Citizens and Vehicles, Getting Older, Working Harder

Thanks in part to advancements in health care, our 65 and over population, presently at 13% of the total, will be 20% by 2030 (source Washington Post). Technology has worked wonders in extending the life of our vehicles, too. Median car life has nearly doubled to more than 9 years. “As a result of technology the quarter million mile vehicle no long is a miracle,” says Rich White of the Car Care Council. Engines and drive trains are superbly refined, as are fuels and lubricants. Equipment developments and the personnel training to go along with them have added to this formula for long life. “Bodies hold up far better inside and out, thanks to improvements in metallurgy, plastics, upholstery material, finishes and the processes for applying them. We’re in the age of longer lasting vehicles and longer periods of ownership.

The NADSA theme line “What We Do Makes a Difference” applies to our vehicles, too. We can abuse, misuse and neglect them and their lives on earth will be brief or, as in the case of millions of octogenarians, they can look and function well for decades.

“One thing that has not changed,” emphasizes White, “is the importance of change itself… oil change. Probably no single aspect of car care bears more on the life of a vehicle than regular changes of the oil and filter. This procedure, generally recommended every 3,000 – 4,000 miles, includes lubrication of the critical wear components.

“Also, having the vehicle on a lift provides an opportunity for a close-up look at parts that are seldom, if ever seen at any other time. Many a faulty safety component has been discovered during a routine lube job.

Advances in every aspect of technology have extended vehicle life far beyond the dreams of the automotive pioneers. But technology notwithstanding, without preventive care a vehicle still takes an early retirement. “This is why,” concludes White, “we say Be Car Care Aware.“

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" campaign, educating consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and repair. For more information, visit