WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Car repair costs were up 10 percent last year, according to Car M-D.
So be a proactive owner to ensure your car is poised for optimal performance.
It starts with the basics.
It will improve gas mileage, the tires longevity and help the car respond efficiently in an emergency. And, rotate the tires, that way they will wear at the same rate.
You can extend the life of the engine and get more gas mileage by changing the air filter every year or 12,000 miles.
Remember to maintain routine oil changes, and whatever you do, don't ignore the check light engine.
Car M-D says that light could simply warn you to check your gas cap or something more serious, like a faulty oxygen sensor.
Ignore it and you could pay an additional $900 a year in gas.
Bad spark plugs or ignition coils can also eat into gas mileage, even damage the catalytic converter, a part you really don't want to ignore.
The cost to replace one could easily top $1,000.
It may cost a bit of time and money now to maintain your car, but it will save you big bucks down the road.