Reviewing your car expenses is a great way to lower your daily expenses.
Research Gas Prices
Many websites, like gasbuddy.com and gaspricewatch.com allow you to compare the cost of gas in your area, or places you may travel. If you are planning a road trip, it is a good idea to check the gas prices of the areas where you are going and where you will be traveling through to know your expected fuel costs. You can also visit sites like fuelcostcalculator.com or costtodrive.com to estimate the fuel cost based on mileage and your vehicle’s year, make and model
Just 10 seconds of idling your car’s engine uses as much gas as restarting it. Two minutes uses enough fuel to drive a mile. Turn your engine off when it’s not necessary to keep it running.
Increase Your Fuel Efficiency
Fuel efficiency drops around 5 mpg for each 10-mile speed increase over 55 mpg. Also, for every 100 extra pounds your car carries, you can lose 1 to 2% of fuel efficiency. Removing
unneeded items from your vehicle and reducing its weight will ensure you get the maximum fuel efficiency.
Use an Independent Mechanic
Using an independent mechanic can save you up to $20 an hour and could save you money when you have to buy parts for your car. Your manufacturer’s warranty could be invalidated if you choose not to service your car at the dealer you purchased it from, so be sure to confirm this before using an independent mechanic. If you no longer have a manufacturer’s warranty on your vehicle, this should not be an issue. Read your warranty carefully, follow the maker’s maintenance recommendations and keep records of the services performed on your vehicle.
Portions of this article are from aarp.com.
It was published in the Founders FCU's Springtimers Times Newsletter (June 2012).