Without proper care and considering, car maintenance requirements will cause thousands of dollars of bills over the lifetime of your vehicle ownership.
The good news is, a few simple driving tips will not help you learn how to drive well, but will also save you money, and protect the value of your vehicle for when the time comes to sell it.
Whether you’re buying a new vehicle or trying to eke some more miles out of old reliable, these tips will ensure that you limit the time your car spends in the repair shop.
If that sounds appealing to you, keep reading to hear 8 driving tips that can help you to protect your car, and your wallet.
1) Stay Safe and Avoid Collisions
Tragically in the US, 90 people die in a car crash every single day. Many more are involved in non-fatal collisions which leave them with all sorts of injuries.
You can learn more here about the most common types of injuries. Needless to say, these accidents will do the largest amount of damage to your vehicle and require the biggest maintenance costs.
Although sometimes accidents are unavoidable, you can minimize the risks you face with a few driving tips.
Be vigilant about checking your mirrors as you drive. Is the care behind you two car-widths aways? Brake progressively as well – this gives drives behind you time to anticipate your next move and avoid any problem.
Common sense is always the best solution to staying safe on the road. But you should never forget to do the simple things well, as this can save you the cost of a whole new vehicle if you are even in a serious accident.
2) Avoid Pot Holes at All Costs
If you leave this article with a crucial driving tip, it is that you should try your very hardest to avoid driving over potholes in the road. No matter how small they are, they can do devastating damage to your vehicle.
Riding over potholes shreds tires and can crack wheel rims. This is just the beginning of the problem, however.
If you are unlucky and go over a bigger pothole, the suspension system and even steering components can be destroyed. These can lead to massive car maintenance bills.
The AAA calculates that the average car repair linked to potholes in the US is $300, though this can be much higher depending on the situation. The problem costs drivers in the US over $15 billion per year.
3) Build a Relationship With Your Mechanic
For your own health, you have a long-term relationship with your doctor. He understands how your body works, and so when you are sick is able to provide the help that you need.
You should think of your mechanic as a doctor for your vehicle. If you ever need major car maintenance, don’t take it anywhere other than to your regular mechanic.
They will understand the complete picture of your vehicle’s condition.
Find a local serviceman who specializes in your vehicle who you can trust. Analogy about not seeing a different doctor each time you get sick.
After a few visits, they will know and understand your vehicle and give it the best care possible.
4) Drive Smoothly
When it comes to car maintenance, you get out what you put in. This is why you should make sure that your driving style is as smooth as possible to reduce the strain on your vehicle.
Accelerating and braking aggressively will wear out your tires extremely fast, forcing you to replace these regularly. If your vehicle has a manual transmission, the clutch can also be damaged through aggressive driving.
My tip is to use the momentum of the vehicle and engine braking to slow the car. This will naturally lower your speed and means your brakes work less hard.
An added bonus of driving smoothly is that it will improve the fuel economy of your vehicle, saving you even more money.
Driving safely may not be the most entertaining way to travel, but you’re not a racing driving. This simple tip will reduce car maintenance and also save you money.
5) Change Your Oil and Air Filters
One of the first things we are taught when we drive is that you should regularly change your oil and oil filters. There’s a good reason for this.
The oils and lubricants that go into your car are like its blood. As your vehicle is used, the oil filter will become clogged, which can make cause car maintenance costs.
Almost as important is the changing of the air filter. Many motorists will forget to do this during their time with a vehicle, which can cause damage over time.
Have a look in your vehicle handbook, as it will often tell you how long you should wait between cleans and replacements.
The good news is that it is that changing the oil and air filters is a straightforward job. The air filter can often be cleaned out at home several times before it needs to be completely replaced.
6) Protect Your Tires by Parking Properly
Have you ever pulled away in your car only to realize that one of your tires is running flat? I bet that 90% of the time that tire will be on the curb-side.
It’s incredibly common to pick up tire damage when parking a vehicle. Bumping the curb whilst trying to park as close to it as possible will often lead to wear on the tires.
Many people will park in the same direction each night next to their home. This can mean that the tires on one side of the vehicle become work out faster than the other.
When you park, slow things down and look for space. You don’t have to be half an inch from the curb every time.
Give yourself some margin for error to avoid tire replacement costs.
7) Under Pressure: Keep An Eye on Your Tires
Many drivers overlook the effect that tire pressures have on their car maintenance costs. If they are at a higher or lower pressure than is recommended by the manufacturer, it’s going to cost you money.
High tire pressures will increase the rate that your tires wear out. Lower pressures than is recommended by the manufacturer will make your vehicle difficult to drive, and lower your fuel economy.
In an ideal world, you should check your tire pressures at least once a week. In reality, a monthly checkup at your local gas station should be more than enough to keep track of any problems.
Some additional driving tips for when it comes to tires include lowering the pressures when driving on ice and snow. Another is that you can top them up for free at many gas stations across the US.
You can find out more about the importance of tire pressures here.
8) Air Conditioning – Use it or Lose it
This is one of those surprising driving tips you won’t hear often. Even in cold climates, use your AC unit occasionally to make sure that it doesn’t break down.
The reason for this is that your AC unit releases refrigerant gases. If it is not used for a long time, more of these gases leak rendering the AC useless.
This can lead to a $100 repair bill. The best thing to do is to just turn on the AC ever so often to avoid this happening.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to do this in winter sometimes as well.
Don’t Ignore These Driving Tips
By following these simple driving tips, you can dramatically reduce the costs that you’ll face from car maintenance during your vehicle ownership.
As you can see, many of them come down to common sense. If you can train yourself and adapt your driving style, it will keep thousands of dollars in your back pocket for other uses.
If you’ve got any tips of your own that you’d like to share with us, please feel free to comment below.