AAA Reminds Motorists Proper Car Care Saves Money, the Environment

Oct 01, 2010, 09:01 ET from AAA

In recognition of October as AAA Car Care Month, the nation's largest motor club reminds car owners of the benefits of properly maintaining their vehicles

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AAA Car Care Month kicks off today, and the nation's largest motor club asks motorists to consider how following the right maintenance schedule and procedures can not only help save money, but also the environment.

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"Knowing what and when maintenance needs to be performed keeps consumers from over- or under-maintaining their vehicle," said John Nielsen, director, AAA Auto Repair and Buying Programs. "It also cuts down on the over-use of environmentally sensitive products such as motor oil, aids in the conservation of gasoline and can prolong the overall life of a car."

Are You Over-Changing Your Car's Oil?

Frequently motorists believe their cars' oil should be changed every 3000 miles, however most late-model vehicles now can go 5000 to 7000 miles between oil changes. "Having oil changes performed more frequently than needed is both a waste of money and an unnecessary additional burden on the environment," said Nielsen.

Motorists should check their vehicle's owner's manual to find out what intervals their vehicle's manufacturer recommends for changing the oil based on the conditions in which they drive.  

A Few Minutes a Month Can Mean Hundreds in Savings

Tire maintenance—including proper inflation and regular rotation/balancing—also saves money by extending the life of the tires while reducing a car's fuel consumption. Extending tire replacement intervals and using less gasoline also provide added benefit to the environment.

"Tires are essential to our vehicles, but they're frequently overlooked. Taking a few minutes at least once a month to check the tires could extend how long you can drive on them for thousands of miles, and it can improve a car's gas mileage," Nielsen said.

At least once a month, motorists should inspect each of their tires—including the spare. Check the tire pressure and ensure it's inflated to vehicle recommended maintenance levels, and NOT the levels stamped on the sidewall of the tire.

"One of the biggest mistakes motorists make when inflating their tires is referencing the wrong tire pressure level. Many incorrectly look to the sidewall of the tire. The correct pressure levels can be found on sticker on the driver's side door jamb or in the owner's manual," Nielsen explained.

While checking each tire's pressure levels, inspect the tire sidewalls for bulges, and check the tread for excessive or uneven wear that indicates the need for wheel alignment and/or tire replacement. For maximum life, rotate the tires at the mileage intervals specified in the owner's manual.

The Road to a Long Car Life Starts with the Owner's Manual

Following the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule found in the owner's manual is the best way to keep a car running properly and avoid costly repairs. To help make vehicle check-ups, maintenance and repairs more convenient and trouble-free, AAA independently inspects and approves qualified repair facilities. AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities must meet and maintain high professional standards for customer service, technician training, service equipment, warranties and cleanliness. There are nearly 8000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities in North America, and nearby locations can be quickly located at AAA.com/repair.

As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

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SOURCE AAA