Owning a car in this day and age is more of a necessity than an option. However, unlike other investments, purchasing and maintaining a car is an expense that only keeps growing over time.
Still, that does not mean that your four-wheeler will necessarily make you bankrupt – that is, if you take good care of it. Regularly maintaining your vehicle is necessary to keep it running safely and efficiently. What it also does is it saves you considerable amounts of money on repairs.
It is essentially a preventative measure to steer clear of breakdowns and bigger expenses down the line. Still, that does not mean that taking good care of your vehicle is cheap.
However, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you save money or even earn money with your vehicle.
Tips and tricks that can help you save money with your car
Don’t skip regular car maintenance
It should go without saying that you should never neglect your car, even if everything seems to be functioning just fine. Regular maintenance will help your car last longer than you’d expect.
Keeping up with the oil change schedule and keeping the car properly tuned will make it perform in the most efficient way. Reacting to malfunctions in a timely manner is also crucial to keep you and other passengers safe.
So, when you see that little warning light, don’t procrastinate on getting it checked out or it might end up costing you in more than one way.
When people take their car to a repair shop, whether for a routine check, a repair or a part change, there is usually a sense of urgency involved. This might result in agreeing to whatever price the mechanic is offering.
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However, unfortunately, not all repair shops are going to present you with the most favorable figure and it’s not uncommon for mechanics to take advantage of unsuspecting customers.
So, before you settle for the first shop and fill out that check, do some research. Firstly, you can simply ring up other nearby shops to ask for a quote. You can also look up the price of the part that needs to be changed to be sure your mechanic is not charging you more for it.
If you find a better deal, don’t be afraid to walk away. You might save a considerable amount of money.
Buy your own car parts
However, in the meantime, you can also practice buying the parts you need yourself. You can find good deals online and also search for discounts. Additionally, you can consider getting used parts that only cost a fraction of the price of their new counterpart.
As we just mentioned, letting your mechanic get the part your car needs is not always the best option. If you cannot trust your mechanic, you should obviously look for another shop.
DIY what you can
Next, it is no secret that labor can be quite pricey. That’s why running to a repair shop every time you need a routine task performed can add up over time. There are things you can learn how to do even if you are not car savvy.
For instance, changing the windshield wipers doesn’t require expertise. But other tasks such as changing or cleaning the air filters can also be performed by you and you will not only prolong the life of your engine but also save some gas and money.
Pull out the car manual and study it well. It’s the most reliable source of information when it comes to your vehicle.
Make use of warranties
Before you jump in and acquire a car part or cash out for expensive repairs, consider the possibility of your car still being under warranty. If you purchased your car quite recently, it might still be under factory warranty.
To check this, you will need to know your VIN (vehicle identification number) that is located on your car. You can also contact the dealership you bought your car from to ask for this information if you cannot find it.
What your warranty covers depends on its type so learn as much as you can about it before relying on it. However, it’s a good idea to send your car on a checkup while under warranty to address any potential issues on time.
Keep your car clean
The next important way in which you can save money while taking care of your vehicle is by keeping it nice and tidy. Keeping your car clean doesn’t only have to do with aesthetics. Making sure your vehicle is always spotless will actually boost its longevity.
Any imperfection on the body of your car takes off its value, not to mention it can deteriorate and result in a more expensive repair. Dirt and salt can damage the paint on your vehicle which can later lead to rust.
So, make sure you wash your car regularly and get it professionally cleaned from time to time. Browse for affordable but reliable car washing services in your area to get the best deal.
Save money on fuel
Finally, you will probably agree that one of the biggest expenses you have as a car owner is fuel. Luckily, there are many ways to optimize your car’s fuel consumption, both by taking care of the vehicle and by being mindful of your driving habits.
We already mentioned tuning your car, which will help you save on fuel. Another trick that will help is being mindful of the tires you use and their condition.
Having the right type of tire and right tire pressure not only prolongs the tires’ life expectancy but it also improves your gas mileage. Adjusting the tire pressure should be something that you know how to do yourself. Needless to say, rotating your tires regularly is also recommended.
As for your driving habits, make sure you accelerate and brake gently, drive at a steady speed, plan your maneuvers well and don’t speed. These things should save you hundreds of dollars on gas.
The only way to make sure your possessions will last you long is by taking care of them. The same goes for your car. The aforementioned maintenance tricks should help you do exactly that while also saving you money. It’s worth making the effort in the long term.