Here are six simple tips that will help you save money on your just-obtained new or used car:
1) Change the oil frequently – Yes, your mom was correct when she told you that. Even though oil change intervals are longer than years ago, keeping fresh oil in your car will increase its operating life. Whenever you change your oil, be sure to replace your oil filter too.
2) Keep your tires properly inflated – Few drivers keep their car’s tires inflated to manufacturer’s recommended pressures. “I don’t have time,” is a popular excuse. Well, your local tire retailer and gas station are thankful that consumers think that way. Underflated tires lower the gas mileage because they run hotter and expose more tread to the street. The message? Once every month, check your tire pressure and save your money!
3) Don’t race the engine during startup – Especially when it iscold outside! The reason for this is that until the oil’s pressure builds up, an engine has a fraction of the lubrication that it has later on. Automotive engineers quantify that situation by indicating that “90% of an engine’s wear occurs within the first 30 secs of use”. What that means is: when you start the car, let it idle for about a minute to “get it up to temperature”, then you can head out.
4) Use floor mats – Many cars have carpeted floors that are destined to get filthy, usually quickly. The solution: buy floor mats! No, you don’t need to purchase the expensive ones, but get some floor mats that fit your vehicle and will protect the carpets. When it becomes time to sell your car, you will have a far easier time cleaning it for sale. In fact, without quality mats, you may not get the carpeting clean ever again. It is worth the small investment. Check with the folks at The Patrick Dealer Group, a full-service car dealership that sells vehicles in many brands such as BMW, Cadillac, Hyundai and Landrover, for their floor-purchasing advice! The Patrick Dealer Group has locations in Naperville and Schaumburg, IL.
5) Touch up paint nicks – When scrapes occur to your car that penetrate the paint coat, your protection from the elements goes bye-bye. Road salts and water attack the exposed sheet metal and thus begins the corrosion process. Yes, it’s a bother, but head to your local parts store to get a small bottle of touch up paint for your car. Then, touch up those nicks!
6) Park in the shade when possible – The ultraviolet rays from the sun are a powerful oxidizer that mayfade a car’s upholstery and damage the exterior paint. Add to that blistering heat from the direct sun and you have got trouble. The quick solution is to park where the sun isn’t directly baking your car. Obviously this isn’t possible all the time but when you have the chance, it’s worth the additional effort to park in the shade.