Taking care of your car can save you lots of money. It can help you get better gas mileage and add more years to your car’s life. So, print out the tips below and show your car you care.
Check your tire pressure. If your tires are under inflated, your car will use more gas, and your tires will not last as long. You can buy a tire pressure gauge and check the pressure yourself (look in your owner’s manual to see what the proper tire pressure is for your car), or have the tire pressure checked when you’re having routine maintenance. If you check the pressure yourself, do it in the morning when your tires are cool.
Every Three Months:
Oil Change. Changing your oil regularly will add lots of life to your car, and prevent expensive engine damage. Check your car’s owner’s manual, but most manuals recommend an oil change every 3,000 – 5,000 miles, or every three months. To save money, look for shops or national chains that offer “ladies day” savings. Generally, you can get a professional oil change for $10 – $29.
Review Your Car’s Owner’s Manual. The following items vary from car to car, but it’s important to keep track of when you have them done. If you don’t have the manual for your car, see if you can get it through a car dealership, or online.
Tune-Up. Again, this varies from vehicle to vehicle. Check the owner’s manual to find out how often your car needs a tune-up.
Timing Belt. If your timing belt goes, your wallet will feel the pinch. So, look at this link and see at what mileage your timing belt needs to be changed.
Tire Rotation. Most cars will need to have their tires rotated once every 12,000 miles. But, to be safe check your owner’s manual. Tire rotation is important because it helps your tires to wear evenly. This equals longer tire life and better gas mileage.
Air Filter. Try to have your air filter changed every 12,000 miles. You can actually do this pretty easily yourself – to see how click here. If you’d rather leave it to the experts, expect to pay anywhere from $8 – $15.
Brakes. If you hear a squeaking or grinding sound when you hit the brakes, get your car to a mechanic – fast! If you don’t, you risk damaging your entire braking system.
Keep Good Records. Most vehicle owner’s manuals have a service log. If yours doesn’t, get a small spiral notebook and keep it in your glove box. Then, every time you have your car serviced, record it. Write down the date, the service, where you had the service performed, and the cost. This will help you keep track of what your car needs and when. It will also help you sell your car, since potential buyers will know that you’ve done a good job taking care of your car.