Keeping your Vehicle Healthy will
Save you Money
When you purchase a new car, one of the most important steps that you can take is to spend a little time reading the owner's manual. It may be a bit tedious and boring, but this comprehensive little guidebook will help you to become familiar with your new vehicle and understand how to maintain it thoroughly and efficiently. The manual will highlight such information as:
- When to change your oil and filter;
- How to check the tires to ensure that they're properly inflated;
- When to rotate the tires and how to read the tread for signs of improper wear;
- How to minimize "stop and go" driving and the effect that it has on vehicle 'wear and tear' and gas mileage;
- Why driving the legal speed limit can reduce gas consumption and increase mileage;
- Why it's important to top off your gas;
- How to check the radiator or overflow reservoir to ensure that you have enough engine coolant; and
- The importance of keeping regular maintenance appointments.
Of course, these are just some of the many tidbits of useful information that can be found in the manual. But there are many other things that you can do to increase the performance, reduce the operating cost and prolong the life of your vehicle. For instance, if you're thinking about purchasing a new or used car, choose a model that's known for its dependability and great gas mileage.
One of the best things that you can do for any car is to change the engine oil and filter at precise intervals – every three months or 3,000 miles is the general rule of thumb. When you have it changed, make sure the mechanic that serviced your car places a small sticker on the corner of your windshield advising when the next oil and filter change should take place (most do this automatically as both a courtesy reminder and an advertisement for your repeat business). The sticker will show both the mileage and the date for your next visit.
Investing in a new or used vehicle requires a great deal of responsibility and care. Most people typically plan to hold onto their vehicles for at least several years; therefore, keeping it well maintained will not only ensure that you'll always have reliable transportation at your fingertips, you'll also save money on costly repairs in the long run. And, as an added benefit, a well-maintained car can save you money on gas, as well.
Think of your car's condition as analogous to your own health. If you follow a proper diet and exercise program, the chances of your becoming ill are cut dramatically. Taking good care of your car is just as important, and will give it every opportunity to last a very long time.