Scoring a good deal when buying your new car doesn’t mean you have actually saved money. If the upkeep of the vehicle is costly, then maintenance will knock out thousands from your pocket. Luckily, there are at least X simple money-saving tips to take care of your car.
At a red light? Shift to neutral
Sitting at a red light can last minutes during rush hour, so shifting the can into neutral is a good idea. This move puts less strain on the car’s engine and transmission in general, as the engine won’t have to run while you sit motionlessly. Shifting to neutral is especially useful for cars with automatic transmission and new cars, as opposed to used cars.
Actually, read the owner’s manual
Car owners find it funny that a new vehicle comes with an owner’s manual as if they’ve just purchased a TV set. However, the manual doesn’t teach you how to drive but it does contain valuable info on proper maintenance procedures and a timeline of checkups and replacements of various parts.
For instance, the manual contains tips on how to jumpstart the particular model, where the spare tire is located, and the best type of fuel to put in your car.
Make the tires last
When you buy a new set of tires, whether winter or summer (performance) ones, their true life will depend solely on your style of driving. Extending the tires’ life includes obeying speed limits, avoiding curbs when parking the car, and lowering the number of fast start & stop sequences. Needless to say, you shouldn’t burn rubber just for fun’s sake.
Don’t ignore dashboard lights
Modern vehicles are equipped with all sorts of high-tech gadgets but the best way a car “communicates” with its driver are dashboard lights. They can malfunction but when correct, don’t ignore the lights! Once a light turns on, there is an issue with the car, hopefully, a minor one.
However, if you ignore the warning lights and postpone driving the car to a mechanic’s shop, the damage will increase over time, eventually increasing the final cost of repair.
Save on car detailing
After you ensure the machine is running impeccably, you just need to mind your driving to avoid major expensive repair jobs. However, detailing is something most car owners cannot resist. When choosing the best car detailing deal, look for the best price to service ratio. A bit of online searching should allow you to save your hard-earned cash and get the look of the car you want.
Check the car’s brakes
The most important safety feature on any type of vehicle are the brakes. Brake pads wear out over time, so they need regular inspection and eventually, replacement.
When you hear the brakes produce a scraping sound accompanied by the shuddering and vibration of the brake pedal, then the pads need replacement. If the brakes fail while the car is in motion, you could lose more than money.
The longer the trip, the better
As mentioned earlier, the more times you start and stop the engine, the more wear and tear is exerted on the car. Running errand around the city shortens the life of your vehicles, so do your best to use the car only on longer trips that don’t involve a whole lot of stops. Of course, city dwellers who commute by car to work will find this hard but they can go shopping once a week, instead of twice, for example.
Revise the car insurance policy from time to time
Apart from regular maintenance, you should review the legal aspects of car ownership, such as the mandatory insurance policy. Your earnings and the policy’s coverage change over time, so revising the policy with the insurance company will help you lower the premium.
Wash the car at a large self-service carwash
From bird droppings to road salt in winter, your car’s bodywork is seldom clean. That’s why you should wash it whenever you get the opportunity.
Professional carwashes can be expensive and washing the car yourself takes the entire afternoon, provided you have a driveway. Luckily, there are large self-service carwashes that allow you to have a quick wash for a bargain price.
Regular and proper car maintenance is necessary but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. From car detailing to washing your four-wheeler, you can always get a good deal if you search a bit, both offline and online.
Be careful where you tank up
Every car uses a certain type of fuel but not all fuels are of the same quality. Local gas stations often use low-quality, unfiltered fuel, which can have a devastating effect on your car’s engine over time. Saving money on petrol is only worth it without jeopardizing fuel quality.
Once you grasp the basics of car maintenance, it becomes second nature to you. Just by listening to the engine, you’ll be able to diagnose if something is wrong with the car. However, there are still money-saving tips even seasoned owners have yet to learn.