8 Most Noble Tips To Reduce The Costs Of Car Ownership
When you have never owned a car, your would be excused to think that the main portion of costs will be the down payment and loan repayment installments. But once you really get one, you will realize that the real cost of owning a car are the expenses to keep it on the road.
Servicing appointments can seem very interesting when you are doing it for the first time. After that, it will be a chore you will be cursing about. Tires need to be replaced frequently so that you get a safe grip on the road. Parking fees become a bully you try to avoid all the time. And let’s not even talk about the annoying parking fines we get for trying to be street smart.
Make no mistakes about it. Driving a car off from the dealer is the easy part. Maintaining it is what will put the most stress on your pockets. But here are some of the best noble advice experienced drivers give to newbies on cost savings.
1) Regular engine oil changes
Unless your car is embedded with 1 carat diamonds, the most valuable part of the vehicle is the engine. Not only does it play the most important role in a vehicle, it is also the main source that causes other problems to other parts. This is why putting extra attention to your engine is essential.
The most important and basic aspect of maintaining your engine is regularly changing the engine oil. In fact, once you clock in a few sessions of vehicle servicing, you might even think that the oil change is only thing that you can observe.
For most vehicles, you need an oil change every 5,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. Whether you use the popular synthetic oil or mineral oil also varies your oil changing schedule. So do ask your mechanic what oil you are using. Also read your manual to see if there are any suggested types of oil to use.
2) Read the manual
This might seem like the geeky thing to do for a new driver. Especially when one of the reasons you get your own set of wheels is to look cool. Men have a bad habit of taking things out of the box and start using intuition to feel their way into putting together things like DIY furniture or electronics. This intuition could work well for a $10 stool. But not for a car.
You need to read the manual so that you know what are the recommended ways to handle and maintain the vehicle. You also get to learn about how to use features supposed to enable more efficient driving.
More importantly, there should be a section that recommends the schedule for maintenance. Since vehicles are built differently, there are always different manners to operate different models so as to drive them more efficiently. And the manufacturers know more than anyone else what works best.
Manufacturers also have a deep stake in drivers being satisfied with the purchases. So you can put your trust on recommendations and suggestions in their operating manuals.
3) Keep tires inflated
The more deflated your tires are, the lower mileage you get for each full tank of gas. You also lose grip of the road and get a more bumpy ride as well.
Just remember that depending on what kind of tires you are using, the recommended air pressure can vary very differently. The operating manual might also recommend an air pressure level for your tires. But those are more likely referring to the stock tires that come with the car.
So if you have had a tire change recently when you slapped on the new set of sports rims, you should take note of the recommended air pressure.
4) Keep your car indoors if possible
When you keep your car in the garage, you leave it less exposed to the elements which could cause your parts to corrode faster. Your paint will last longer. Just look at your disc brakes after a few days of leaving your car alone and you can see it covered in rust.
Further more, keeping it indoors will enable you to extend the time period between each car wash.
5) Take immediate action on small problems
Small problems can escalate into full blown disasters very quickly. So you need to attend to them quickly. For example, and unexpected jerk at move off could indicate a problem your car is having with gear transmission. If you don’t attend to such a potential problem soon, it could destroy your transmission box within days or weeks.
The same thing with tires. If you notice that you are skidding on surfaces you have no right to skid on, do have a better look at the condition of your tires. A lack of grip can easily cause accidents that bring you a huge repair bill.
Unless you are a mechanic who knows exactly what is causing a weird sound. Do have them checked out by someone in the know.
6) Maintain cruising speed when possible
It will be next impossible to get to cruising speed for a significant part of your journey when you live in the city. But for longer trips, get to, and maintain cruising speed to get more mileage from your gas. It’s good money being saved on gas. This also means to avoid too much acceleration.
7) Avoid an idling engine
When I bought my first car, I thought that I wouldn’t be consuming gas as long as I don’t step on the accelerator. So there were a lot of times where I left the engine idling for long period of time while waiting. But I realized that was wrong a few months later. It was a few months too long.
You only need to observe the fuel meter slowly drop when idling to see it. Sometimes I even feel like idling drinks up as much petrol as cruising. That’s a big waste of money. Money that can be easily saved.
8) Don’t lend out your car to friends
It’s not an exaggeration to say that a friend is 100 times more likely to abuse your car than you. They would be more liberal to “test” the limits of the car performance. They wouldn’t think twice about stepping on the gas to eat up the road. And they might not know anything about the proper way to handle your car. The best thing to do is to avoid lending your car to anyone at all.