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Car Care Tips

How to Waste Money in 3 Easy Steps

Just because you don’t service your vehicle regularly doesn’t mean it will turn into a deathtrap overnight, right? Right – but it will become one eventually if ignored for too long and, just as importantly, it is going to cost you money. Have a look at this list and consider which ones may be affecting your wallet right now.

IGNORE A CHECK ENGINE LIGHT

We’ve written specifically about the mysterious “check engine” light before and what the light may mean, but the specifics here are not important. If the check engine light is on, there is something significantly wrong with your vehicle. Most issues involving the check engine light are related to filters monitoring the emissions system, so the best-case scenario is terrible fuel mileage. The worst-case scenario can be anything from your car stalling, not starting, or having to replace far more expensive parts than simple filters.

Bottom Line: Don’t ignore a check engine light. It’s trying to tell you something’s wrong and that the problem is costing you money.

IGNORING YOUR TIRES

This one is almost as easy to keep an eye on as the check engine light because you walk by them every day. Just stop and have a quick look at your tires. Are they inflated properly? Is the tread wearing unevenly? A quick physical inspection can tell you a lot.

Tires that are run under-inflated will hurt your ability to control your vehicle (stopping safely, accelerating safely, cornering safely), and they will definitely cost you money. An underinflated tire will wear out prematurely making you replace them far earlier than you needed to and they will significantly hurt your fuel mileage, again hitting you in the wallet.

Bottom Line: Tires are literally all that sits between you (and your friends and family) and the road. They are simple to monitor and take care of, so if you are not sure what to look for, ask for help the next time you visit the dealership.

ALPHA DRIVING

There are several conditions under which a vehicle can be driven that would constitute “severe conditions”, severe heat or cold being the most obvious. But there is another, very common, “condition” your car may be punished by as well: you, the driver.

Unnecessary hard acceleration and braking, excessive speed, aggressive, fast turns etc. all go a long way to costing you a lot of money and putting you, your passengers and anyone on the road with you at risk. There are times, of course, when you need to do all of those things – to avoid an accident for instance – but to drive like that all day every day makes no sense. It’s risky and could cost you much more than money. Race cars are for racing, but street cars and trucks are for getting you there and back safely and comfortably.

Bottom Line: Don’t be an “Alpha Driver”. Protect your investment and keep yourself and other drivers safe by properly maintaining your vehicle and driving it like the investment of your hard-earned money that it actually is.