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How to Save Money on Your Car!

Your car is a major expense. Not only do you make payments on an asset that continues to depreciate in value, but the moment you drive a car off of the lot, it’s value starts to go down.

Edmunds shows that a $29,873 car loses $2,559 value just 1 minute after leaving the lot and $5,687 in the first year of ownership.

There’s little you can do to stop depreciation aside from keeping your car in mint condition. But this doesn’t mean that you have to spend as much money as you do on your car. There are ways that you can begin saving money on your car today.

A few of the life hacks that can help you save money, include:

1. Properly Maintain Your Vehicle to Save on Fuel Costs

Your vehicle must be properly maintained and tuned to run optimally. If your auto is poorly tuned, this can lead to your vehicle using:

  • 25% – 33% more gasoline per year
  • $50 – $100+ more per year

If you properly maintain your vehicle, you’ll be able to enjoy a vehicle that isn’t a gas guzzler and wastes your money in the process.

You’ll also be able to enjoy a more reliable vehicle – a major bonus.

2. Perform Your Own Minor Maintenance

There are a lot of repairs and maintenance that your automobile may need, and a lot of people are scared to perform these tasks on their own. You’ll save a lot of money by performing your own maintenance on most items.

A few of the easy maintenance requirements that you can perform on your own are:

  • Air filter
  • Cabin air filter
  • Oil and filter change
  • Spark plugs
  • Replace wiper blades
  • Check and inflate tires
  • Maintain your battery
  • Flush your radiator

Some of these maintenance tasks will require a jack and you to get under your vehicle, but many won’t.

You’ll find that newer vehicles are built to require less maintenance, allowing them to be able to go longer without oil changes. If you’re used to changing your oil every three months or 3,000 miles, you’re likely spending money on oil changes for no reason.

A lot of vehicles can go 5,000+ miles without needing to have the oil changed.

Consult with your owner’s manual to find out when you need to change your oil, transmission and other fluids.

3. Don’t Let Check Engine Lights Go Unnoticed

Your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system is meant to alert you of pertinent problems that you might not know exist with your vehicle. Sensors and internal components are always monitoring your automobile.

When there is something amiss, the system will provide a code and cause your check engine light to illuminate.

You can choose to go to a mechanic to get your vehicle diagnosed, and this will cost you:

  • $88 – $111

That’s just for the basic check engine light diagnostic. Instead, buy your own car diagnostic tool – you’ll need it anyway. Fixd is a model that we highly recommend.

If you don’t check the error code and allow your vehicle’s light to stay on without being fixed, you’ll be putting your auto at greater risk of damage, Check engine light problems shouldn’t be ignored and may be trying to tell you that your transmission is going, there’s failure in the engine, or something more serious.

This small tip can save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your vehicle.

4. Use the Gasoline the Manufacturer Recommends

It’s tempting to use a higher grade of gasoline to keep your car running smoothly, but does this really work? No, it wastes money. If you’re driving a Honda Civic that hasn’t been severely upgraded, there’s no need to spend more on premium gasoline.

Instead, use the gas that the manufacturer recommends.

The truth is that your car doesn’t need the same quality gas as a Corvette that has a high-performance engine.

This tip can save you $200 – $400 per year in just gasoline.

5. Balance and Rotate Your Tires

Do you feel like spending money on new tires for your car? Most people don’t. Your tires are victim of your driving habits, and if you take more left turns that you do right turns, your tires will wear differently.

What you can do to avoid this uneven wear is rotate and balance your tires often.

Rotating and balancing your tires reduces the amount of tire changes required, adding thousands of miles to your tires.

A few additional money-saving tips that are tire-related, include:

  • Check your tire pressure often and inflate as needed. Your gas mileage suffers from every 1 psi drop in your tire’s inflation level.
  • Buy the proper tires for your vehicle. If you buy tires that are too wide or too large, this will also weigh on your mileage and gasoline costs.

If you keep your tires in good shape, you’ll help prevent flat tires, maintain proper gas mileage and enjoy a smoother ride.

6. Check Your Fluid Levels Often and Refill as Necessary

Your vehicle’s fluids are essential to your auto’s operation. When fluid levels are low, this is serious. A lot of people tend to ignore low fluid levels or even notice that their fluid levels are low.

And this leads to your vehicle’s increased wear and tear.

There are a lot of fluids you’ll need to check and refill as necessary, including:

  • Brake fluid
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Oil levels
  • Antifreeze levels
  • Transmission fluid
  • Clutch fluids

All of these fluids play a vital role in the proper operation of your automobile. If the fluids continue to remain low, this can lead to more costly repairs in the future. You can save $50 – $300 per year by simply checking fluid levels and topping off as needed.

You’ll also be able to spot and repair leaks faster if you make a habit out of checking your fluids.

With cars being a money sink, it makes sense to do everything you can to save money on your car. Whether it be buying a car diagnostic tool or doing some of your own maintenance, these tips can help you save money throughout your entire ownership of your vehicle.

August 10, 2017


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