Your vehicle is one of your most significant expenses, while also being necessary to most people. The average vehicle owner can spend a fair amount of money each year (between car payments, fuel, and service). While a car will never be free, there are many tips for saving money. 

Tips for Saving Money on Your Car, Northwest Auto Center of Houston

7 Tips for Saving Money on Your Car

1. Don’t Settle for the First Gas Station You See

Do some research on gas stations instead of just stopping at the first one you pass. Sometimes you can’t help it, and that’s okay. But it wouldn’t hurt and can make a small difference in finances if you take a moment to investigate options. Especially the one that will be your routine gas station. It will benefit you to find one that is convenient while also being affordable. Gas stations along the highway or on the outskirts of town tend to be more expensive. There are even phone apps that can tell you where cheaper gas options are located. This could be helpful on a road trip or in a new place. Also, unless your manual requires it, you don’t need to be putting premium gas in your car.

2. Get Your Tires Rotated Every 6,000 Miles or at Least Twice a Year

The front tires of a vehicle work harder than the back ones and can wear out more quickly. If you have your tires rotated, this will balance your tires’ wear, giving them a much longer lifespan. It could give you thousands of extra miles on your tires. Many tire warranties require you to rotate the tires, or you will lose the warranty. Having to buy new tires because you lost your warranty will be an unnecessary and high cost. Rotating your tires also makes them safer to drive on, and that is the most crucial consideration. 

3. Don’t Neglect Your Car’s Needs

Unfortunately, car maintenance can be expensive and will be necessary at certain points. An essential money-saving tip is to find a good, trustworthy mechanic, someone you can rely on when problems arise to take care of your vehicle and not to overcharge you. They can also help you make informed decisions about part replacements and necessary repairs. 

Having routine car maintenance performed instead of waiting for a more serious issue to arise is smart and can save you a lot of money. Fuel injection and throttle body services, brake, and power steering flushes are just a few examples of vehicle maintenance that is recommended every 30,000 miles or two years. Getting your oil changed consistently can keep you from spending excessive money when your car breaks down, and you have to pay for a tow truck, possibly an unknown mechanic, not to mention the cost of fixing serious problems caused by neglect. Take care of your car so it can take care of you and your wallet. 

4. Check Your Car’s Air Filtration System

This is one of the easiest and cheapest fixes you can make to your vehicle, and some car owners can do it themselves if they choose to. The air filtration system affects your gas mileage. A clean system can give you up to ten percent more gas mileage. It will also extend the life of your engine. When clean and working, the air filtration system will trap dirt and debris that would get into the engine and cause damage that could cost serious money in repairs. 

5. Avoid Idling

Idling your vehicle can use up to half a gallon of gas per hour, depending on your car. This is throwing away money in gas. Most modern cars warm-up or cool down quickly enough that we don’t need to give them time in the cold mornings. And restarting your car takes less gas than idling does. Keep all of this in mind when waiting to pick someone up, going through a drive-through, or thinking of warming up your car before heading out. Turn the engine off if you will be waiting for more than a minute. 

6. Be a Safe Driver

You may be wondering how driving safely will save you money. If you drive recklessly or speed, you risk throwing away money on costly moving violations. Many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers with consistently good driving records. This can be a big money saver since insurance is a significant cost. When you speed or weave through traffic, you are more likely to abuse your brakes, wearing them down, requiring early repairs or replacements. 

7. Plan Ahead

Plan your errands and routes before leaving your house to maximize the efficiency of your vehicle. With just a little planning, you can extend the life of your car, use less gas, cause less harm to your car since you won’t be in an unnecessary rush or stressed about backtracking. And, as a bonus, you will have more free time to do something fun or relaxing.  

We can’t eliminate the cost of having a vehicle. But, with these helpful tips for saving money on your car and a trustworthy mechanic, you will save a lot of money with minimal effort on your part. 

Start today by taking your car into Northwest Auto Center to give it the check-up it deserves, and get on your way to saving money! We perform this service at NO CHARGE!