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. ROSE JOHNSON says,

    The information you post on your website about our vehicles which I believe not all of us “woman” know about is “excellent”, please continue to post they are so helpful, again “thank you”

  2. Rosemary Korte says,

    Thank you for all the good information you posted about taking care of your vehicle…the information you posted helps me to take and beware of the protection of my car

    • S Randall says,

      Yes you should because the tires will be laughing since you put laughing gas in them. If you mean nitrogen, then yes you need to check the pressures. Nitrogen expands and contracts just like air. You put nitrogen in the tires to cut down on moisture.

  3. Morris Etienne says,

    My dodge caravan needed work I got you all to bring it to Dodge it coat me 130.00 dollars to fine the problem,it was the computer ,I bought a computer got it program now it won’t start got a new battery will not start, the computer cause me 460.00 dollars, Dodge wanted 1000. Dollars now I have to have another system check ,witch me luck

    • Lainey says,

      I never go to the dealership, they work on commission & are geared to upsell at every point. Play it safe and locate a good mechanic who does it for the satisfaction of a job well done and a few extra dollars.

      • Dennis Cruz says,

        I definitely concur on that sir, stay away from dealerships as much as possible, they are all a bunch of crooks.

  4. Wendy Oslica says,

    Thanks so much for the great tips on extending the life of a car. After reading took my car in for a tune-up and always ck tire pressure

  5. Edward T. Corrao says,

    Thank you for the tips I will add them to my checklist, like the wipers, wiping my exterior lights, safety first.

  6. Brandon Gibson says,

    My transmission is about to go out, what can I do to fix it without spending over thousands of dollars?

    • MikeTech2 says,

      Depending on your manufacturer there are a few good transmission tune-ups in a bottle available at your local parts store. B4 adding try changing the trans fluid & filter (if serviceable). DO NOT FLUSH. This is a ‘long-shot’ but always worth a try. The biggest enemy of automatic transmissions is accelerating hard b4 normal operating temperature has been reached!

      • Renée says,

        I just want to reiterate what Mike said, “DO NOT FLUSH” your transmission if you’re having issues. Doing so may and more than likely will make the issue WORSE.

    • Kayla manion says,

      Stop slip transmission oil. Also known Lucas’ oil you can buy from autozone for 11 I had a 06 jeep with 300k miles trans started going at 260 lol

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