Every car owner looks for ways to maintain his vehicle perhaps in ways that save money or at least help their vehicle to run better. Whatever you do, you’ll want to ensure that your car looks and runs its best — you’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars for your ride, so taking care of it will help take care of you and wallet.
1. Take it to the car wash –– Cleaning your car at home seems to make sense, particularly from a cost vantage point. However, you’ll go through more water at home than what a car wash uses and you’ll also risk scratching your car by using towels not designed to do the job. Visit your local car wash and buy coupon books to get more washes for less money.
2. Leave the lights on — Some cars come with daytime running lights, which means your headlamps are always on from the moment you engage the ignition until you turn it off. For everyone else, headlamps kept on even on a sunny day provide better warning to other drivers of your proximity, thereby reducing the risk of an accident.
3. Change your oil less frequently — You’ve heard the one about oil changes every three months or 3,000 miles, right? Well, that information is no longer accurate. Modern cars can go at least 5,000 miles between oil changes with no harm to your engine. Check your owner’s manual for the precise maintenance intervals and be prepared to save yourself some money.
4. Use a tuner chip — So-called aftermarket parts can help your car perform better. A super tuner or super chip can help your car’s engine perform better, by upping the horsepower without hurting fuel economy. Check with your mechanic for the tuner or chip that is right for your car.
5. Empty the trunk — Once winter ends, you don’t need that 40-pound bag of kitty litter, the shovel and all of the other stuff you keep in your car. It isn’t too difficult to carry an extra 50 to 200 pounds onboard. Lose the extra stuff and your gas mileage will improve.
6. Tackle the crack — The moment your windshield gets a nick, plan on taking care of the problem before it worsens. Neglect the nick and you’ll have to replace the entire windshield, costing you hundreds of dollars. Fill the crevice with an optically matched resin that should keep cracks from occurring. Your insurance company may waive the deductible if the repair is small.
7. Replace aged tires — Your car’s tires may not be worn, but they may have aged out. Tires that are seven or eight years old should be replaced even if they haven’t been worn out. You may not see visible signs of wear, but that doesn’t mean that the rubber is still able to bring your car to a safe stop.
As with any car, get to know your driver’s manual. That book, found in your glove compartment, can offer much guidance on how to maintain your car, saving you money and keeping your safe on the road.