In tough times, more motorists keep vehicles longer

Published on Wed, Nov 4, 2009
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According to a recent story in USA Today, more motorists are maintaining their current vehicles instead of purchasing new ones because of the uncertain economic environment. However, recent Car Care Council survey results show that 80 percent of the vehicles inspected during 2008 vehicle check-up events needed either service or parts.

“The current economic situation has people very hesitant to spend money for a new car, instead keeping their current vehicles for longer periods of time,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Since four out of five vehicles need some type of service, it’s important to remind motorists that those who keep their cars, treat them as valuable investments and commit to regular vehicle maintenance, end up saving a lot of money.”
Results of vehicle inspections at community car care events across the country during National Car Care Month in April, and Fall Car Care Month in October, revealed that 80 percent of vehicles needed parts replacement, service or fluids filled.

For example, nearly one out of every 10 vehicles had the check engine light on. The top problem areas were motor oil, windshield wipers, air filters, belts and hoses and lights.

To help ensure the reliability and safety, and extend vehicle life, the Car Care Council recommends these preventive maintenance steps:

• Change the oil and filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or per the owner’s manual. Periodic oil and filter changes keep your engine clean on the inside.

• Check the tire pressure at least monthly, including the spare. Your car’s tires affect its ride, handling, traction and safety. 

• Schedule a tune-up annually to optimize your car’s performance. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy and produces the lowest level of emissions.   

• Have the alignment checked at least annually. Potholes and other road conditions, as well as normal wear, can take their toll on your car’s steering and suspension. A wheel alignment reduces tire wear, improves fuel economy and handling, and increases driving enjoyment and safety.

• Inspect the windshield wipers and lights on the car. Lights and wipers play a major role in safe driving, and they are normal wear items that need periodic replacement.