Unfortunately, the cost of a vehicle doesn’t end after it’s been purchased. In fact, that can be just the beginning. Maintenance, repairs and auto insurance are all a part of owning a vehicle and usually what you expect to have to shell out afterwards. Yet your vehicle could be costing you unnecessarily while you own it. Here are 8 Unexpected Ways You Waste Money On Your Vehicle…
Not Fixing Brakes
Fixing your brakes at the first sign of trouble can help prevent costly repairs in the future. Brakes wear out over time, but how long should they last? Unfortunately, a standard length is difficult to say since the lifespan of a vehicle’s brakes depends greatly on many factors including the driver, the distance driven and how often the driver has to brake. A general rule of thumb, to prevent having to replace rotors and drums in addition to brake pads, is to have your brakes inspected annually.
Higher octane helps prevent knocking in engines but if it’s not recommended for a vehicle, the user is just throwing money away. While some people view octane levels as good, better and best, that simply isn’t the case. Most engines are designed to take regular gas and using premium will not enhance performance. Unless you have a more powerful engine and the manufacturer recommends a higher octane, save yourself some pain at the pump… fill it with regular.
Old Fuel Filter
Fuel filters act as a barrier between a vehicle’s fuel pump and fuel injector, removing contaminants that can cause problems later down the line. A clogged fuel filter can not only slow your engine but cause damage to it and diminish its overall performance. Replacing a dirty fuel filter before it starts wreaking havoc can save you money and improve your engine’s health. Have your filter inspected during routine maintenance intervals and follow your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations for replacement to ensure a happy, healthy engine.
Under Inflated Tires
Did you know that a tire under inflated by even 6 psi can cost you 5% of your fuel efficiency, reduce the lifespan of that tire by 25% and even lead to failure? It’s true. Low tire pressure is not only dangerous but it can take a big hit on your wallet as well with additional money spent on gas and replacement. A tire that’s correctly inflated will last longer, keep your safer and use less gas. To save money on fuel and unwanted additional wear to your treads, keep your tires inflated to the psi recommended by the manufacturer.
Keeping your vehicle clean can help reduce the risk of rust and increase its resale value in the future. And while we highly recommend washing your vehicle often to achieve those end goals, we do not recommend frequent trips to the car wash. Washing your vehicle by hand saves you money, gets you active and saves your vehicle’s paint from the swirls or scratches often associated with automated car washes. Granted, West Michigan winters don’t always allow for hand washing, but this tip can be well utilized the rest of the year. Do your wallet and your vehicle a favor in the future. Skip the car wash, grab a bucket of suds and do it yourself. You’ll probably find you do a better job than the automated machines can do. But even better, is the satisfaction of a job well done.
Dirty Air Filter
Just like a dirty fuel filter can affect your vehicles performance, so can a dirty air filter. Air filters control the amount of air flowing into the engine and a clogged filter can prevent air from moving correctly, forcing the engine to work harder. Experts have estimated that a dirty air filter can negatively affect your gas mileage up to 10% or approximately $0.15 per gallon. Vehicle maintenance schedules vary depending on each manufacturer. Check your owners manual to see your vehicles specific recommendations on replacing your air filter to ensure you’re getting the most out of yours.
Oil Changes Too Frequently
Regular oil changes are important to maintain proper lubrication in your vehicle’s engine but having oil changes completed too often can be an unnecessary expense. While most dealerships strongly encourage people to have their oil changed every 3,000 miles, experts have agreed it simply isn’t needed that frequently. Broadmoor Motors recommends to customers having it changed every 4,000 miles to maintain a clean and healthy engine.
Warming Up Engine
Once an imperative practice to increase your vehicles longevity, warming up your engine for 5-10 minutes is no longer required. Back in the day, when carburetors were a crucial engine component, letting a car warm up was highly recommended to keep it working well. With the invention of fuel injection engines in the late 80’s and early 90’s, idling lost its purpose. True, a cold engine is less fuel efficient than a warm one but driving your vehicle will warm it faster than leaving it to run in your driveway. Not only does idling waste gas and money, but it also can cause inadvertent wear on your engine. That being said, sometimes it’s necessary to letting it heat up a bit in winter to clear the windshield. Always make sure you have a clear line of visibility and that your windshield is free of all snow, ice and fog.
Broadmoor Motors Hastings can save you time and money on the purchase of your next quality, pre-owned vehicle and on your next car rental. We can save you money, whether you need a short term car rental, long term car rental, a replacement while your vehicle is getting serviced or simply need to replace your car, truck or SUV. Family owned & operated, with a reputation for good vehicles at great prices, we’re here for all your Car Rental and Car Sales needs. Give us a call at 269.320.3604 to see how we can get you back on the road!