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Buying a car | 21.02.2014 - 08:28

Car Ownership: Cutting Costs Without Cutting Sharp Corners

Once you learn how to use and maintain your car, the next best thing that you can do to save is to make sure that you shop smart when buying consumables.

Modern cars are thoroughly computer-controlled and are practically foolproof. There's still some room for user error, though. When you make a mistake in one of these areas that are prone, you either make your car less safe or end up spending more money than you should on keeping your car going. The number one tip to saving on your car's ownership costs, then, is simply this: read and understand the owner's manual and put it into practice.


Once you learn how to use and maintain your car, the next best thing that you can do to save is to make sure that you shop smart when buying consumables. A quality coupon site like Sumo Coupon can offer you deals on almost everything that you need for your car.


Keeping your car's fluids in order

Many of the recommendations in your cars maintenance schedule don't need a professional mechanic - you can perform the maintenance required yourself. Checking the fluid levels in your car is one of those maintenance measures. You need to check to make sure that you have the right levels of antifreeze, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, engine oil and wiper fluid.

The manual should tell you how to check for the right levels. If you wait for a warning light to come up on your dashboard, it's often too late to prevent damage. You could have an expensive repair bill on your hands. Shopping smart, stocking up on the fluids you need cheaply and then using them to top off all the fluids that you car needs is an excellent way to save and stay safe.


Keep your tires in good condition

The tires of a car go through a great deal of abuse when driven on rough roads. Tires are expensive - whatever you can do to maintain your tires in peak form, you should do it. The better you maintain your tires, the more life you will get out of them.

Tires are easy to maintain. For the most part, you simply need to check their inflation levels. Tires tend to lose about 2 pounds of air each month. The flatter your tires, the more quickly they wear out and the less maneuverable they make your car. Underinflated tires also make your car harder to move - your car's fuel efficiency goes down 15%.

Overinflating tires is a bad idea too. Overinflating stresses your tires each time you hit a pothole.

You need to know when to check your tires for their pressure levels, though. The numbers embossed on your tires usually indicate cold pressure. You should check your tires after your car has remained unused for a number of hours.


Looking at your car's oil level

Engine technology has improved to the point today that you only need to perform oil changes once every 5000 miles (although your specific model of car may recommend a different frequency). If you can find a good coupon for your car's oil and you change it yourself, you'll save considerably.


The air filter

While it can take a little expertise to change your car's oil, air filter changes take no mechanical knowledge at all. You don't even need tools for it. On most cars, changing the air filter once every three months is a good idea. If your filter becomes clogged, your mileage could go down 10%. You can find great deals online for air filters for most models of car.


A stitch in time

Whether you spend a lot on your car or a little depends on the kind of care you take. If you skimp on your maintenance now, you don't get away with anything - you'll spend all of it and more at some point when your car breaks down. It's a far better idea to spend on it today.


Russell Matthews spends his days enjoying tea parties with his twin daughters and their pets as a stay-at-home dad. When not braiding hair and cooking dinner, he enjoys blogging about practical ways to keep the sanity in a home from budgets to family getaways.

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