Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

Full Bio →

Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 23, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Reading a post on a popular news site today got me thinking about my own car's performance and the little things that I often ignore in regards to regular maintenance. These things when ignored can possibly lead to increased auto insurance payments, which for most of us we do not need or want.

First, how often should you change your oil? Most auto shops that perform oil changes typically recommend once every 3,000 miles. Everyone has heard and seen this. After the shop changes your oil they place a sticker inside your auto on the driver's side upper left-hand window that provides your current mileage and the mileage you should come back to get another oil change. Which is typically 3,000 miles.
Is this philosophy correct or is it okay to go longer than 3,000 miles? More on that later. First, I'd like to introduce you to the article I referenced that basically offers a checklist of the little things you should be mindful for regular updates to your vehicle.

A report from www.carmd.com discusses these "little things" that could cause damage to your vehicle which many auto owners ignore too long. A vehicle that does not run as it should can lead to on-road complications putting you at higher risk of an accident, which leads to a higher rate on your auto insurance.

Here are a 10 things to keep in mind:

  1. If you are scheduled to get maintenance for your car do not ignore this. Just get it done.
  2. Is your check engine light on? Take your car to your mechanic for a look.
  3. Changing your oil. How often do you do this?
  4. Tire pressure. We are all guilty of this. Find out the optimal pressure for your tires and maintain it.
  5. Don't neglect your coolants. All of them.
  6. Is your car running too hot overheating? Take it to your mechanic.
  7. Change all your filters. When was the last time you had them checked?
  8. Do you have a trustworthy auto shop? We've all heard horror stories. Ask friends and family who they use.
  9. Do you settle for aftermarket parts?
  10. Do you like to fix things yourself? Perhaps with your vehicle its best a professional look at it.

Filters are considered one of the leading items ignored. Sure enough, this little thing can lead to all kinds of issues. It's only $20 to get most replaced, yet it can save you lots of heartaches by avoiding damage to your sensors which are five to 10 times as expensive.

Most people do not get a regular oil change. Dirty oil does not mix well with most engines and can lead to engine failure according to vice president, Art Jacobsen at CarMD .

So to my initial question about how often you should change your oil. The rule most people know is once every 3,000 miles. But if you ask an expert they will tell you to refer to your auto's manufacturer recommendations, not your oil change guy.

"Frequent oil changes do not necessarily mean better performance or longer engine life," CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen told The Auto Channel. They report that with today's advances in technology every 3,000 miles is unnecessary. They recommend following your manufacturer's recommendations. This not only is good for your car but also good for the environment.

These little things to keep proper maintenance on your vehicle can also help you keep your premiums where they are. A riskier car can lead to accidents and higher premiums. If you follow these 10 things to maintain your automobile's performance you have a better chance of a long-lasting car that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg to insure.