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How to Save on Auto Expenses

A guest post –

A car is one of the most expensive items a family will ever purchase, and doing so can result in a significant amount of unforeseen expenses each month. For instance, one constant expense is gas. The cost of gas has recently placed a strain on many families, but it is possible that the cost of gas may continue to rise. Since auto expenses likely already eat up a huge chunk of your monthly budget, take the following measures to make up for any increase in gas prices come this summer.

1. Maintenance

Taking proper care of your car on a monthly basis is necessary to save yourself from financial disaster down the road. With proper maintenance, a car’s performance improves and you’ll often see this borne out in better mileage. For instance, get regular tune-ups. Tunes-ups help to ensure the car’s oil levels are at the right levels, the battery is in good condition and the spark plugs are working properly. If any of these items are not performing well, your car is likely to use more gas.

2. Tires

Another aspect of your car to take care of are the tires. Make sure that they are at the right pressure and inflated correctly. A tire that has the correct amount of pressure will result in less drag and resistance, saving gas. In addition, your tires should be properly aligned to prevent any steering problems. Shaking and trembling of the steering wheel while the car is in motion are common indications that there may be an issue with alignment.

3. Driving

Driving fast can be tempting, especially if you are running late.  Unfortunately, driving fast or excessively accelerating can increase the amount of gas the car needs to consume. Maintaining a constant low speed is important to decrease the amount of gas used. It may also be a surprise to know that driving too slow may also cause more gas to be used, since there is more resistance to your tires. As a result, a steady and constant pace is the best way to maintain reasonable levels of gas.

4. A/C

During the hot summer months, A/C is often necessary while driving, but it can really put a drain on your gas. To prevent this, try driving with your windows rolled down. Or, turn the A/C off once your car has cooled.  In addition, leaving the car on while waiting for your friend as they run to the store can have a negative impact on the amount of gas used. It is very important to minimize how often you leave your car idle.

Jason Arp likes to write about economics, saving money and frequenting www.lifeinsurancequotes.org

  • Elle April 24, 2012, 11:43 am

    At speeds greater than about 40 mph, and depending on the car, the aerodynamic drag of windows rolled down may cost more in gas than using the air conditioning. Newer cars in particular have less aerodynamic drag and have more efficient a/c units. Many reports on the internet attest to this. Google on {“air conditioning” driving mph}.

  • Theresa April 24, 2012, 6:33 pm

    There was a Mythbusters segment on a/c versus the windows down. I believe, if I remember correctly, both were the same. I guess then it would be (for us here in say Las Vegas) the choice between helping the environment or roasting our behinds off LOL!

  • pfdeals April 27, 2012, 7:53 pm

    Definitely agree on 1. Regular maintenance is important. I ended up buying a maintenance plan for my car, which lets me budget the maintenance expenses in advance as well, since they are already paid for.

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