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Personal Finance

Slash Your Auto Budget With These 4 Car Maintenance Habits

Cars can be money pits. However, you can reduce the costs you put into auto maintenance by developing a few simple habits.


1. Wash your car regularly. Set up a weekly or bi-weekly schedule for car washing. Washing your car regularly helps maintain the paint and avoids corrosion. Car washing is especially necessary if you live near the ocean where salt water can have a horrible effect on your car’s body. You don’t have to pay big bucks to have your car washed at a commercial place, you can learn how to wash your car like a pro.

2. Change your oil regularly. Changing your oil ensures good engine health. If you slack on this job, you’ll pay the price by having to replace an engine. Find out how often the car manufacturer recommends you change the oil. This can usually be found in your owner’s manual. As soon as you find out, set up a reoccurring event in your calendar so you’ll never forget when to go change your oil.

3. Rotate your tires. My wife and I have had some bad luck with tires. I’m sure we could have avoided these costs if we had kept a regular tire rotation schedule. This is a job you can easily do your self. You should rotate them 5,000 to 10,000 miles. You can probably do this every time you change your oil.

4. Keep track of your mileage when you fill up. One of the habits my parents have developed is to keep track of their mileage whenever they fill up on gas. Just keep a notebook in your glove compartment and write in the date you filled up, the mileage on your odometer, and how many gallons you filled up. You’ll then be able to compute your car’s fuel efficiency. By being aware of how many miles per gallon your car is getting, you’ll know how to budget for gas in the future. Moreover, you’ll be able to come up with ways to save money on gas.