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When money gets tight it becomes really easy to focus on the immediate needs and put aside anything else. In reality though with some expenses paying a little bit now even when things are tight saves you a ton of money later. (Think of your dad at this point giving you a lecture on taking care of your things).
Your car is one of the most important, and expensive, things you own. I don’t know if it’s because we only sit in it a little bit each day or because it can’t talk to you… but our cars are also one the biggest areas that get neglected. It is also easy to let some of those small things go (you know, “It is only a few miles over my time for an oil change…what’s a few hundred miles?”). But, as most car owners can tell you, small things can become big things and a missed $30 oil change can later become $1000 down the drain. (I’m writing this while my van is flashing that it is 300 miles overdue every time I turn it on…)
Here are a few simple things can be done regularly and at a low cost to make sure that your car stays in great shape:
–Oil Change – This may be a no-brainer, but it is a good reminder. Get your oil and the oil-filter changed every 3,000-4,000 miles to keep your car in the best shape possible. Depending on where you drive, city or long distance, you will also need to change your oil more frequently.
–Tire Rotation – According to Pep Boys, you should rotate your tires every 3,000-4,000 miles if they are high-performance tires. If you have a jack, this is something you can do yourself pretty easily. Here is a list of ways to rotate your tires depending on the type of car you drive.
While you’re at it you can check your tire’s pressure levels. This should be in your owner’s manual and can easily be readjusted at any gas station with an Air Pump.
–Fluid Levels –It is never a bad idea to do a cursory check of your oil level, your brake fluid, radiator fluid, and your transmission fluid. If your brake or transmission fluid is running low, you probably need to get professional help. It might mean that there is a leak somewhere in your system. The appropriate fluid levels should all be in your handy-dandy owner’s manual.
Just a side note, never check your radiator fluid while the engine is hot (this might be bad news for your hands/face).
–Air Filters – This one is a little less important than the others, but it is important nonetheless and is also the easiest one to do yourself. Check out your owner’s manual to find out where your air filter is and take a look at it. Put simply, if it is looking really dirty, you should probably replace it.
Even if you do one little thing like pull out the oil stick and see that it is fine I promise you’ll instantly feel more proud of your self just for trying!
Win FREE Car Care
Leave a comment answering:
If your car could talk, what would it have wanted for Christmas? Be creative!
I will pick 5 different winners to each get $50 to spend at their nearest Pepboys. Winners will be picked Friday 1/07.