GREENSBORO, N.C. — It's the first or second most expensive thing you own. And the key to keeping it in good shape? Your owner’s manual.

Good news, it’s free! You don’t have to take someone else’s word for it, just read it!
The maintenance schedule in this is key. Consumer Reports says first and foremost, get your oil changed. Really.

If oil changes aren't done in a timely manner, your car's performance and fuel economy can suffer, and long-term damage can occur. Do you need to do it every 3,000 miles? For most vehicles, no.

Don't be surprised if your owner's manual reads:

Conventional motor oil at 5,000 miles

Synthetic oil at 7,000  miles

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Oil changes also give technicians a chance to look under the hood and undercarriage to see if there are problems with the vehicle.

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