Car Maintenance – How to Save Money On a Car

Cars have become very expensive compared to income in the recent past decade. Because of this many people are purchasing used or new-used cars and keeping them for as long as they run well. This is possible if you understand car maintenance and the importance of regular car maintenance. I have two cars I purchased at 3 years old; this saved me about 70% off the new car price, on top of that I have driven the cars for the past 8 and 10 years. I have never had serious issues with my cars since maintenance has always been one of my strong suits. In order to keep a car in good running order for years you must maintain your car on a regular basis, but first you must educate yourself about maintenance, and also be willing to check under your hood periodically.

Car Manual

The first thing I did when I purchased my car is I read the car manual from front to back. Most women, and some men, never see a car manual, much less read it, but that is essential.

The first thing I noticed is that the car I purchased had regular warranty maintenance Checks stamped in my manual, and documented regular maintenance after the warranty was over. I also noticed the suggested maintenance schedule and maintenance requirements for the car, tires and other necessary items.

Take Noises and Smells Seriously

Any small noise from your car should be taken seriously. A ping or rumble could be the sign that something serious is wrong, and could be very inexpensive to repair if the damage is in the early stages. The longer you wait the more damage could be done to other parts of your car, the more damage, the higher the cost to fix the car. A strange smell could also signify that something is melting or could burst under the hood. Stop, and get this checked out immediately.

According to the 3 most important car maintenance requirements are oil changes, tire air pressure and keeping your car clean. I was told by a mechanic that if you keep clean oil flowing through your car this will increase the longevity of the engine.

Yearly Tune-ups

You car should have a tune-up at least every single year. This includes the general tune-up maintenance done on a car of your type as per your car manual.

Frequent Oil Changes

The general rule of thumb for oil changes is every 3000 miles or 3 months if you have a long commute, and every 6000 miles or 6 months if you have a moderate commute.

If your car is less than 10 years old, you may have a sensor that tells you when your oil should be changed, a light will come on for servicing.

Maintain Your Tires

One day when I was driving, I had my first flat tire after I parked. I didn’t even know the tire was going flat. When I stopped, I saw a big nail in my tire. From then on, I check my tires on a regular bases.

Tire pressure is very important. Your car manual will tell you what your tire pressure should be. If you don’t know what it should be, let a mechanic check your tires and inflate them for you. The correct tire pressure is important for proper tire maintenance and proper gas mileage. When you get new tires or purchase a new car, you will be told to return to have your tires rotated periodically. The garage mechanic will give you a rotation schedule; the rotations will allow your tires to wear evenly.

Other major car maintenance checks at the oil change are the air filter, constant-velocity-joint boots, exhaust system, brakes, and all fluids, clean the radiator, and check the battery.

Keep Your Car Clean

Keeping your car clean will allow you to maintain your paint job for a long time. It will also help to keep soil from accumulating on the under carriage of your car and damaging parts.

If you live in a snow ridden area it is imperative to wash your car after salt accumulation. You can also protect the body and paint job by parking inside, or covering your car if left outside. Also, avoid parking close to other cars when possible to avoid car doors from denting your doors.


What to do Every Two to Four Years

[sociallocker]Changing the timing belt, replacing belts and hoses, changing the automatic transmission fluid, and drain and flush the cooling system. All of these items, if left unchecked can cause serious damage to your cars system. If replaced in a timely manner the cost is not outrageous, but the cost after damage to your car from bad belts or hoses can be outrageous.

In between maintenance checks to your mechanic, don’t be afraid to check your oil stick periodically, look at your belts and hoses for cracks, make sure there is no buildup in your radiator; take a look at your tires for glass or nails.

There are some extension schools or junior colleges that teach women how to do simple maintenance checks on their car and how to change a tire. There are some men who could use these classes also.

If you don’t own a manual to your car you can purchase one. According to nearly all automakers have made their car manuals available at their websites, just go to their website, and search car manuals, then search for your specific make, model and year.

Protect yourself while your on long drives, keep your gas tank at least half full at all times.[/sociallocker] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lois Center-Shabazz
author of, Live Rich Save Money! Budget Diary
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author of, Live Rich Save Money! 68 Powerful Ways to Save Money, Now and Forever
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