Tuesday Tip: Maintain Your Car to Save on Gas and Repairs
By Yehudit Garmaise
Drivers who put even a small extra effort into their cars and driving can create big savings by preventing unnecessary repairs and burning less fuel.
Cars may be humming along, but regular maintenance can prevent unexpected breakdowns and potential problems. To ensure cars are running like new, every 5,000 miles, drivers should get an oil change, have tires rotated, fluids “topped-off,” and brakes changed. Preventative maintenance can also dramatically lengthen your car’s lifespan and increase its value should you want to sell it.
To provide added safety and lengthen cars’ lifespans, new tires are a good investment. In heavy downpours, for instance, tires’ newest technology keeps cars steady by throwing water on the road away from the car. Not only will tires that do not hydroplane prevent cars from swerving and rotating, but keeping cars driving steadily improves efficiency and decreases the need for fuel. Cars that are not properly maintained also tend to require more gas.
Experts also recommend investing in good brakes, which work for longer lengths of time: even though they cost $600 to $800.
To save at the pump, drivers might consider gassing up at a warehouse club, where prices can be up to 25 cents less than at gas stations. Drivers also may want to consistently choose a particular gas station with both convenient locations and consistently low prices that offer fuel loyalty rewards programs or a credit card that can provide money-saving benefits.
Finally, taking the time and concentration to drive calmly and cautiously will keep the car's occupants and car in top shape. Driving at the speed limit, not swerving lanes, never slamming on brakes (unless necessary), using turn signals, and backing out of driveways and parking spots with the utmost attention and care can prevent many pricey repairs and also keep fuel consumption down.
Drivers also can prevent accidents by keeping their phones out of sight and reach.
Give yourself and your passengers the peace of mind they deserve by keeping the car clean and well-maintained so they can feel relaxed knowing that their rides will provide peak performance no matter the destination.