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Four simple ways to extend the life of your vehicle

Automobiles are significant investments. The decision to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle is not one consumer should take lightly. Once drivers purchase their new vehicles, they can protect their investments and get greater returns on those investments by prioritizing maintenance and taking simple yet effective steps to extend the lives of their cars and trucks.

  1. Drive defensively. Aggressive driving is dangerous and can have adverse effects on a vehicle. When driving, always obey posted speed limits and avoid accelerating and decelerating quickly. Such a driving style can strain vehicle engines and drive trains while negatively affecting fuel efficiency and wearing down brakes.

  2. Maintain a clean vehicle. Car washes do more than just clean a vehicle. Routine washing and waxing can remove dirt that can gradually scratch paint and contribute to chips and rust if left on a vehicle. Over time, rust can affect vehicle performance. It may even compromise the safety of drivers and their passengers if bad enough frame rust affects structural integrity. Routine washing also can remove road salt from vehicles. Salt can build up during winter when roads are routinely treated during and after snowstorms. Road salt can be extremely corrosive. If left unremoved from a vehicle can contribute to rust that ultimately can cause extensive damage to a vehicle.

  3. Routinely check tire pressure. Many of today’s new vehicles alert drivers when tire pressure is low. Drivers should not ignore such warnings, as low tire pressure can affect engine performance by forcing them to work harder than necessary. Engines forced to work harder than they need to likely won’t last as long as those that run efficiently. Low tire pressure also negatively affects fuel efficiency, potentially costing drivers substantial amounts of money over time. Drivers of older vehicles without tire pressure alerts should routinely check tire pressure and keep tires adequately inflated. Vehicles that are slow to accelerate from resting positions may not have enough air in their tires.

  4. Adhere to maintenance guidelines. Drivers may have heard that today’s vehicles were built to go longer periods between oil changes and tune-ups than the vehicles of yesteryear. But drivers should still adhere to manufacturer-recommended maintenance guidelines. Upon buying new vehicles, drivers should read their owners’ manuals to determine recommended maintenance intervals and stick to those intervals for as long as they have their vehicles. Cognizant of the sizable investments they’re making when buying new vehicles, many drivers want to get as many miles out of their vehicles as possible. Simple maintenance and safe driving habits can go a long way toward keeping vehicles on the road for years to come.

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