According to data from TrueCar.com, in 2012 the average new car cost $30,500. That's a considerable expense, especially at a time when fuel costs remain high and cost of living continues to rise.
Because new cars have become so expensive, more and more vehicle owners are looking for ways to extend the life of their vehicles. The longer a car can stay on the road, the better an investment that vehicle becomes. Fortunately, there are several steps vehicle owners can take that should ensure their vehicles stay on the road for years to come.
* Scale back on short trips. The toll cold starts take on a vehicle can add up over time. When a car is started, condensation builds up in the vehicle's exhaust system. On longer trips, that condensation will gradually evaporate. However, on short trips, that condensation often does not have enough time to evaporate, and over time too many short trips will lead to an accumulation of water in the muffler that can lead to rust and rust holes on the muffler. Short trips also can negatively affect gas mileage. When possible, leave your car at home on trips into town when you can just as easily walk or ride a bicycle. Over time, reducing the amount of short trips you take in your car will greatly reduce wear and tear on your vehicle and improve your fuel efficiency as well.
* Stick to the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule. Adhering to your vehicle's maintenance schedule serves many purposes, including improving the its durability and protecting various components, including its cooling system and drivetrain. While many manufacturers used to recommend changing a vehicle's oil every 3,000 miles, many of today's newer automobiles need their oil changed less frequently. Check your owner's manual for manufacturer recommendations regarding oil changes, and don't forget to replace the oil filter when changing your vehicle's oil.