(ARA) - Many Americans are trying to get the full value out of their vehicle, as evidenced by the recent findings that the average age of a vehicle on the road has reached over 10 years old, according to an R.L. Polk & Co. study. In order to make sure that their vehicles remain durable, it is important that motorists look for ways to help keep their vehicles running smoothly, longer.
"The engine in a vehicle is much like the heart in our bodies: In order for the heart to be fit and strong, we need to take care of it," says Jeff Hsu, technology manager for the Quaker State brand, who wants to help drivers take the steps that can help extend the life of their vehicles. "Proper and regular maintenance of a vehicle can help save money on repairs down the road, especially for vehicles that have reached milestones in age and mileage."
There are many ways to help increase your vehicle's longevity and keep your peace of mind intact. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of one of your largest investments. Make It Your Routine
Just as regular check-ups with your doctor are important for your own health, heeding regularly scheduled maintenance intervals as determined by the vehicle manufacturer is also an essential step to help keep your vehicle healthy. Taking your vehicle in and having it regularly maintained helps to make sure your vehicle has what it needs to keep it running. Of the overall maintenance regimen, one of the most frequently missed maintenance tasks is the oil change. By changing your oil as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, you can help maintain the performance of your engine. Regular maintenance and recommended intervals are typically outlined in a vehicle's owner's manual. Take It Easy
To make sure your vehicle can stand the course of time, it is important to avoid unnecessary strain on the engine.
"A vehicle that has been sitting for an extended period of time will have next to no oil left on the moving parts of the engine, as it has accumulated in the oil pan," says Hsu. "Allowing your engine to warm up by easing into acceleration will help the oil flow quicker and decrease the amount of wear and friction-related damage that may occur."
Maybe even more important than taking it easy on startup is making sure to not overexert your vehicle. Constant, high RPMs, short braking, high-speed driving and other severe types of driving can lead to accelerated engine and transmission wear and potentially more substantial issues. Keep It Clean
"When trying to keep a vehicle running and to extend its life, it is important to not overlook the body of the vehicle," says Hsu.
Consumers' vehicles likely take a beating throughout the year with the months of harsh winter conditions and corrosive elements. High temperatures, bird droppings, tree sap and UV rays in the warmer months can also cause damage to the interior and exterior of a vehicle. Keeping vehicles clean can help protect them from the chemicals and dirt that may attack the car's finish and undercarriage. Make Sure It's Covered
Having your vehicle covered for any issues that may arise is important, and extended warranty programs are becoming more and more prevalent. Last year alone, Americans bought 250 million extended warranties, according to the Service Contract Industry Council.
Story from CarJunky