Consumer Reports: Making your car last - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Consumer Reports: Making your car last

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Atlanta, GA -

"I am the first owner, and I will be the last owner," said Ariel Manacher who bought his Toyota Camry back in 1996.  He never imagined hitting 226,000 miles!

"I didn't know it would get this far, but it did, and I'm pleased."

Liza Barth, Consumer Reports' auto expert, says people are often not aware of the long-term financial benefits of keeping a car for so long.

" Our research shows, if you hit 200,000 miles, which takes the average driver about 15 years, you could potentially save more than $30,000," said Barth.

First, you need to shop for a car you can live with long-term.

" Make sure it fits your lifestyle and don't compromise on features, especially safety features, like electronic stability control and a rear-view camera, if you can get it," said Barth.

Be sure you pick a vehicle with a reliable track record, like Ariel's Toyota Camry.  Then stick to the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual.  Missing even one oil change can contribute to premature engine wear.

" But, don't waste money on maintenance you don't need. Many vehicles go on 10,000 miles versus 3,000 miles on an oil change," said Barth.

Also, don't skimp on parts. Trying to save a couple of bucks on cheap parts and fluids could cost you in the long run.

Like Ariel Manacher, listen for any strange sounds and get small things fixed before they become a big problem.  

" The car starts every day, and that's not what you really want in a car. You want to get in it and go. You don't want to worry about it."

**Consumer Reports contributed to this article


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