(BPT) - The open road lies in front of millions of drivers who are ready to lower the windows and feel the warm breeze. Nothing curbs the excitement of a spring drive more than car issues that could have been avoided by simple maintenance to combat the lasting effects of driving through winter.
Many people consider spring the perfect time to clean their homes, but it is also important not to forget the vehicle. The average vehicle stays on the road nearly 11 years, according to a study by Polk Research. This trend of consumers holding onto their vehicles longer than usual continues to grow.
To help protect what is typically the second largest investment for any consumer - your vehicle - here are simple tips to make sure you are ready for a successful spring travel season.
* Seasons change ... so does tire pressure: As temperatures change, so can tire pressure. Proper tire inflation is essential for increased automotive safety, optimum driving performance and significant cost savings, including better fuel mileage. Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard or in the glove box, and should be checked at least monthly. Over-inflation can lead to premature or irregular tire wear and under-inflation reduces a vehicle's fuel efficiency by an average of 3.3 percent, according to fueleconomy.gov.
* Keep hydrated: Many fluids require attention, including the engine oil, transmission fluid and power steering fluid. Spring is the perfect time to make sure they are all clean and at the proper levels. Additionally, to help ensure maximum engine life, change the oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles, or as directed by your owner's manual.
* Breathe free: Replacing a dirty air filter can increase a vehicle's life expectancy and fuel efficiency by reducing the strain on the engine, especially during warmer months. Over the winter months, salt, sand and other impurities may build up in a vehicle's air filtration system, and replacing this air filter can improve acceleration time by around 6 to 11 percent, according to fueleconomy.gov.
* April showers bring May flowers, and wet roads: Many times, consumers postpone tire purchases, but after enduring a harsh winter and looking ahead to the wet spring weather, it is not the time to have low tread on your tires. The lower the tread depth, the less traction you will have on wet roads, and the greater the distance you will need to stop. For drivers in need of 'new shoes' for their vehicle, every tire in the Goodyear Assurance family offers confident all-season traction plus a relevant benefit that enhances the driving experience - ultra traction, refined handling and comfort, and fuel efficiency.
For more helpful car care advice or information on tires for cars, light trucks, SUVs and more, visit your local Goodyear retailer or go online to www.goodyear.com.