A lot of people take their cars for granted. By paying more attention to your car you will save money now and in the future.
Ready – Set – Go
1. Clean or Replace Your Cars Air Filter and Your Car Will Run Great
This is so easy to do. Every time I get my oil changed I have the guy take out my air filter and pressure clean it with the air hose. It takes about two minutes and will save you money on gasoline. If the filter gets too soiled then replace it.
Another benefit of keeping a clean air filter is it will improve acceleration time by up to 11% according to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
2. Keep Your Tires Inflated to the Proper Pressure
For every five psi your tires are under inflated your gas mileage will be lowered by 2% according to the Department of Energy.
Every time I fill up with gas I check to make sure my tires are inflated to the proper pressure. You can start doing this today and it will save you money for the rest of your life. Another benefit of keeping your tires properly inflated is that your tires will last longer.
3. Save Gas by Not Carrying Around Extra Weight in Your Car
OK guys I am not talking about your wife. I am talking about your golf clubs are other things you have stored in your trunk or on your roof.
Those cargo boxes that people have on the roofs of their cars can reduce fuel economy by 2% – 25% depending on how fast you are driving according to www.fueleconomy.gov the official U.S. government’s source for fuel economy information.
Every extra 100 pounds of weight you are carrying in your trunk or inside the car will reduce your miles per gallon by 1%.
Dont wait go get the dead weight out of your car right now.
4. Where Is The Least Expensive Gas?
Go to Gas Buddy to find the lowest gas price in your area. Just enter your zip code, hit search, and the Gas Buddy will list gas stations in your area starting with the lowest price per gallon.
5. Buy Your Gasoline at a Big Box Store
Most of the Big Box Stores sell gasoline as you know. In 2014 buying gas at Costco would have saved you around 16¢ per gallon.
6. Always Do Your Cars Scheduled Maintenance
We have been told for years that we should change are oil every 3,000 miles by the people that profit the most, fast oil change shops, and some new car dealers.
Actually most auto manufacturers suggest that you change your oil a lot less frequently with modern cars. Depending on the car they suggest changing your oil between 7,500 and 15,000 miles.
In regards to the regularly scheduled maintenance suggested by your car manufacturer I can only say one thing, DO IT.
However, shop around for prices on maintenance. Unless you have a warranty that requires you to do your maintenance at the dealership I would not do it there unless of course you like paying twice as much as you need to.
This will go a long way to saving you money on repairs in the future, and help you not be one of those people stuck on the side of the highway with your car smoking.
7. Why You Should Always Buy a Used Car
Almost every car that I have bought in my life has been six months to two years old. The car has had one owner, low miles, is still under warranty, and because I wasn’t the one to drive it off the new car lot I saved thousands of dollars. Enough said.
8. Keep Your Old Car?
If you have maintained your car and it is in good condition why not keep it for one or two more years. This will save you time and money.
9. Buy a Hybrid Car?
A couple of months ago I flew into Miami and the car rental agency did not have the class of car that I had reserved.
They offered me a SUV or a Hybrid.
I took the Ford Fusion Hybrid and was surprised how comfortable it was. As I drove to West Palm Beach I noticed I was getting 50 miles to the gallon.
At this point hybrids cost more than the standard model. Check here to find out how many years you need to keep the hybrid for it to pay off as compared to buying the standard model.
It may take a few more years of innovation before these cars become economical for the frugal man.
10. I Don’t Need No Stinking Car Insurance
Actually yes you do. I wrote another article titled Car Insurance Coverage: What You Need To Know. Please click on the title and have fun reading it.
11. Do We Need To Drive Everywhere
Think about the places that you could walk or ride a bike instead of driving your car. The exercise and fresh air are obviously great for you. Besides for that you’ll be helping the environment and saving money.
12. Zen Driving
Practice driving smoothly and slower. This will save you gas, which saves you money. Not to mention it will cut down on your stress level. Think about how much extra time your trip will take if you drive relaxed. You’ll realize racing across town will only save you a few minutes.
121/2. OK I Got Your Attention
I really do not have a number 12 ½ tip. I thought it was a good way to get your attention and obviously if you’re reading this it worked. Here is a story instead.
Many years ago I was having trouble seeing at night with my headlights. I knew a guy named Tommy who had an auto parts store. Figured I needed new bulbs.
I stopped in and told Tommy my problem. We walked out to my car and he looked closely at my headlights. He looked at me with a look of disgust and said he would be right back.
Tommy came back a few minutes later with some Windex and a rag and cleaned off my headlights.
From that day on when I ran into Tommy I would tell him I couldn’t see while driving at night. I would proceed to ask if he had any Windex.
He would always sigh and than laugh. I guess tip 121/2 is “Keep Your Car Clean.”
Seriously though follow the steps above and your quality of your life will go up a notch. Put every step above into action today.
This is the first in a series of ” 12 1/2 Frugal Living Tips” articles by Scott The Frugal Man. Each article will tackle a different aspect of our lives.
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