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Car Expenses That Waste Your Money

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Car Expenses That Waste Your Money

Levi Quinn (SubmitYOURArticle.com)
May 17, 2011


http://www.autoinsuranceratesdirect.com

Okay, so you love your car and you're proud to show it off. That's great, because it probably means you take care of your ride, but is there such a thing as taking too good care of it? Below are some car-related expenses that you may be wasting your hard earned money on. Like the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

• 3,000 mile oil changes. You probably can't remember the last time anyone told you different, but manufactures usually suggest oil changes between every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, and even longer for some cars. Plus, there may be two oil recommendations, one for normal driving and one for "hard" driving. If you barely drive your car, considering going by the calendar, not the odometer. However, oil changes twice a year are the minimum.

• That premium gas. In today's economy there is really no need to fill up with premium gasoline. Even the cheapest gas protects your car's engine.

• That good ole' shop around the corner. Shop around for repair costs, as many dealers will jack up their prices. Independent shops will almost always do the same quality work for much cheaper prices. Also, keep in mind that some dealers may tell you that using outside garages will violate your car's warranty; this is a lie. But bear in mind, not every garage is as qualified as your dealer. Look for garages that are ASE-certified, a good housekeeping seal of approval from the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Also, find someone who is willing to answer all of your questions and who takes your concerns seriously. Another tip, drive your car before you pay, this way you can be sure the problem was fixed.

• Make minor repairs yourself. Replacing your air filter and wiper blades is a simple, five minute job. You can purchase them on sale at a discount auto-parts store rather than paying the dealer's price for them plus you cut labor costs. Wipers should be replaced once a year and it's easiest to just buy the whole blade, not the refill. Air filters should be replaced every other oil change if you live in a dusty climate, otherwise at least once every 20,000 miles.

• Antifreeze changes. You only need to change your antifreeze when a hydrometer suggests your car will no longer withstand temperatures 30 degrees below the coldest your region sees in the winter. Most dealers and mechanic shops are willing to check this for free. You really only need to replace your antifreeze every two years, but keep your cooling system lubricated by running the air conditioner every few weeks in winter.

• The manufacturer's schedule. Stick to your manufacturer's schedule rather than what the dealer says. Oftentimes the dealer with recommend major tune-ups when they're completely unnecessary. Unless you hear odd noises, don't change the spark plugs or other electrical devices until the manufacturer says so.

With gas prices on a continual rise and the economy in a recession, it's important to save money where you can. By utilizing the above steps you'll be able to save cash on a number of your car-related expenses.

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