How will you spend your tax refund? Another flat-screen TV? An iPad? Clothes? The Car Care Council has a better idea for your money: spend it on your second biggest investment, your car.
“Whether it’s an oil change, replacing brakes or new belts and hoses, that periodic repair bill is a drop in the bucket compared to monthly payments on a new car,” said Rich White, executive director Car Care Council. “The bottom line is that a properly maintained vehicle is safer, more dependable, more fuel efficient, less polluting and more valuable. The smartest way to get a solid return on investment is to keep your car through what we call the ‘Cinderella Era.’ It’s that period of time after the payoff when your car is still in great shape and needs only modest repairs.”
With proper care, the typical vehicle should deliver at least 200,000 miles of safe, dependable performance. The most common maintenance procedures and repairs to keep your car operating safely and reliably while maintaining its long-term value involve checking the oil, filters and fluids, the belts and hoses, brakes, tires and air conditioning. The council also recommends an annual tune-up and wheel alignment.
“Last year, the average tax refund was nearly $3,000. By simply allocating a portion, or the equivalent of just one new car payment, consumers could cover an entire year’s worth of basic maintenance and live happily ever after with their current vehicle,” said White.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.