Auto Maintenance Oil Change

5 Ways To Help Extend The Life Of Your Vehicle

As our population has continued to grow and people are increasingly relocating to suburbia, average commute times have sky-rocketed. A recent national study revealed that commuters in large metropolitan areas like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago spend nearly an entire work week each year sitting in traffic to and from their jobs. In 2019, the average American spent 27.6 minutes a day—each way—driving to and from work. It’s safe to say the days of the 10-minute work commute are virtually gone.

So how many miles can a car last? Depends on how well you maintain it and how you drive it. If you’re one of these unlucky commuters for whom telecommuting, carpooling and/or public transportation aren’t realistic options, here are a few tips that may extend the life of your car and help you spend less on gas by making your vehicle more fuel-efficient.

1. Drive GentlyA speedometer registering 50 miles per hour, or 80 km/h.

Avoid sudden starts and stops and observe the speed limit. Erratic acceleration and quick braking uses more fuel than driving in a smoother fashion. Plus, the wind resistance caused by driving fast costs you money. For every 5-mph you drive over the 60 mph mark, you add a dime to the price of every gallon of gas you buy.

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2. Get Regular Tune-Ups

Keep the car as well-tuned as you possibly can. A poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by up to 50 percent! Getting regular tune-ups, maintenance, and having clean air filters will help you burn less gas, pollute less, and prevent car trouble down the line. Using the right grade of oil for your car can also help ensure it runs smoothly in all types of weather.

3. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

A phenomenal 36% of cars are driven with tires below the recommended psi (pounds per square inch). Check your tire pressure regularly with a tire gauge to make sure they’re in line with what your manufacturer recommends. If you drive on wheels that are under-inflated your car’s fuel efficiency will be reduced by up to 2 percent for each pound that the tires are under-inflated.

4. Cut Back On The A/C Use

Stop using the A/C so much! Your vehicle’s air conditioner uses power generated by the engine, so only use it when necessary for short periods. Parking in the shade and using a reflective windshield shade will help keep your car cool on hot days. If your car is too hot to drive, simply roll down the windows and let it air-out before hitting the road. On the other hand, driving with your windows down reduces the aerodynamics of your car and increases fuel consumption, so on summer road trips try to strike a happy medium.

5. Get The Junk Out Of Your TrunkClothes in a car trunk, Old San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Avoid carrying extra weight in your car. Extra weight saps your fuel economy, so unless you’re planning on playing that day, leave those golf clubs at home.

Got a new car with less than 15,000 miles on it? Be sure to add Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) to your auto insurance policy to help cover mechanical problems when your new car warranty runs out.

Continue reading: How to Survive a Really Long Commute

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    Leave a comment

  1. Richard Smith says,

    This is all well and good but a few points are in order:

    1. The air conditioning comment is off base. When you don’t use you A/C you will probably have the windows down. In modern cars, windows down will result in more drag because the car is better aerodynamically with the windows up. This loss is probably more than the savings you achieve.

    2. Braking does NOT consume more gasoline.

  2. Chris Terrence says,

    Thanks for some good suggestions. I will use them. By the way is it true that if you use your air conditioner a lot, it hurts your gas mileage? By a lot or very little?

  3. Clark Kainoa Choy says,

    Thank so very much for these helpful driving tips on how to maintain your car, especially using the AC too much! These are excellent tips on how to save gas & maintaining your car properly! Please continue posting these helpful tips! Thank you!

    Aloha from Hawaii,
    Clark Kainoa Choy *~.~♡

  4. Thankful in Hawaii says,

    For Culture Mind
    Most of us are very thankful for the extra tips that GEICO takes the time and care to give us. We understand that we can use the information for our benefit, keep it in our minds for future use or leave it like you.
    Don’t spoil it for the rest of us who are grateful for the tips that are for our benefits in safety and savings.
    Thank you GEICO for caring!

  5. Just Me says,

    1993 Toyota great macanic, over 232.000 miles
    God’s the driver I’m blessed. Daughter drove it Husband drove it, I’ve been driving it for 12 years.

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