Following the right maintenance schedule and procedures can not only help save money, but also the environment.
Knowing what and when maintenance needs to be performed keeps consumers from over- or under-maintaining their vehicle. It also cuts down on the over-use of environmentally sensitive products such as motor oil, aids in the conservation of gasoline and can prolong the overall life of a car.
Are You Over-Changing Your Oil?
Many motorists believe the oil in their vehicle should be changed every 3,000 miles. However, most late-model vehicles now can go 5,000 to 7,000 miles between oil changes.
Having oil changes performed more frequently than needed is both a waste of money and an unnecessary burden on the environment. Motorists should check their vehicle's owner's manual to find out what intervals their vehicle's manufacturer recommends for changing the oil based on the conditions in which they drive.
A Few Minutes a Month Can Produce Hundreds of Dollars in Savings
Tire maintenance—including proper inflation and regular rotation/balancing—also saves money by extending the life of the tires while reducing a car's fuel consumption. Extending tire replacement intervals and using less gasoline also provide added benefit to the environment.
Tires are essential to our mobility, but they're frequently overlooked. Taking a few minutes at least once a month to check the tires could extend how long you can drive on them for thousands of miles, and it can improve a car's gas mileage.
At least once a month, motorists should inspect each of their tires—including the spare. Check the tire pressure and ensure it's inflated to your vehicle's recommended maintenance levels, not the levels stamped on the sidewall of the tire. The correct pressure levels can be found on a sticker on the driver's side door jamb or in the owner's manual.
While checking each tire's pressure levels, inspect the tire sidewalls for bulges, and check the tread for excessive or uneven wear that indicates the need for wheel alignment and/or tire replacement. For maximum life, rotate the tires at the mileage intervals specified in the owner's manual.
The Road to a Long Car Life Starts with the Owner's Manual
Following the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule found in the owner's manual is the best way to keep a car running properly and avoid costly repairs.