Take Care of Your Car And It Will Last Longer

(NUI) - Changing the oil and filter is the most frequently neglected service by vehicle owners, according to a survey of ASE-certified automotive technicians conducted by the National Institute for Automo-tive Service Excellence (ASE).

The ASE survey asked technicians to list the auto maintenance that their customers most frequently neglect. From this survey, ASE compiled a Top Ten List of Vehicle Neglect.

While changing the oil and oil filter was the most frequently neglected service at 27.l percent, neglecting the cooling system, belts and hoses was a close second, listed by 19 percent of technicians.

Transmission neglect (12.3 percent) and neglecting periodic maintenance schedules (10.3 percent) also rated high among the technicians.

"What this survey shows is that the least expensive and least time-consuming routine maintenance is being overlooked by today's car owners," said Ronald Weiner, ASE president. "Vehicle neglect can be costly. Serious problems and expensive repairs often result when car owners don't check and change engine oil and coolant/antifreeze in the radiator, or replace worn belts and hoses."

Technicians also listed other maintenance items that are frequently neglected: tuneups, 8.7 percent; tires, 8.5 percent; suspension and steering,8.2 percent; brakes, 7.7 percent; timing belts, 2.4 percent; and body/paint work, 1 percent.

Since the complexity of today's vehicles limits the maintenance and service the average do-it-yourselfers can perform themselves, ASE advises car owners to take their vehicle to a repair facility that employs ASE-certified technicians for periodic checkups. Car owners should follow the recommended service schedules in the owner's manual.

For a copy of ASE's brochure, "Protect Your Auto Investment," please send a self-addressed, stamped business envelope to: ASE Consumer Brochure. Dept. NU-996, 13505 Dulles Tech-nology Drive, Suite 2, Herndon, VA 20171-3421.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excel-lence (ASE) was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals.

ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign. Approximately 420,000 professionals hold ASE credentials. Visit the ASE Web site (www.asecert.org) for more information.

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