Great Ways to Save Money with Your Car
1. Rotate your tires every 6,000 to 9,000 miles. Rotating your tires allows them to wear uniformly but check your owner’s manual first for the recommended rotation scheme. Another good rule of thumb is to have them rotated every other oil change.
2. 90 to 95% of engine wear occurs in the first 10 seconds after starting your engine and before the engine becomes fully lubricated. Things like parking your car in the driveway, then later pulling it into the garage cause the equivalent of 5000 miles of mechanical engine wear. Yikes!
3. If your car has a dent or scratch, check out the auto body department of a local vocational school or community college. Usually you are only charged the cost of the parts while students repair your vehicle under the watchful eye of the instructors.
4. Get a few more months out your windshield wiper blades. Lightly sand the edge of the rubber blade with super-fine sandpaper. Be sure to remove all traces of sand from the blades.
5. My biggest pet peeve: When you drive into a parking lot, take the first available spot you see. Slow stop-and-go driving is the most gas consuming.
6. In warmer months you might wonder if it’s more cost effective to drive with the windows down or run the AC. As a general rule, if you’re driving under 40 mph put the windows down, over put on the AC.
7. Looking for the cheapest gas prices? Wednesday is the cheapest day to buy gas, as early as possible. Most station owners wait to see their competitors’ prices to make their own adjustments.
8. Speaking of gas, you’ll get better gas mileage with an empty trunk. Don’t carry around heavy items in your trunk unless absolutely necessary.
9. Another gas guzzler: low tire pressure (as much as 5% more gas consumption). Underinflation also leads to increased rolling resistance which causes tire wear.
10. Consider buying retreads or blemished tires, especially for older cars. You can save up to 50% on the cost and there are laws requiring that they be safe.