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How Central Coast drivers can increase the lifespan of their vehicles

Posted at 11:16 AM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 14:46:15-04

When was the last time your car had a tune-up? If you're consistent, maintenance could add some years to your car's life.

According to, 9.7% of drivers in San Luis Obispo County drive a car that is at least 15-years-old. Emerito Cabreros of Arroyo Grande falls into that category.

"All the expenses we do these days - gas, mortgage payments, stuff like that - so we try to keep the car maintained and keep it in nice shape," Cabreros said.

He uses his car primarily for his landscaping business, and over the last nearly two decades, he says he hasn't had any mechanical issues.

"The farthest north I go is Shell Beach," Cabreros said. "The farthest south is Oceano."

So, what's kept the heart beating on his truck? It's simple, and can be chalked up to regular maintenance.

Zachary Bollinger, a master technician at Cole Chrysler Dodge in San Luis Obispo, would agree.

Bollinger says regular oil changes every 3,000-5,000 miles just scratch the surface on what drivers can do to increase the lifespan of their vehicles.

Even taking a longer and faster drive can be better for your car.

"That's actually better for a vehicle than short-term driving basically due to the fact that any condensation that maybe has built up in the vehicle can have a chance to basically evaporate off," Bollinger said.

When it comes to filling up at the pump, Bollinger says the grade of gas you put in your car does matter. He says if your car doesn't require the higher grade gasoline, then save your money and go with the lower level because that's what's meant for your car to run the most efficiently.

"If it's a higher grade, which is more expensive, make sure what your car requires it," Bollinger said.

When it comes to brakes, regular maintenance can also save you some cash on the expensive price tag that comes with a full brake replacement.

"If we catch them soon enough and they're getting down to the point and need to be replaced, we can typically machine the rotors and make them flat again," Bollinger said.

When it comes down to it, Bollinger says you should know the maintenance schedule on your vehicle, which can be found in the owner's manual of your vehicle.

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