Money Saving Car Maintenance Tips
There are many ways on how you can save money on your car. Regular inspection and maintenance on all the components that make up your car will drastically reduce the visits to your mechanic. Also a sharp ear for new and uncommon car noises can tell you if something is just about to give in.
New squeals with the engine running can tell you that a belt needs replacing or even a bearing is about to seize. A sound like thump on your car while on a bumpy road could mean that a shock or mount is loose.
To save money on your car not only is it required to regularly visually inspect and do the necessary maintenance on components but a sharp ear helps as well to locate and avoid future problems that could even lead to bigger unexpected expenses.
Start on the Tires
A tire pressure gauge is cheap and you will see that it´ll pay for itself in no time. Check tire pressure every two weeks. Always set the tire pressure to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Front and rear tires have different pressure settings. This has to do with traction and you need to know if your vehicle is front wheel drive, rear or 4x4.
Under-inflated tires consume more fuel as well as they wear out much faster than you can imagine. Over-inflated tires have much less traction on the road and on a sudden stopping emergency will not respond and skid, as well if you have to swerve your steering fast to avoid an obstacle you could end up losing control of your car and bound for an accident plus costly repair expenses.
Check tire pressure in the morning just before you start your car. Correct pressure is checked with tires cold and not after you have been driving around.
In winter if using the same tires then they could be under-inflated. If you have put winter tires on then store your other season tires on their sides. Check tires for baldness and if so have them replaced. Having your tires rotated every six months is another money saver.
Rotating tires, the front ones to the back and the back ones to the front will wear them out evenly resulting in longer lasting tires.
Checking alignment is important. Improper alignment will cause a certain amount of faulty and uneven tire wear. This in turn will drastically reduce the lifespan on your tires. Have the alignment done occasionally where you rotate your tires.
When you feel while driving your car a pulling on the steering wheel to one side or other it could be that the tire on the puling side is under-inflated or time for an alignment at your mechanic.
If your car is getting slower, sluggish, and less responsive and you notice all of a sudden you´re visiting more frequently the gas station than usual then you could have the fuel filter blocked up.
Sometimes fuel comes with dust and particles that are deposited in the big underground fuel tanks at any gas station when they are re-stocked with fuel, which eventually are filtered by the fuel filter.
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Also remember that those underground holding fuel tanks at every gas station collect impurities in time, and those same impurities usually slowly sink to the bottom of the tank. Now, you’ve just pulled up at a gas station to re-fuel but the fuel level in those underground tanks are low to where the impurities concentrate.
But you don´t know about it because they´re buried and you can´t see them. The result is you could be pumping dirty fuel into your gas tank and still have to pay for it. This dirty fuel will cost you in the long run.
Changing a fuel filter isn´t rocket science, once you know your way around the engine you could have it replaced yourself and save some money. Now, to complement this on fuel filters knowing that on some makes fuel filters can cost you a few bucks than average and to make them last even longer, thus saving you money, you can always add a pre-filter before the main car manufacturer’s filter.
At your local car supply shop get a transparent plastic fuel filter with a paper filtering element or micro filtering net. They are cheap and installed in the engine compartment where you can easily see it every time you open the hood will save you money in prolonging the main filter, carburetors or injectors and resulting in cleaner combustion.
The air filter is a component crucial to good car performance. Gas savings is highest when you regularly check your air filter for its condition. Whether you live in a city or the country side, pollution is slowly continually clogging up your air filter until it is so obstructed that your car fuel consumption goes up drastically. Every so often remove the air filter, tap it lightly to have the major dust dislodged and replace.
It will not be brand new again but it will certainly last longer until you need to replace it with a new one. If you have an air compressor at home DO NOT place the nozzle straight in the air filter element to clean it.
You will be doing more harm than good by opening and displacing the micro fibers that make up the filter element and creating open areas and holes in the filter (that you cannot see) and this could lead to letting dust inside your engine and provoke premature wear and tear on piston rings leading to loss of compression and higher fuel consumption.
The air conditioning in your car, every time you turn it on, your car will be consuming at least 10% more on fuel because when you hit the air co button, the compressor pump starts to run because it “compresses” the gas to circulate it and of course to keep you cool.
The engine in turn consumes more fuel to run this air co pump. Keep in mind that with some car makes, fuel consumption can go up as much 30% more every time you turn on the air co.
Always remove roof racks after you are done with them. You have just helped a friend to move to his new home and forgot to remove those roof racks on your car. Roof racks left on a car will lead to higher gas consumption.
It looks like its not important but the longer you leave them on the more air friction and drag at higher speeds and less fuel economy. The same goes with open windows while driving on the highway.