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As millions of Americans rely on their cars from day to day without a second thought, we would like to remind you there are ways to take care of your automobile so it can continue serving your needs for years to come. With basic maintenance, care and diagnostics one can prolong the life of their vehicle for several extra years than someone who neglects their wheels. Below are 10 easy steps that if done regularly will put extra life into your most valuable, underappreciated asset; our Vehicles.

The Basics

Keeping it Clean – Washing your car regularly not only keeps your vehicle looking nice, it also prevents rust, build-up and cracks. As many of us wash their car themselves it is important to get out to a car wash about once a month to get the undercarriage rinsed as well. As we travel on the road dust, debris and salt kick up underneath our cars into every nook, cranny and crevasse which can lead to damaging rust, withering away our chassis, frame and exhaust system which can lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills.

Watch the Road – Keeping your eyes on the road is not only imperative to your safety from getting into an accident, but for your cars protection as well. Curbs, cracks and potholes can be devastating to your vehicle if not avoided. These obstacles can cause flat tires, alignment issues, suspension damage, and CV axle breakage which can total up to $3000 in repairs.

Weekly Check-in – A weekly walk around of your vehicle to check on tire pressure, lights, turning signals and engine belts are commonly dismissed practice for millions of drivers. This easy practice can help avoid blowout and breakdowns that could lead to more serious problems that could have been avoided.

Performing regular maintenance – Between oil and filter changes at every 5,000 – 7,500 miles, timing belt changes at every 60-80,000 miles and performing tire rotations, brake pad and rotor replacements when necessary, these regular maintenance practices will help keep your car on the road for many more miles to come.

Complete Repairs Right Away – Putting off automotive repairs are a danger to yourself and the life of your vehicle. While people will tell you to set aside a repair fund of a few thousand dollars, here at DriveSmart Warranty we will pay those repair bills for you. At a low monthly cost, DriveSmart will provide roadside assistance, towing services, and pay your mechanic directly the next time your vehicle needs repairs. Feel free to call us today at 888-535-9825 or click here for more information.

Start Slow – When you first start up your car, let the engine warm up a little. As your car ages it’s important to let the engine idle for a few minutes so all the fluids can flow through all moving internal parts. When you get out of the road ease into your acceleration, this will allow your engine, axle, and transmission time to warm. Once your car is warm feel free to accelerate at a faster rate so you engine can burn off any carbon buildup that can clog valves, chambers, and exhaust manifolds.

Listen – A car enthusiast can tell the difference noises, movements and feels their car makes when its in tip top shape. For the rest of us, we just insert our keys into the ignition and go along our daily lives without concern. Listening carefully to noises that you car makes that aren’t familiar can be the first line of defense in preventing major damage to your vehicle. Today when you go home, turn the music off and just listen. Listen to what you car sounds like when you turn it on, when you step and the gas, brake and lastly when you go around corners. If you can address a problem from “well that doesn’t sound right”, you may be able to prevent major issues.

Carpool – The less you can drive your aging vehicle the better off you will be. Not only will you be saving your cars youth but you can help reduce CO2 emissions significantly, especially for the daily commuter. So ask you co-workers that live by you to drive in together, start a carpool sign-up at your company information board; your car and mother nature will thank you.

Grease and Lubricants – Obviously we all know how important engine, transmission and coolant fluids are to keep your car running at its best. But there are several other areas of your vehicle that needs constant lubrication. Many joint creating the durability of our automobiles are created from steel that connect with bolts and bushings. Regularly greasing and lubrication of engine mounts, suspension joints, door/hood hinges, axle joints and any other metal on metal contact areas are imperative for keeping your car in good shape.

Avoid Extra Weight – The more weight a vehicle carries the harder it will have to work. Not only does it add extra strain on the suspension but on the engine, transmission and braking system as well. So clean out that extra clutter and just keep the essentials in your trunk, every little bit helps.

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Disclosure: DriveSmart offers Protection Plans or Vehicle Service Contracts (VSC) may be referred as “extended car warranty”, or “auto warranty”. A VSC is not a warranty but provides repair coverage for your vehicle after your manufacturer’s vehicle warranty has expired. The VSC contract is with you and the vehicles owner and the VSC provider or administrator that will state what is covered in each plan.