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. Janet Shaw says,

    Could you please put out a statement regarding the increased safety of using headlights when it is raining and or foggy,

    When I am driving on the highway in a torrential downpour, the visibility makes it is very difficult to see the vehicle ahead of me.
    Shouldn’t there be a law: { rain, fog, poor visibility, HEADLIGHTS people!}

  2. Paul Brown says,

    If you use a real good Synthetic oil you will also save gas and on the wear and tare of your engine as well. I use strictly Amsoil 100% pure Synthetic oils in my cars. An oil today only has to have a small percentage of Synthetics in it before they can call it 100% synthetic, but they are not the full synthetics they claim to be. Amsoil has been making 100% Synthetic oil since 1972 before anyone ever heard of it. I use it in my entire drive train and picked up 2 miles per gallon in mileage doing it. You can also extend your oil changes to as much as 25,000 miles if you want without any damages to your engine, or go for the 10,000 mile oil change and still save money there. To many people are wasting their oils because at 3-5,000 miles, it is way to soon because a good synthetic has much more life left in it.

    • Grav Brenton says,

      Thank you very much for that feedback. Honesty and car maintenance do not seem to go hand in hand anymore. So honest feedback is appreciated. I must say that I always thought that with today’s synthetic oil technology we should not be changing the oil so frequently. But oil change businesses will not inform the consumer of that. Thanks again!

    • Phil D says,

      Synthetic oil is really great. Does anyone know if the engine needs ‘seasoning’? I bought a moped 20 years ago and it recommended not to use synthetic oil for the first 2 oil changes. Said something about the carbon in the regular oil helped seal the inside of the piston.

  3. Rob Palmer says,

    Running daytime headlights also wastes gas by putting more load on the alternator/engine. While it may be appropriate for safety in Canada with its lower population, this Canadian-innovated practice is more wasteful in the U.S. with our millions more autos. Headlights on daytimes results in tankerloads more oil consumed daily and also more air pollution in congested locations. If necessary for safety, bright, low-wattage lamps, or one lamp, should be used on car-front locations. Headlamps running draw over 9 amps, typically.

  4. Kevin Healey says,

    All sound advice… If you have an older vehicle check out Motor-Kote. I am using it in all three of our cars, my motorcycle plus my lawn tractor. The stuff is amazing.

  5. James says,

    No Aston Martin as in 007?
    Surely you’re kidding…
    It was “iconic” well before any of the cars on the list!

  6. Ms Jo Anne Eggli says,

    mu cruze is over s year old with 5300 original miles. I have the standard new car insurance & GAP with GEICO.
    So When would be the best time to get this coverage MBI on my investment?

  7. Barb says,

    I use cruise control to stay @ a steady speed on the highway and the fan on cold instead of the a/c.
    does this save a few gallons?

  8. Helena Morrissey says,

    Thanks for being such a great company! Great rates, great customer service and helpful tips besides! Thank you GEICO!!!!

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