Owning a car can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Many repairs result from how a vehicle is cared for and maintained. By taking better care of your car, you can prevent issues and avoid those hefty repair bills. Here are some tips for cutting car ownership costs.
1 – Get Oil Changes
We all have busy lives and it can be easy to forget about routine tasks like oil changes. Oil changes are essential to the longevity of your vehicle. Allowing too much time or too many miles between an oil change can end up damaging your car! To help you remember, ask for one of those stickers that go on your windshield indicating the mileage for your next oil change or put a reminder in your calendar. Additionally, don’t forget to check your oil level regularly, especially if you have an older vehicle that may burn through oil at a fast rate. Low oil is actually even more dangerous than delaying an oil change.
2 – Check Tire Pressure as Weather Changes
As temperatures rise and fall, it changes the air pressure in your tires. If you’re a football fan, you may already know some of the science behind this from Deflategate! As it gets colder outside, this naturally reduces the air pressure in your tires. You’ll need to add more air to keep it properly inflated. Likewise, in the summer, you may need to release some pressure to avoid over-inflation.
Both over-inflated and under-inflated tires can be dangerous. In the cold months, an under-inflated tire won’t grip the road as well and can cause you to spin out. During summer, an overinflated tire will gain even more pressure as you drive and could possibly explode. Both scenarios can lead to accidents and personal injury. You can prevent this by simply being diligent about checking tire pressure.
3 – Use Your Senses
Problems usually start small and worsen over time. The subtle signs of problems also change, becoming less subtle as the issue worsens. Use your senses to detect problems with your car. If you hear unusual sounds or if your car feels different when driving, don’t ignore it! The longer you wait, the more it could cost you. This is probably the most important tip for cutting car ownership costs.
Here’s a perfect example of that. When your brakes first wear down, they make light screeching sounds. As the brake pads thin out more and more, the noises become more frequent and louder. Eventually, driving with bad breaks will damage the rotors. Paying for new brake pads is less expensive than replacing the pads and the rotors, so acting quickly to address the problem will save you money.
More Tips on Cutting Car Ownership Costs
If you’re an aggressive driver, you probably won’t want to hear this, but….. your driving style can affect car ownership costs. If you brake hard, you’ll need new brakes more frequently. If you drive at high speeds or start and stop abruptly, you’ll burn through tire tread more quickly. If you start your car and immediately drive off without giving your engine a moment to warm up, you could be causing damage over time. Driving style is often directly related to car repairs. So, if you’re looking to save money, think about changing your driving style as a way of cutting car ownership costs. Your car will thank you!