According to a new study by the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA), mechanical or electrical failure (leaks, breaks, worn-out parts) caused 49 percent of U.S. highway vehicle fires between 2003 and 2007.
State Farm encourages young adult drivers to add these basic auto maintenance tips to their back-to-school check list.
* An ounce of prevention -- Have the vehicle inspected by a trusted professional automotive technician, especially before a long trip.
* Start a habit – Each time you fill up your gas tank, inspect the auto's fluid levels (oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid) and look for leaks and deteriorated lines/hoses.
* Look down – Look at the ground where the car was parked to see if any fluids are leaking.
* Keep it clean -- Have the engine degreased to cut down on the buildup of oil and grease.
* Look, listen, and smell -- Is the car trying to speak to you? Pay attention to noises, odors, and your car's instrument panel. If you notice anything unusual, get it checked out by a technician immediately.
* Ease up -- During hot weather your vehicle can run hotter than usual. Avoid heavy stop-and-go traffic and aggressive driving habits.