Top 10 Tips for Saving Money On Your Car
We thought we should offer some great tips on how you can reduce the expenses of running and maintaining your car. We all know that having a car involves expenses.
My Dad said to me “A car is like a money box with a hole in the bottom of it,” and I think he was quite correct when he said that.
We have pulled together a list of ideas that should help keep your costs to an absolute minimum even if you can only implement some of them.
Prevention Is Always Better than Cure
You may have heard this statement before that prevention is better than cure. It certainly applies to your vehicle. By looking after your car, you can stop a lot of problems from starting.
Tip 1 - Keep Your Gas Tank Filled
Try not to drive with an almost empty gas tank. Many of us wait for a warning light to come on before topping up with gas. The reason for having a full tanks, is that it will help you avoid the gas line freezing up in cold weather.
When you drive with a very low tank, the risk of getting little pieces of dirt at the bottom of your gas tank also increases a lot. This debris clogs up the fuel filter and can cause carburettor damage as well.
Tip 2 - Check Your Fuses
All vehicles have a fuse panel to run the electrical systems in your car like lights and windows. More often than not small problems with your car’s electrical system results from a simple blown fuse.
Check to see if you have any blown fuses and that all your electrical systems are working well. It is also a great idea to check and make sure that you have some spare fuses, in the slightly different sizes.
Tip 3 - Check Your Oil
The oil and oil filter in your vehicle's engine should be change once a year or every 10,000 miles. Try to keep track of how much oil your car uses.
If you notice any sudden change in your oil consumption then we would recommend getting that checked out. Having oil regularly changed will add years to the life of your engine.
Tip 4 - Check Your Brake Fluid
Brakes will work a lot better and last a lot longer if you change your brake fluid every 30,000 miles. This is a very simple thing that you can do at home.
If you leave your car in for a service, then the mechanic should check this, but it does no harm to ask and be sure. On most vehicles you will find a container inside the engine that is marked as the brake fluid container.
The liquid inside looks like a light red color.
Tip 5 - Check Your Tire Pressure
Check your tire pressure once a month. This simple and very fast maintenance check can add up savings at the gas pump!
All vehicles are designed to run on a certain size of tire. The manufacturer then recommends the best air pressure for the tires. Please note that this can be different for the front wheels when compared with the rear ones.
Driving on the correct and recommended tire pressure not only saves you money, but will also give you the most comfortable ride.
Tip 6 - Change Your Air Filter
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car’s gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. This isn’t going to cost you an arm or a leg either.
When you consider all the ways you can save money on your current vehicle, you might be persuaded to put away the extra each month for a new car down the road!
Tip 7 - Short Distance Drivers
If you live in a built up area, then you probably suffer from what is known as “Stop and go traffic.” You know the type of thing such as getting stopped at traffic lights, bumper to bumper traffic, trying to get parked, school runs etc.
This causes excess wear and tear on your vehicle. Go ahead and give your car a nice twenty minute ride at 55-70 mph on the highway every couple weeks if you “major” in short trips.
Tip 8 - Car Insurance Payments
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 $500. This will help lower the cost of your insurance.
It is always worth talking to your insurance agent. If your car is as old as the hills, you might want to drop collision coverage to save money. You may know, but again is worth asking, if the company you are with offers any 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.
Tip 9 - Dealing with Car Dealers
Before you purchase from a dealer, ask about the dealer’s return policy, get it in writing and read it carefully.
Dealers are not required by law to give used car buyers a three-day right to cancel.
Tip 10 - Buying a Car at Auction
Always make sure to do your homework when buying a car from an auction. Ideally bring someone with you who actually knows something about cars is always a great idea.
Many vehicles that have been damaged 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.
Bonus Tip 1 - Watch Your Speed
Did you know that for each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph – it is like paying an additional $0.10 per gallon for gas.
In most cases, using cruise control on the highway will save gas.
Bonus Tip 2 - Business Mileage
If you use your car for business, keep track of miles travelled so that you can use this for a tax deduction.