Today in the A To Z Challenge, is brought to you by the letter C. The last installment of my April series “A To Z Savings” I shared with you the letter B and over 70 birthday freebies.
Today, for the letter C I’ll be sharing how to save money on your car. Because let’s face it, the beckon of the open road gets expensive! These car care tips that save money will get back on the road on a budget in no time.
This is one of the absolute easiest things you can do for your car which can have quite a big effect. Fluid levels can directly impact the life and function of your car. Too low and things might not work quite so well, too low for too long and you could be shaving off years from the life the engine. Some fluids you can maintain yourself are oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, wiper fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid. Don’t wait until the load fluid light pops up on the dash. Stay in the know. It will save you a hefty repair bill down the road.
Under pressure… do doo dooo do do…. okay, so not that kind of pressure. Tire pressure. Did you know that as you drive your car the pressure can fluctuate? As the tires inflate due to heat and deflate due to cold, it can cause you to lose a little air pressure. That and the occasional branch or pot hole can knock out a little air too. Most gas stations have free air these days. Just pull up, look on the side of your tire near the hubcap for the proper PSI and then fill er up. Be careful not to overfill though. Make sure all of your tires are the proper PSI and you could even get better gas mileage would equals more money saved.
Do the whole keeping up with your oil changes, sure. But a money saving suggestion is to either do it yourself (it will cost about $10-$15 max) or use synthetic oils. Or both. It’s been proven that synthetic oil extends engine life and helps with gas consumption. Which means… you guessed it. More money saved.
I used to think this little doohicky would just help keep things clean inside the car. You know, no more dust? Well it also can affect your fuel mileage if it’s dirty. By as much as 10%. It’s super easy to replace too. Just lift the hood, and it’s right there on top.
There’s nothing grosser than a big blob of something that might’ve been alive at some point smashed on the middle of your windshield. Invest in a good pair of wiper blades, you know, actually spend a little extra. That way they clean the smooshed gross stuff off which prevent you from having a super expensive accident.
Find A Mechanic
Not just any fly by night kinda guy (or gal for that matter). Shop around. Ask your neighbors and friends. Go on the hunt for a trustworthy mechanic. You need someone you can trust to really figure out what’s wrong and address it, not inflate your bill or estimate with whatever he or she feels like.
Increase Your Gas Mileage
I noticed early in my marriage that gas lasted a lot longer when I drove over when my husband took the wheel. Now I’m not saying anything negative by that, but it made me think more critically about whatever it must’ve been that I was doing right and then improve on it. Some things I’ve learned to increase gas mileage: go easy on the pedal (60 is best), only use cruise on flat roads, say no to excessive idling, leave extras at home (don’t drive with junk in your trunk, it’s heavy and uses gas to lug it everywhere), combine errands (one big trip rather than several small trips) and filling the gas tank in the morning at night over the daytime (gas is sold by volume and is denser when it’s cool).
Clean Your Battery
Remove the cables and use a dry brush to brush away any corrosion. You can use baking soda and water to clean the terminals, just make sure it’s completely dry before hooking up again. This is one of those maintenance type things to prevent issues later on.
Use Gas Rewards
There are tons of gas stations these days with their own gas rewards programs. Find out what’s in your area, learn the benefits and chose one. My favorite is GetGo rewards, you can earn cents off gas by purchasing groceries at Giant Eagle. Why not save on gas by doing what you already do?
Put On Your Creative Genius Hat
And DIY that puppy. You can make your own CD storage case, wipes, even this simple car air freshener:
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Heather @ Simply SaveApril 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm
I love the A to Z challenge idea! I try to make sure my trunk is cleaned out and my tire pressure is good to get that good gas mileage on my commute!
Kari AnnApril 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm
These are some great tips. I definitely need to change my air filter so thanks for reminding me! I took a free class through my local AAA a few years back and found out how easy DIY maintenance can be. A lot of auto part stores will also help you for free as well with things like windshield wipers, batteries, fluids and more so just ask.