Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have noted that some 44,000 accidents a year are caused by vehicle malfunction.

Colorado Drivers: Have You Been Kind to Your Car?

Each year in April, National Car Care Month provides a vehicle for the nonprofit Car Care Council to call attention to the problems and safety issues that can arise when vehicle maintenance schedules are neglected.

Ignoring Vehicle Maintenance May Lead to Accidents

Vehicles are complicated machines that rely on numerous systems to operate safely. One consumer advocate website, youi, notes that a lack of scheduled maintenance causes many vehicle accidents. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), have also noted that some 44,000 accidents a year are caused by a vehicle malfunction. In 2015, NHTSA found that the top vehicle-related reasons for accidents were:

  • Tire- or wheel-related
  • Brake-related
  • Issues with the engine, steering, suspension or transmission

All these issues are items that would be addressed with regular maintenance. In addition to making sure your automobile is as safe as possible, regular maintenance, while it will cost you some money up front, can be the best preventive medicine down the road. As Consumer Reports highlighted in an article last year “Not long ago, to keep a car running beyond the 200,000-mile mark would have seemed about as likely as driving it to the moon. But big improvements in powertrain technology, rust prevention, lubricants, and more have led to game-changing improvements in reliability and durability. Now, almost any car can make it well into six-figure territory with proper care.”

Ignoring Warning Signs Can Kill Your Car

Car Care offers a lot of advice, including lists of the most common mistakes motorists make when it comes to car repairs. Ignoring warning signs or failing to adhere to basic maintenance schedules can be mistakes that kill your car. For instance:

  • Ignoring the check engine light can result in serious engine trouble and expensive repairs
  • Not changing vehicle fluids and filters, such as your oil, can lead to costly repairs and decrease the life of your car
  • Riding on under-inflated tires or worn treads can not only lead to an accident, but bad tires reduce gas mileage and vehicle performance
  • Believe it or not, a dirty car can impact your safety as it leads to a buildup of chemicals and dirt, which if not removed from the windshield, can interfere with visibility. Colorado is one state that uses a combination of anti-icers or salt during the winter months, and if motorists don’t clean the residue off their vehicle, it can lead to vehicle damage, including the windshield.

Vehicle maintenance is not only an effective way to keep your car running smoothly and efficiently but according to Consumer Reports, today’s cars make it even easier on owners to remember a maintenance schedule. Newer cars have sensors now that will alert the owner to the need for maintenance such as inflating a low tire or changing the oil. For drivers of older vehicles, every vehicle comes with a maintenance guide, so now is the time to pull it out and see whether you have adhered to your vehicle’s schedule. If you have not, schedule an appointment to get caught up with your designated schedule before something major happens that can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

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