Ways You Are Wasting Money on Your Car

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A responsible car owner will allocate a budget for car maintenance, however, many of us do not do this, and not knowing the ways you are wasting money on your car will eventually take a toll on your wallet. So yes, this is like one of those articles on how to save an extra $100 or $200 a month, except it’s all car-related. And, it involves actions that many of us are unconscious of.

Here are the ways you are wasting money on your car. If you want to know more, read on.

Premium Gas
Purchasing premium gas for your car may sound as if you are seriously taking care of it. However, if premium gas is not what your car needs, it is a waste of money.

Before you decide on the gas you will fill your car with, check what exact grade of gas is required by your car. You need to ask yourself which octane is suitable for your vehicle to function efficiently. Then ask yourself if premium gas is really necessary.

Your car’s manual can help you answer these questions easily. If you don’t have a manual, you can always check the internet for this kind of information. Once you are certain of what your car needs, use premium gas only when necessary. If not, stop using it.

You might ask, “If premium gas is not harmful to my car, why should I stop using it?” Though it is not harmful, it is not beneficial either. The fact that you are spending 50 cents more per gallon for nothing is completely insane.

You can already allot that money for preventive maintenance that your car really needs. If you think 50 cents per gallon is not a waste, think of $200 annually (at the minimum) that you can actually save when you use the gas your car needs instead of premium gas.

Synthetic Oil
Departing, fancy gas, let us now discuss the fancy oil that we unnecessarily use for our cars. Synthetic oil could boost some modern cars’ performance, but most cars don’t really need it, especially the older models of cars.

Similar to how you should check what gas your car needs, you should also check the oil that your car needs, specified in your manual. Finding the correct viscosity and grade for your car is much more important than paying for expensive yet unnecessary oil.

If the synthetic oil really improves the performance of the car, go ahead. However, in most cases, synthetic oil is not necessary. In modern cars, synthetic oils optimize the engine performance, making it advantageous compared to the usual oil used.

But again, this works only for engines that are specifically responsive to synthetic oil. So, instead of wasting money on oil that will not make a difference in your car’s performance, just save up for important things like routine maintenance.

Cutting out synthetic oil can help you cut down half of your budget for oil if your car only needs regular oil. Sometimes, the cost of synthetic oil can be four times that of a regular oil, so the savings is more than a few cents.

Lube Job
Lubrication can be necessary for some cars, however, spending on a lube job is definitely a waste when it comes to newer cars. Most newer cars don’t need lube jobs because they come with sealed modern car parts. The question is, how do you know if your car needs lubrication or not?

Three things: year, model, and make. These three things can help you determine if your car needs a lube job or not. If you are still confused after checking this essential information, you can always ask an expert mechanic whom you trust.

Now, it’s a different story for trucks. Trucks have parts that really need lubrication regardless of year, model, and make. Their greasing points and tie rods need a lube job so as not to affect the performance of the vehicle.

If you are not driving a truck, it would not be a problem if you cut down the cost of lubrication. Just make sure that your car doesn’t need it, and you can save up.

Lubrication of chassis is already an old story in most cars. The lubrication of the framework of the vehicle is comparable with how outdated the tune-up is. Modern cars no longer need lubrication since the parts like ball joints are permanently sealed.

Again, check the year, model, and make of your car to check if it needs a lube job. If it doesn’t need it, save up instead.

Repair Cost
One of the most expensive responsibilities for any car owner is getting a car fixed. There is no way that you can say no to repairs because eventually, the vehicle will need a mechanic to keep everything working fine. However, you can always choose to lower the cost of repairs.

There are two things that you can do to avoid the unnecessarily expensive cost of repair: Acknowledge the cost of repair at the dealership is higher and ask about the cost even before you sign the papers. These two things might be simple, but they make a huge difference in cost.

Usually, when cars need fixing, owners do not have any choice but to agree with what needs to be done to the car, so you can use it again as soon as possible. However, not all shops will give you the best bargain for repair.

Oftentimes, rather than replacing one small part, they will replace an entire assembly, when it is not necessary – but rather easier and more lucrative for them. Further many repair shops, including dealerships, simply give you papers to sign and you don’t even know if all of the repairs listed are necessary in the first place.

Always ask for an explanation as to why each repair is being made, why each part is being replaced, etc. Yes, this takes more time, but it is worth it. If you do not do this, you leave yourself open to being misled about repairs and associated costs. Remember you are being charged not only for parts, but also for labor.

Another way to avoid unnecessary repair costs is to ask them to use OEM parts, which should be less expensive if they are available. Fifteen percent savings is a huge difference, yet you can be assured that the quality of parts is not compromised.

Underinflated Tires
Running on a flat tire is one of the most common situations that any car owner can experience. Anyone who owns a car knows what a flat tire is and why there is a need for a spare. This is also one of the most common ways you are wasting money on your car.

New car owners are not very particular with the pounds per square inch for proper inflation of

tires. This is why they are not even aware that their tires, when underinflated, are wasting their hard-earned money. How much money are we talking about?

If a driver covers 12,000 miles per year with an underinflated tire, it will cost more than $400. Imagine how much cost savings that could have been if you are aware of the proper inflation. Running on underinflated tires uses more fuel, period, end of story. Of course, you run the risk also of ruining the tire too, wearing it unevenly, and needing to replace it too.

The details you need for the tires, both rear and front, are available in the manual and also usually on the inside front door panel.. Read up and save more.

Engine Light Warning
Warning lights exist for a reason and neglecting paying attention to them comes with a price, literally. You are wasting your money as you continue to disregard your car’s warning lights. Warning lights alert you to when your car needs to be checked.

That alone should be convincing enough for you to take them seriously. However, there are car owners who choose to ignore them since the car is still working despite the warning lights.

Just remember that the warning lights are not indicators of whether your car is already falling apart or not. It tells you that you need to fix something or else, your car will have bigger issues soon. You can give yourself 1 to 2 days to have your car checked.

There can be various problems that trigger a warning light and might affect the performance of your car and its efficiency. It could be as simple as a faulty sensor, but if it’s not fixed, fuel efficiency drops as low as 40%. That clearly indicates how much money you are going to lose if you ignore warning lights.

Also, there are times that your car needs a simple part replacement, like a spark plug, but ignoring the need for such replacement could lead to a disastrous $1000 repair cost of the catalytic converter.

Another example is when the warning light pertains to a problem with the emission system. It will hurt your gas mileage, fuel-air mix, or worse, the engine. This is what we mean when we say that your car’s minor issues could lead to bigger problems.

Bigger issues mean higher costs. That is why ignoring the warning lights is one of the ways you are wasting money on your car.

Know the Ways You are Wasting Money on Your Car – Call American Auto Care/ASR

This list above are just some of the things we tend to overlook when it comes to car maintenance and the budget we allot to care for our cars. You should know your car well to determine which are necessary expenses and which are just a waste.

You will need a professional’s advice to ensure that your spending habits for preventive maintenance don’t get out of hand. You just need to seek help from a trusted mechanic and know the ways you are wasting money on your car.

One you can trust to guide you both in budgeting and maintenance is American Auto Care/ASR located in Southern California in Murrieta. We offer car repair services and consultation.

You can check our website here for more information or call us at 951-461-2507.

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