Cars are an indispensable tool for many Americans. If you live outside of a dense urban area, then you likely rely on your vehicle for everything from work to buying necessities. Unfortunately, vehicle maintenance often falls by the wayside when times are tough. Despite their central role, cars also require significant upkeep, and the cost of items such as brakes and tires can rapidly add up. Deferred maintenance is sometimes unavoidable, but it's important to remember that every ignored maintenance item increases the likelihood of a roadside breakdown.