How to Save on Car Maintenance and Other Expenses

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In order to spend less money and save more for your future, you need to cut down on your monthly expenses. This may include spending less on eating out, consolidating your student loans, and maximizing the life span of your car. Once you purchase a car, there is no going back in terms of depreciation. Owning and maintaining a car can take up a large portion of your earnings with out-of-pocket costs, like financing, state fees, auto insurance, fuel and oil changes. However, you can control how much you spend on maintenance and other car expenses if you educate yourself. Know exactly what your car needs, how you can save on car maintenance and ways you can save gas.

Cut the Cost of Repairs/Maintenance

You don’t need to be a mechanic or an expert on cars to provide your car with simple upkeep. The car’s manufacturer manual will outline exactly what your car needs and when. It will provide you with useful information on checking your fluids, achieving ideal tire pressure and properly cleaning the surface areas of your car. Knowing exactly what your car needs not only allows you to do it yourself, but it prevents you from being upcharged when taking your car in for maintenance. Many dealerships and auto care centers may try to convince you that your car needs additional maintenance, like flushing the transmission.

However, knowing that most cars can drive up to 100,000 miles until this maintenance is actually necessary can come in handy. You can also avoid paying hundreds of dollars in labor by learning how to rotate your tires and replace your air filter yourself. Your owner’s manual will guide you step-by-step when completing these tasks. Furthermore, avoid the cost of repairs by extending the life of your brakes. This means going easy on your breaks and avoiding slamming on the pedal. It is also highly recommended that you get your tires balanced at least once a year as it can expand their life span for thousands of miles. Failing to do so may cause damage to your suspense system and deterioration to your shock absorbers.

Save on Car Insurance

While you are going about your busy day, to and from work, burning gas along with hard-earned money, consider taking advantage of auto insurance discounts and incentives. You should inquire about discounts when shopping around for auto insurance. Some insurance providers may offer you a discount if you drive below the average miles per year. Other providers, like Progressive, offer a discount if you participate in a program that monitors your driving habits. This involves installing a device to your car or downloading an app to your phone that will report whether you are braking too hard, accelerating too much or using your phone while driving.

You may even be able to receive a discount if your car has advanced safety features like auto-lock brakes or automatic airbags. Another great way to save money on auto insurance is by bundling insurance policies, like home and auto insurance. It is important to obtain several quotes from a variety of companies in order to compare policies and rates before making a decision. Other factors for a low insurance premium include having a good credit score, a clean driving record and zero claims. It is important to evaluate whether a collision is worth making a claim. If it is a minor collision, you may want to consider repairing the damages rather than filing a claim that will cause your insurance premium to skyrocket.

Saving on Gas and Expanding your Mileage

Avoid driving habits that are wasteful on gas, like quick acceleration, speeding and sudden braking. Once you go above 50 mph, your gas mileage decreases a significant amount, giving you even more of a reason to abide by the speed limit. Maintain a steady speed and always observe the traffic ahead of you so that you are prepared for any sudden traffic jams.  It is also recommended that you do not wait in your car for long periods of time as idling can use up to a quarter of a gallon of gas every 15 minutes, according to AAA studies. Contrary to popular belief, turning off your engine and restarting your car wastes less gas than waiting with your car on.

Furthermore, you can be more efficient with your fuel and reduce your mileage by carpooling to work. Not only does this lessen traffic congestion and air pollution, but it also decreases the accumulating cost of repetitive or long-distance commutes. Lastly, it is important that your car is always properly tuned as a poorly tuned vehicle can waste a lot of fuel. If you’ve noticed that you are burning more gas than usual, make sure to check for the following issues:

  • Underinflated tires
  • Worn spark plugs
  • Dragging brakes
  • Vacuum leaks
  • Clogged air filter

Maintaining a consistence schedule for routine car upkeep and reducing the amount of miles you place on your car each day, you can feel confident that your vehicle will remain a worthwhile investment for years to come. Although driving can be a hefty expense, with these tips you can reduce your spending and enjoy your time on the road.

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