POSTED: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 7:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Today's cars are less likely to spend a lot of time in the repair shop than those made just a decade ago. That reliability is showing up in how long people are hanging on to their vehicles.
The car on the road today is 11 years old. A new Consumer Reports article out this month offers tips for making cars last 200,000 miles.
Automotive editor Jeff Bartlett says the key Is routine maintenance following the manufacturer's recommendations.
"Servicing the differential, the transmission, making sure the timing belts done at the right time," he explains.
Changing the oil should also follow the owner's manual, although, many automotive experts say you can fudge on that up to 10,000 mile intervals.
If something needs replacing, Bartlett says use only parts made or approved by the manufacturer.
"Using no-name parts or cheap imitations are only going to lead to cheap results," he says.
The payoff for following maintenance procedures can be lucrative.
"The longer you hold on to it, for 150-200,000 miles, you save a tremendous amount of money versus, say, buying a car every five years," Bartlett says.