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. Rosetta says,

    Wow! The article on car care was excellent. I learned so much about saving fuel cost.

    Thanks for sharing

    R Davis
    Washington, DC

  2. Sheila Goodwin says,

    If you often travel to places that you don’t know the area and your car is not equipped with one invest in a GPS it will save you enough money in wasted miles and gas to pay for it’s self.
    Saves you from a lot of stress as well !

  3. John C Eiden Jr says,

    Retiring from General Motors Corporation in the sales field and working for a division that supplies replacement parts to the automotive aftermarket , ACDelco Div., as the saying goes, your article is spot -on! Every tip was excellent, brief and to the point. Now if your readers will only heed! You certainly informed them. Again, nicely done.

  4. steven spivey says,

    first , junk in the trunk, rear wheel drive weight should be added to the rear if you drive in a lot of snow, also if you 1/2 or 3/4 ton plow truck ( light rear ends) to off set the weight of the plow and head gear.
    second , tire pressure is mark inside driver door or owners manual , (not max pressure that on the tire) if you don’t have TPMS ( that has digital read out on the dash) , get your self a pressure gauge . And double check if the dealership did prep on your new vehicle ( you pay for it) and make sure they did it!! Been there .done that and they try to b/s there way out of it,

  5. Harry W. Rollings says,

    Thanking you for the “reminder” notes….when ya get old as me….I do need to be reminded….

  6. Mike Yost says,

    This article is titled “Extend the life of your vehicle” but only rehashes a bunch of gas mileage tips. Where is the vehicle preservation advice?

  7. Robert B Palin says,

    Switched to GEICO upon moving from Tampa, FL to NC. Great price, convenient office location, and I need to pat myself on the back for switching to GEICO.

  8. William Lynott says,

    I have a Jeep w/182,000 miles and I use only synthetic oil. It’s worth paying a little more because my engine still runs like new. There is less wear & teer on it. And I get better gas millege at the same time.

  9. Sonny Jones says,

    Just have to say GEICO is thee BEST!

    Only had it for a month and they have blessed me 3 times already.



  10. kathy parker says,

    When you see a red light coming up coast up to the light don’t speed . This is good for your gas breaks and engine.keep a good distance from the car in front of you this will allow you to maintain a steady speed and prevent accidents

  11. Miss Maria Leon says,

    I learned that driving with my windows down causes the car to use more fuel. Also using the a/c in the car also uses up the fuel also. DO NOT break suddenly or put my foot on the gas quick because that also uses up more fuel.

    Taking care of my car is very important in order for it to extend its use for myself. Regular oil changes, tune-ups and etc.

    I’ve used GEICO for over 30 years and I would never change my car insurance to any other because I’ve always had great experience with GEICO.

    You give great service and that’s what we all want. It’s also good for co-op insurance too,

    I also feel very loyal to GEICO since I am a single woman driving and yes, you were there to change my flat tire!!!

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