Change your oil every 3,000 miles. Don't try to save cash by skipping a change. Missing even one change can accelerate premature engine wear.

Stick to the maintenance schedule. Most city and suburban drivers should follow the "severe" or "extreme use" maintenance schedule.

Change brake and transmission fluids five or six years after a car leaves the factory and every two years after that.

Watch out for a repair shop or dealership that tries to add maintenance items not in the schedule.

Keep tires rotated for longer life and check their pressure. Losing even a few pounds of pressure can shorten tire life significantly.

Use only parts and fluids meeting manufacturer specs. Using the wrong type of oil or transmission fluid or no-name belts and hoses can lead to expensive repairs.

Keep the exterior clean to prevent corrosion and extend shine.

Source: Consumer Reports

JOHN EWOLDT