Vehicle upkeep can very expensive if you’re not a mechanic. Cars, like most other human creations, are faulty. Actually, this is called planned obsolescence and is the manufacturers way of making sure your car breaks down or begins to give you a steady source of problems so that you buy a new car. Thus, you will spend more of your money. However, right from the beginning, vehicles can be quite an expense – from purchase to maintenance (along with mandatory payments during use- such as insurance and gas). As many of you guys know, mechanics have a way of bringing the worst out of your car, so there are a few steps we must take to ensure we aren’t wasting money.
1) Keep your gas tank over 1/4th capacity.
First of all, keeping your gas tank low can cause the obvious problems. Maybe you might get stuck on the freeway and have to pay hundreds to get your car towed. However, barring the catastrophe, keeping your tank empty can cause little pieces of dirt at the bottom of the gas tank to run into the engine with the last drops of gas and clog the fuel filter. Over time, this can cause damage to the carburetor.
2) Keep a Jump Start Electrical Cord
It’s happened to everyone. You leave your door open or lights on and then come back a few hours later and find your car doesn’t start. Don’t panic. The most problem is a uncharged battery; just ask someone nearby to jump start you car and problem is all fixed.
3) Check for a Blown Fuse
Sometimes a major problem with your car’s electrical system results from a single blown fuse. Check to see if you have any blown fuses before taking your car to a mechanic.
4) Keep track of your MPG
Obviously, sometimes you’re on the road more (Less MPG) and sometimes you’re on the highway (More MPG), however, a consistent drop in your average MPG means something is not right. Maybe your tires aren’t pumped enough or something is damaged. Also,k eep track of how much oil your car uses. A sudden change in oil consumption means you need to see a mechanic.
5) Change your break fluid
Save your brakes (almost $250 to change 2 brakes) by having your brake fluid changed every 30,000 miles.
6) Regularly check the PSI (Pressure per Square Inch) of your Tires
Check your tire pressure once a month. This simple maintenance check can add up savings at the gas pump. I’ve noticed a difference of 3-4 MPG if I don’t pump my tires
7) Don’t Drive too Fast
Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.10 per gallon for gas. Now add that up. If you drive 4-5 gallons worth a day, that’s a difference of almost $30 a month.
8 ) Avoid Stop and Go traffic, don’t press the gas pedal too hard.
Stop and go traffic causes excess wear and tear on your vehicle because of constant increase and decrease in RPM. Go ahead and give your car a nice twenty minute ride at 55 mph on the highway every couple weeks if you “major” in short trips.
9) Do your Homework before buying a car
Do your homework when buying a car from an auction or a private party. Many vehicles that have been damaged either by accidents or by floods and hurricanes are going on the market. These won’t last long – leaving you with a flood of bills. Be a little concerned if the carpet looks too new, and check carefully for signs of rust. Also, check for new paint on an older car- classic signs of prior accidents. More on this in an upcoming topic.
10) Cruise control DOES save Gas.
11) Reduce the cost of your insurance by increasing deductible (if you have money saved)
If you’ve budgeted for possible out-of-pocket expenses in case of a car accident, you might want to consider increasing your insurance deductible to the next highest level. This will lower the cost of your insurance by about an average of $15 a month per $500.
12) Exploit insurance savings.
Car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts. Ask your agent if the company offers reductions for driver training courses, anti-lock brakes, car alarms, air bags, mature drivers, good students or maintaining a good driving record.
13) Buy a new air filter
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car’s gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. An air filter is usually under $10 and is one of the e
14) Lease a new car.
If you are spending too much money on your car, leasing a new car is always an option. A decent sedan won’t cost you more than $250 a month.
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