Over a four-year period, the savings difference in keeping a car over buying a new one can add up to $10,000, say experts at the Car Care Council.
To ensure reliability and safety and extend vehicle life, the council recommends these preventive maintenance steps:
• Change the oil and filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or per the owner's manual. Periodic oil and filter changes keep your engine clean on the inside.
• Check the tire pressure at least monthly, including the spare. Your car's tires affect its ride, handling, traction and safety.
• Schedule a tune-up annually to optimize your car's performance. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy, and produces the lowest level of emissions.
• Have the alignment checked at least annually. Potholes and other road conditions, as well as normal wear, can take their toll on your car's steering and suspension. A wheel alignment reduces tire wear, improves fuel economy and handling, and increases driving enjoyment and safety.
• Inspect the windshield wipers and lights on the car. Lights and wipers play a major role in safe driving and they are normal wear items that need periodic replacement.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the Be Car Care Aware consumer education campaign, promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council's "Car Care Guide" or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.