while tapping the dashboard now and then and it will last longer and not break down as often. Not joking.
You'll often get slightly better gas mileage. It will probably pay for itself.
Sometimes, looking cool outweighs feeling hot.
Good advice for most situations, but not all. Up until recently I would have agreed with you completely. My wife's Buick Regal GS has the venerable Buick 3.8L V6 with a supercharger. The car has close to 220,000 miles on it with no major repairs. Quite a while back we started losing coolant. I had to replace some O-rings and plastic elbows at the water pump that had gone bad. I had to replace this assembly another time as well. I started leaking fluid again shortly after the last time.
Because of the recent trouble... I was in the habit of checking the coolant level frequently. Fortunately, I checked the oil every time I looked at the coolant. So one morning I found that a bunch of the coolant had run into the engine and frothed up her oil badly. If my wife would have driven it any distance at all... I am sure it would have destroyed the engine.
It turns out that the lower intake manifold gasket on these engines is prone to failure. When they fail they can leak coolant into the oil pan. The replacement gaskets are fairly inexpensive, but the amount of effort required to take everything off of the the engine down to the engine is significant. I did not have the time to do it. So against my better judgment I bought a good sized container of a named brand sealant with a copper additive that had very good reviews on-line.
The car hasn't leaked any coolant into the oil system since. I keep a very close eye on it because I still consider it to be only a temporary fix, but I must admit that for this type of leak it worked very well. The car has been on some longer trips since and went through some pretty hot months without overheating. So far my "temporary fix" has lasted approximately 6 months and 10,000 miles.