There are many ways to save money on your vehicle expenses. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by a wealth of knowledge in this field, but understand that the vast majority of population doesn’t have much to go by on this topic. Today I will attempt to pass on some useful information that you can easily implement to save money on your car.
Better Gas Mileage
Everyone wants better gas mileage, so here are a few helpful tips you can use to improve yours. First, set your cruise control with the speed limit (or less). Cruise control will keep you at a consistant speed which will dramatically help your gas mileage.
Next, take your time accelerating, this is a huge waste of gas. It may take you an extra moment to get to the speed limit, and yes, people may pass you, but it will burn your fuel much more efficiently.
Also, when driving on the highway (non-stop and go) at speeds at or above 55mph roll your windows up and use the AC. It has been proven time and time again that when your windows are down at these speeds, the air will add resistance to your driving which will make your car use more gas to go at your desired speed. When in stop and go traffic or at speeds below 55mph, turn off the AC and roll down your windows. Your AC is powered by a belt on your engine which means it takes more power to run than when it is turned off. More power means more gas… enough said.
If you keep up on the regular maintenance on your car, it will pay off in the long run. Believe me, I have seen what happens when you don’t follow the manufacturers recommendations on your vehicle like changing the transmission fluid, gear box fluids (for trucks, 4×4′s and rear wheel drive vehicles, even some front wheel drive vehicles have a gear box… just look in your owner’s manual or call your manufacturer), your coolant/antifreeze and even your engine oil. The only one of these that you have to do every 3-5 thousand miles (on most cars, once again, check your owner’s manual for specifics on your vehicle) is your engine oil. Most transmissions shouldn’t need to have their fluid’s replaced before 30 thousand miles and your coolant could range from 30 thousand miles (if the fluid is green), 100 thousand miles (if the fluid is yellow) or even 150 thousand miles (if the fluid is either a pink or orange).
If you don’t mind to spend a little extra money up front to save a bunch down the road, I highly recommend a K&N Air filter for your car. This is simply a replacement for the regular air filter you have for your engine. These should be replaced by manufacturers specs approximately every 12k-15k miles or once a year, however this is a visually inspected item (this is a very general statement and you should check your owner’s manual for exact recommendations for your vehicle). The price on the replacement filters range from under $10 all the way up to $30 per air filter (not including diesel engines). The K&N air filter can be purchased at any auto parts store for roughly $40-$60 depending on your vehicle, and they will usually install it for you. The K&N air filter is a lifetime filter that you never replace. You only need to clean it every 100,00 thousand miles or so, plus, they allow your engine to get more air flow by making it easier on your engine to pull air through your filter for longer periods of time.
If you don’t want to make that investment, or you just can’t right now, then at least check your air filter at every oil change and try to keep it clean. Hold it up to the light when you have it out and if you can see light through it, it is generally pretty good and you don’t need to replace it. If you can’t see light through it, your engine has to work harder to pull air through the filter therefore you are losing gas mileage. The air filter is usually the number one reason why people lose gas mileage. You can get these cheaper at the auto parts store than you can at a quick lube, generally, you will pay double for your air filter at those places.
If you use a quick lube or something of that sort, always look online for discount coupons you can print out and take with you. Many of these operations will even give you a discount if you just ask them for it. I was the store manager for a major quick lube organization for years and I had the option at any time to give an additional 15% off any time I wanted to. Plus, online you can easily find coupons for $5, $10 and even $20 off. These coupons are often specific but are sometimes general coupons.
If you ever go to auto parts stores for anything from wipers to engines, look online first. You can save a significant amount of money by going online and shopping and choosing to pick it up at the store after buying it online or you can have it shipped to your house. I know this sounds crazy but I live less than a mile away from my local Advance Auto Parts store, and I never purchase anything at the store, but I buy my oil, oil filter, spark plugs and wires, wiper blades, car wash detergent online via their website and get a lot better of a price. Plus, I always check meancoupons.com first and I can get anywhere from $10-$50 off my purchase. Once, I bought six spark plugs, spark plug wires, two oxygen sensors, five quarts of oil and an oil filter for $78.93. This originally retailed for over $130. I made the purchase and went straight to the store to pick it up and it was already packaged for me in bags ready for me to take it home, that means I didn’t have to wait by the counter while the guy looked everything up for me. The time I saved was awesome as well.
You can go to different websites to find the cheapest gas around. I personally use gasbuddy.com. Here you can type in your specific area (city,state) and get a list of all the current gas prices in your town. Sometimes you will save quite a bit by visiting this site, it really depends on where you live. If you are taking a trip, do not leave without checking this website. I even have this one saved on my mobile phone and use it when I am out of town to find where will be the cheapest to stop for gas and actually plan my trips so that I stop for gas at those specific locations that has the lowest gas.
There is a number of things you can do to save money on car insurance. For starters, be a defensive driver and ditch the road rage. I know this seems easier said than done but it is possible with hard work and patience. Obey all traffic laws (speed limit, stopping at stop signs, using signals, driving sober etc.) As a defensive driver you will reduce your chances of being involved in an accident and receiving a ticket. When you receive a traffic violation ticket or when an accident is on your driving record, your insurance rates rise and that is never a good thing. Plus, think of the repair costs (or deductable for your insurance), hospital/doctor bills that could be a result of a wreck and the fines you have to pay when receiving a ticket.
Another popular way to lower your insurance rate is to pay for a longer amount of time up front. My insurance company gives me three options for paying. I can pay per month ($150 a month), three months at one time ($130 a month), or six months at a time for an even bigger discount ($100 a month). The amounts I have shown are just to help you understand my point, these will vary depending on your personal situation. Nevertheless, paying for a longer amount of time will usually give you a bigger discount overall saving you a large amount of money.
I would also recommend comparing rates with other insurance companies. You may be surprised at what other insurance companies may be able to give you, possibly saving hundreds of dollars per year. You can do this easily online at different websites such as esurance.com, progressive.com or insurance.com just to name a few. Some of these sites will allow you to get quotes from all the different companies and will help you determine the cheapest for you all in one place. Be sure to have all your insurance information ready when you get a quote because you will need it when you fill out the request for a quote. Information such as dates for any traffic violations and/or wrecks/accidents, your current policy end date and personal information for each person that will be on your insurance will be helpful when engaging in this process.
There are definately more ways to save on vehicle expenses, however, these seem to be some of the most efficient ways that I have encountered. I am sure you know some different ways and I’d love to hear about it so, as always, please comment below to let the world know how you save on gas.
Vehicles can be very expensive, but if we manage them correctly, they can last for years and years.