7 Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses Now

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Owning a car is expensive. The American Automobile Association estimates that it costs roughly $8,600 a year to use and maintain the average mid-size sedan in the US. That figure takes into account not just car payments, of course, but gasoline, maintenance, insurance and other related expenses. Let’s face it, owning a car is expensive. The good news is, though, that you can lower that amount if you get creative and put a little thought into it. Take a look at the list below and you’ll see there are many items you can act on immediately.

1) Drive at 55 mph on the highway. Your gas mileage decreases as you travel faster. It’s a law of physics: overcoming wind resistance takes more and more horsepower as you go faster. In fact, here’s a rule of thumb: for every 5 MPH over 55 MPH you decrease your fuel efficiency by 5%. If you do a lot of commuting this can add up to a significant amount of money over a year’s time.

2) Do the easy car repairs yourself. There are some things that you can fix yourself on your car. For example, replacing wiper blades, replacing blown headlights and taillights, basic detailing (internal and external cleaning) and keeping all the fluids at their proper levels are simple procedures. If you need some guidance, you can go to YouTube to see videos on how these procedures are completed.

3) Don’t change your oil excessively. Despite what you have been told in the past, you don’t need to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Newer cars using synthetic oils can easily reach the 6,000-8,000 mile mark before needing a change. Check your owner’s manual for more information but you will likely find that the old 3000 mile change interval is gone.

4) Be a smart gas consumer. Many of the larger gas companies offer their own credit cards or have saving programs that offer discounts to members. Some of these discounts are substantial, too. If you have a favorite station that you gas up at, see if they have a discount program.

5) Don’t leave your car idling for long. If you’re parked and waiting for any period of time, turn the engine off. Idling can use a quarter to a half-gallon of fuel per hour. (By the way, restarting your vehicle only takes about 10 seconds worth of fuel.)

6) Use the AC only when it’s really hot. Instead of driving with the AC on, lower the windows when it’s moderately hot. Automotive air conditioners are energy hogs and can reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25%.

7) Keep your tires inflated. Making sure you’ve got proper tire pressure can improve your gas mileage by up to 10%. It’s a good idea to checking your tire pressure about once a month, as tires lose an average of about two pounds of pressure per month.

With a little thought, you will likely be able to discover some other cost saving measures in addition to these. Be a smart consumer and save your hard earned money. As a side benefit, some of these measures reduce your impact on the environment too.

Article Courtesy of: Dulles Kia

  

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