Cars are expensive! They need to be purchased or leased, insured, repaired, and serviced. We’ll go over some places where car owners commonly overspend, helping you keep your car in good condition for less.
Get smart about scheduled maintenance
When you drive your new car off the lot, chances are that your dealer will have given you a service schedule for your car. However, the only service maintenance schedule worth following is the one that comes from your car’s manufacturer. It can be found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
- Dealerships often provide a service schedule to try and scare you into performing unnecessary maintenance work, all at the dealership. Don’t be fooled.
Pump the minimum
Despite what gas station ads want you to believe, very few cars actually require expensive, high-octane gasoline. Most conventional automobiles are designed to run perfectly well on the cheapest (87-octane) gas.
Peel off that oil-change reminder sticker
- Oil-change services encourage you to change your car’s oil every 5,000 kilometres (3,000 miles). They even put stickers on your windshield reminding you to have it serviced.
- In reality, most cars do fine driving 12,000 kilometres (7,500 miles) without a change, and some can go twice that. Check your car owner’s manual and let the manufacturer give you the real story.
Keep tabs on tire pressure
- Checking your tire pressure every month can save you a lot on mechanic bills. It will also keep you and your passengers safe, because it will ensure that your tires aren’t over or under-inflated, which can lead to blowouts.
- Lousy tire pressure will also lower your gas mileage and add wear and tear to your car’s brakes and handling systems.
- The maximum tire pressure is marked on the sidewall of the tire. Many cars also have a more important figure — the suggested tire pressure — marked on the inside of the driver’s-side door.
You should never skimp on car safety or repairs. However, there are many ways that people put money into their cars in a sub-optimal way. Use this guide to stay informed and save yourself some money.