Showing posts with label Auto maintenance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Auto maintenance. Show all posts

Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Ways to Drive More and Spend Less

If the phrases “I have to get gas” or “the car is making that funny noise again” make you and your wallet cringe, it’s time to look for ways to increase your car’s efficiency. There are two components that determine your efficiency—what you drive, and how you drive it. Find out what you can do in both categories to help you save money on gas and repairs.

What you Drive

If you drive a 1987 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe pickup truck with a V8 engine, you are going to be guzzling gas and fixing oil leaks regularly no matter how gently you drive it. Here are some things you can do with your current car to make it more efficient.

#1: Get rid of your gas-guzzling junk car.

Sometimes the best way to save money on driving is to simply get a more fuel-efficient car. You will not only save money on gas, but also on maintenance. The older a car is, the more often you have to take it into the shop for tune-ups and repairs. If you are looking to sell your junk car, get quotes from different businesses that buy junk cars. Or, if there are parts of your car that are salvageable, you can part them out individually. Put the money you get from your junk car toward buying a more reliable, efficient vehicle.

#2: Keep up On Routine Maintenance.

Spending a little money on routine maintenance and checkups can save you a lot of money in the long run. Here are some parts or services that need regular attention.

Tire rotation. If you don’t rotate your tires according to the tire manufacturer’s recommendations, you will wear the tires down unevenly and shorten their lifespan. You can usually get a free tire rotation if you take your car to the place that sold you the tires.

Alignment check. If your tires are not aligned properly, the tread will wear down much faster than usual. Keep your alignment in check to preserve the life of your tires.

Engine/Transmission services. Engine and transmission services are like cancer—early detection is key. The earlier you catch a problem, the cheaper it will be to repair. Even non-critical issues can negatively impact gas mileage by keeping your car from running as efficiently as it was designed to. Regular services will help detect any problems that arise.

Oil changes. Regular oil changes cost between $20 and $80 (depending on your car), but they keep your engine running in good repair. An oil change every year or so is a lot cheaper than a new engine—or a new vehicle.

How you Drive It

Even if you have the latest fuel-efficient Mazda 3, you won’t be saving much money on gas or maintenance if you drive it like a racecar. Here are some ways you can keep car maintenance costs low simply by changing how you drive:

#3: Take your time with accelerating and braking.

Going from 0 to 60 mph in 30 seconds is thrilling, but it takes a toll on your gas mileage and transmission. Accelerate slowly to save gas and preserve the life of your transmission.

Braking suddenly puts unnecessary pressure on your brakes, which can wear out your car’s brake pads. If you start braking sooner, you can take more time to slow the car down when approaching a red light. In addition to saving your brake pads, braking sooner and approaching lights more slowly may reduce the time you spend completely stopped on the road, which will also increase your gas mileage.

#4: Don’t leave your car running.

Some people think that it saves more fuel to idle a car for a short amount of time than it does to start a car. This is false. Every 10 minutes of idling uses up between 1/10 and 4/10 of a liter of fuel. The wear and tear that frequently stopping and starting your car is offset by the money you save on gas when you choose not to idle.

#5: Slow it down.

Fuel economy peaks at about 40-50 mph, and then decreases roughly 1 mpg per 1 mph you go over that. If you have a lead foot, try using cruise control. Not only will it keep you from accidentally speeding, it will also keep your car at a consistent speed, which increases fuel efficiency.

Saving money on car maintenance and fuel economy is as simple as keeping your car in good condition and watching the way you drive. If you follow these tips, you’ll be surprised at how much you save on gas and repair bills.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Money Saving Car Maintenance Tips

English: A red 1989 Saab 900 Turbo convertible...
English: A red 1989 Saab 900 Turbo convertible getting new rear tyres at Sam's Club in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As a car owner, you should invest on the maintenance costs if you want the vehicle to always be in good shape. It is hard to travel without your own car, so if you’ve successfully invested in a quality vehicle, you should take good care of it.

There are many questions that you can ask your auto repair shop. For instance, you can ask about automatic transmission, problems with the engine, or if you need replacement parts. Car maintenance can be costly and it is for this reason that many people are looking for money saving tips. A couple dollars off is a good deal for most car owners.

Tips to Save Money

Here are the top 10 tips to save money:

  1. Know when to take your car to the repair shop.
  2. Never diagnose the problem of your car.
  3. Always choose a reputable repair shop with experienced employees. 
  4. Keep car maintenance records.
  5. If you experience problems, check your owner’s manual.
  6. Make it a habit to take good care of your vehicle.
  7. Be sure to visit the repair shop on a regular basis for tune ups and monitoring.
  8. Take your car to the same auto repair shop to enjoy discounts as a regular customer.
  9. Don’t wait until the problem gets worse.
  10. Drive and use your car properly.

Follow the tips above and you can save a lot of money annually.

More Tips on Saving Money from Required Maintenance

A lot of car owners make the mistake of diagnosing the problem themselves. If you notice some issues with your car’s performance, make a  list and write it down on a piece of paper. By doing so, you won’t forget anything when you take the car to the repair shop. Just take note of the ‘symptoms’ and have the facility determine the best solution.

Keeping records of everything that has something to do with car maintenance is very important. Replacement parts usually carry warranties, and you can save a lot of money if you take advantage of these guarantees. You also need to keep track of the preventive services performed on your vehicle to avoid duplication. There are times when you change mechanics or technicians, and when you keep records, you won’t have a problem with the new repair shop or facility.

It was stated earlier that you should not attempt to diagnose the problem. However, it will help if you read the owner’s manual carefully before you take the car on the road. The manual contains valuable information like what oil to use, the meaning of warning lights, where the jack and spare are located, and the required air pressure for the tires, and the intervals for various maintenance procedures. Many owners overlook the manual, and toss it in the corner without going through the pages. Don’t do this because it can save you money.

As the car owner, you are in charge of taking care of your vehicle. It is a good idea to have a service schedule with the local repair shop. Drive safely and you can prolong the lifespan of your vehicle.

Author Bio:
Blue Reach Automation design and manufacture test equipment for automatic transmissions. The e-zee shift product controls the Dyno and valve body machine by changing gear and reading back information from the transmission. These existing systems are commonly upgraded to the state of the art E-Zee shift system to improve accuracy of the data acquisition & control. Upgrade your existing Dyno controller today and gain access to the industry’s leading Dyno test and control system.

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