Whether you drive a fairly new or slightly older car model, chances are you probably plan to keep driving your car for a while. CNBC reported new cars priced under $30,000 make up only 8% of the car market’s supply. This percentage was 38% pre-pandemic.
GOBankingRates spoke to Eric Ruble, parts specialist at CarParts.com, about the actions car owners can take right now to make cars last longer. Follow these six money-saving tips to extend the life of your car.
Check Your Air Filters
Ruble uses the example of how cities in the Northeast and Midwest have been impacted by the Canadian wildfires this summer and the lasting effects of poor air quality on a car.
Check your air filters. Regardless of whether it’s permanent or temporary, Ruble said bad air quality can deteriorate the filters for both your car’s engine and cabin.
Don’t Ignore Low Air in Your Tires
Do your tires feel like they’re running low on air? Don’t ignore them. Even if the car feels fine from the driver’s seat, Ruble said driving with low air in your tires can wreak havoc on your vehicle.
“Under-inflated tires create more friction and will force your engine to work harder to gain and maintain speed. This can significantly reduce your gas mileage,” Ruble said.
Check Your Maintenance Lights
Did your check engine light recently come on? It could be an indicator of a minor issue or something more serious. In any event, drivers should pay attention and get these maintenance lights addressed.
Ruble recommends using an onboard diagnostic tool to see what problem is causing your vehicle to alert you. This tool is sometimes referred to as an OBD-II. The sooner you get it checked out, the sooner you can get the issue fixed before it causes any long-term damage and costs even more to repair.
Use Your Parking Brake
Even if your car has an automatic transmission, Ruble recommends always engaging the parking brake.
“It relieves stress on the transmission and your parking pawl, a pin that is released into your transmission gear to prevent the car from moving while in Park,” Ruble said.
Set Appointments for Regular Maintenance
If you’ve been putting off maintenance for your car, now is the time to start setting appointments. Ruble said to follow your manufacturer’s suggestions for key services, like oil changes and tire rotations. Conducting regular maintenance will keep your car in good condition and prevent more expensive maintenance or repair issues later on.
Slow Down When Driving
How is choosing to drive more slowly a money-saving tip?
Ruble said gas mileage starts to drop significantly above 60 mph. By easing up on the gas pedal, you’ll be able to extend the life of your brakes, suspension and tires.
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