“A pampered car repays you with long life. Ignore it and it can cause you much strife. If you take time to maintain it, It will fill your wallet, not drain it. And you’ll know the decision you made to maintain it was right.” This article is for people who want to keep their cars as long as possible – and make fewer donations to their mechanic. To enjoy the above benefits, along with more peace of mind and trouble-free driving, there is a small price you have to pay. Relax, you don’t have to turn your garage into a repair shop or get grease under your fingernails. All you have to do is read and follow the advice in this article. The old saying still rings true. “Take care of your car and it will take care of you!” This article will show you how to take care of your car, without getting a drop of grease under your fingernails (unless you want to). Most cars are built to last far longer than most people imagine; the difference between a clunker and a cream puff is mainly the difference between how the previous owners took care of it (or neglected to take care of it). Although many mechanics can tell you a lot of this same information, most won’t or can’t because of time restrictions, lack of communication skills or simply the profit motive. So if you’re ready, turn the ignition on your attention and let’s get started. After reading this article you’ll drive more miles with more smiles. Note: According to current auto insurance statistics, the average car’s useful life is ten years (or 100,000 miles). By following proper preventative maintenance, you can often double your car’s useful life and spend less time visiting your mechanic. 1. Research by major car manufacturers reveals neglect of routine service and maintenance is the number one reason for major car repairs. Routine maintenance doesn’t cost; it saves money, aggravation, frustration and lives. 2. If you have a major repair to do, it’s wise to get at least three estimates before you decide, if possible. Don’t just judge lowest price, but judge by competence, ability, experience, equipment and after-service care. 3. If you find a good mechanic who you can trust, stick with them even if their prices are a bit higher. All things being equal, you’ll save time, money and aggravation in the long run. Plus, your mechanic will get to know your car more intimately. 4. Read and follow your owner’s manual. It’s your bible for making your car last longer. Be sure to keep it in your car, such as the glove compartment or trunk. 5. According to research, a garaged car last longest, a carport is the next best, and a car cover is close behind. If you can’t garage, carport, or cover your car, park under trees or other covering to protect it from the sun. 6. Avoid jackrabbit starts and stops. Stop and accelerate gradually. This will save gas, and conserve wear and tear on your brake linings, transmission, and suspension. 7. In extremely slow or stop-and-go traffic, don’t ride the brake pedal. This wears out your brake linings prematurely and wastes fuel. It’s best to shift into a lower gear. 8. Avoid running your car with the tank low on gas. Keeping the tank low in gas increases the chance of dirt, water and moisture settling into your fuel system. 9. A government study has confirmed the top three causes of car breakdowns while on the road are (1) tire trouble, (2) cooling system problems and (3) running out of gas. 10. Regular oil changes are the most important thing, dollar for dollar, you can do to protect your engine and make it last longer. Follow these suggestions and double your cars useful life.