It's that time of year already! Among that long list of changing your clocks and cleaning out the garage, I hope you make a little room for your ride. Today I would like to discuss a few simple things you can do to your car to help save money and time.
When was the last time you checked your fluids? What about the air pressure or air filter? We often see the shift to Spring as a time to clean up around the house. This is a good time to check up on the car for the warm months to come. Let's look at some of the simple things you can check to save some money at the pump as well as the repair shop.
Buy the gasoline that your engine was designed to take. All that the wrong gas will do is make the car knock or waist your money. Too low an octane for a high performance motor will make the engine knock. Too high an octane for a standard engine like a 4 cylinder would be a waist.
Do you really think that cheaper is better? Most cheap gas suppliers supply cheap gas! Quality of fuel does make a difference to your car. Higher quality has better detergent to keep your injectors and combustion chambers clean. Better gas also gives you better gas mileage. Test it yourself; fill up with that cheap stuff and take down the miles then, do a tank with some Chevron, Shell or Texaco and you will be surprised.
5,000-mile oil changes.
Look in your book! Most manufacturers actually suggest 5,000 miles, 7,500 miles or even longer intervals between oil changes such as 10,000 for BMW or Mercedes. Many cars even have an engine quality monitor system that lets you know when the oil needs replacing!
Servicing your air filter.
These items can often be found in places we all shop every weekend like Target or Kmart. A simple $20-40 air filter can save you hundreds in gas mileage annually. Most air filters are fastened by clips whereas other may need a screwdriver.
Listen and look at what your tires are telling you! Get down on the ground to see the rear and crank the wheels one way to see the front. If they are not wearing even now, replacing them won’t fix the problem. Your shocks may be bad, your alignment may be out, or worse.Less tread equals more drag which makes for worse gas mileage. Be sure to also keep the recommended tire pressure to get the best mileage and tire wear as well. This can found on your door jam or owner's manual.
It’s Brake time.
If your brakes are talking to you chances are they have something to say. If your brakes emit a constant, high-pitched whine chances are they hit what we call the squeaker bars. This is to tell you that you only have a fraction of material left on the pad. If you heard squeaks then it left don’t think things got better. You may actually be metal to metal. Some cars like BMW have sensors and they let you know to replace the pads when there is ¼ life left.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.