Jan 17, 2023
Simple guide to preserving your car and saving money
Cars are a major source of utility and leisure, but can become expensive if owners do not maintain them. Preventive maintenance is critical if you would like to keep repairs under control. Being ignorant doesn’t pay and as you learn about cars, the better the chances are that you can enjoy your car while saving money on repairs. Like your body, you have to pay attention to your car and do your part in maintaining it. Simply relying on a mechanic for repair and ignoring maintenance will likely lead to having to pay high repair bills.
These tips should help you maximize the utility of your car while not breaking the bank:
1. Avoid Gunning the AcceleratorSince traffic laws continue to get stricter rather than more lenient, try to forget about the dream of being a race car driver on city streets and highways. Just because you have a car that can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds doesn’t mean you should take advantage of that feature. Slower acceleration is much gentler on the car’s overall health. Even when you start your car in the morning, you don’t have to rev up the engine much, especially in cold weather. Your car will run much more smoothly if you give the oil a chance to warm up before driving.
2. Limit Your DrivingAs you may have seen, gasoline prices have been volatile and don’t seem to be going back down. As such you should be more strategic in how you use your car. Cutting down on the amount of miles you drive will save money on gas and maintenance because there will be less wear and tear on your vehicle. Remember your own health and walk and bike ride running errands when it makes sense. This is good for your car and your own health. Also, utilize carpooling or taking public transportation when possible. On the other hand, its not good to just let your car sit for too long. To make sure fluids circulate throughout your engine and your car doesn’t rust you should make sure to use it occasionally if you don’t drive much. Recreational driving is fine but try not to over use your car for joy rides.
3. Pay Attention to Car and Engine (Be vigilant)If you hear or see anything strange with your engine, get it checked immediately. A loud ticking sound or a screechy noise when you start the car can indicate a major problem that will only get worse if you ignore it. If you see an engine indicator light up don’t ignore it or put tape on it. This is the point where you should have the engine checked. Sometimes gauges are faulty so if there is no issue with the engine you should fix the light so it doesn’t distract you. Your car revolves around the engine it needs to be clean and properly maintained.
4. Change the Oil and Fluids RegularlyIgnoring your oil completely is a guaranteed recipe for disaster that can eventually lead to a blown engine, which will be expensive to replace. Read your manual and check the manufacturer’s recommendation for how often the oil should be changed, which is commonly every 1000 to 3000 miles. Vital fluids also need to be checked periodically to make sure they are at optimal levels, especially when seasons change.
5. Don’t Store Heavy ObjectsUnless you drive a big truck, there’s no reason to keep heavy objects stored in your vehicle all the time. This excess weight can wear out your tires faster and can put an overall strain on the vehicle. It’s fine to transport objects that fit in your car, but find a more appropriate storage unit for extended periods of time. As far as storing the vehicle itself, it’s always better to keep it in a garage or carport rather than out on the street, especially in the winter.
6. Get Periodic Tune-upsUse your manufacturer’s manual to gauge how often to get a full tune-up. While many modern cars don’t need as many tune-ups as in the past, it’s still a good idea to have your car checked by an experienced professional once in a while. A clogged fuel line may not be obvious but can have adverse effects on gas mileage, just as worn plugs and wires can reduce efficiency. Most importantly, make sure all safety features, such as brakes, are in top shape at all times.
Checking your tires every now and then can help prevent an accident since tires can blow up if they go bald. When tires get smooth on inner edges, it can mean you need a front end alignment.
7. Finding an Honest Mechanic is Key!Try to find a seasoned mechanic who you can trust. Many mechanics over-charge due to consumer ignorance. An independent mechanic in Orange County who is ASE certified and has his own small shop may give you a better deal than nationally known automotive repair shops.