7 tips to make your car last (and increase its resale value)

A new car begins to lose value the minute you drive it off the lot. But with these seven tips, you can limit trips to the mechanic and increase your vehicle's resale value.

3. Increase following distance

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    Motorists drive through a highway construction zone in Little Rock, Ark. Increasing your following distance when driving is a good safety move, and it will give your car a break by cutting down on hard braking and sudden acceleration.
    Danny Johnston/AP/File
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Safety might seem like the most obvious reason to avoid anything resembling tailgating, but your vehicle will thank you for increasing your following distance as well. It allows you to make speed adjustments more subtly, reducing the amount of hard braking and acceleration you’ll need to do. This is probably pretty self-evident, but perhaps reading it will help bring it front of mind next time you’re following someone in traffic.

The only downside to allowing extra space behind the car you’re behind is that someone may take advantage of the slot and cut in front of you, ruining your efforts and ambitions of saving fuel and brakes. Alas, this is a reality of road travel you simply can’t avoid but can only hope to minimize by staying as aware as possible of all vehicles in your vicinity.

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