According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans drove 2.99 trillion miles on American highways in 2005. This represents a 27.4 billion mile increase over travel in 2004 and nearly 25 percent more than in 1995.
"We spend so much time behind the wheel, exposing our vehicles to mostly extreme conditions. Yet, we are so quick to take them for granted," said Sam Memmolo, automotive professional and host of the TV show, "Two Guys Garage." "Too many people ignore their vehicles until something goes wrong but preventative maintenance is the best way to increase vehicle life."
Memmolo suggests starting with a basic tune up that includes spark plug replacement and regular oil and filter changes. While motor oil is a vehicle’s lifeblood, it is the filter’s job to prevent harmful particles and contaminants from entering the engine.
"The type of filter you use should depend on the driving you do," added Memmolo.
The FRAM brand offers quality filter products that meet the varying demands of today’s vehicles – including filters for older vehicles, trucks and SUVs. For instance, the FRAM Tough Guard oil filter utilizes a combination of synthetic glass and cellulose media. Some offer a screen-over bypass valve that provides backup filtration during cold start-ups and added protection against larger particles of dirt.
Memmolo recommends oil and filter changes every 3,000 miles and spark plug replacement once every two years.
"Today’s spark plugs are exposed to severe stress in the engine," said Memmolo. "And, old, worn or dirty spark plugs can reduce fuel economy by up to 30 percent according to AAA."
A spark plug’s role is to deliver a high-voltage spark with split-second timing, thousands of times a minute under hostile operating conditions. When choosing spark plugs, Memmolo suggests buying plugs that provide better overall ignitability and durability. For instance, the .6mm finewire design of the Iridium enhanced Autolite XP Xtreme Performance spark plug is one of several technologically advanced plugs from the Autolite brand.
"In addition to your car performing better, you’ll even save money at the pump," said Memmolo.