(NAPSI)—Your car doesn’t ask for much. It’s always there for you, getting you where you need to go. A little extra care this Valentine’s Day-or any day-in the form of an oil change, tune-up and basic service can be a great gift for the one who keeps you going.

“Don’t let your car break your heart by neglecting to take care of it,” advised Rich White, executive director of the nonprofit Car Care Council. “Being car care aware can add years of useful life to your relationship with your vehicle and keep you from being stranded because of an unexpected breakdown.”

The Council recommends a little tender loving auto care.

• Schedule a tune-up annually to optimize your car’s performance. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy and produces the lowest level of emissions.

• Change the oil and filter per the owner’s manual. Periodic oil and filter changes keep your engine clean on the inside.

• Check the tire pressure monthly, including the spare. Your car’s tires affect its ride, handling, traction and safety.

• Have the alignment checked annually. Potholes and other road conditions, as well as normal wear, can take their toll on your car’s steering and suspension. A wheel alignment reduces tire wear, improves fuel economy and handling, and increases driving enjoyment and safety.

• Inspect the windshield wipers and lights on the car. Lights and wipers play a major role in safe driving, and they are normal wear items that need periodic replacement.

To help make vehicle ownership more enjoyable, economical and convenient so you can keep your relationship with your car on track, the Car Care Council has a free custom service schedule available on its website.

The Council is also the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.

Free Guide

For a free copy of the council’s popular “Car Care Guide” or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

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