If there is one truth in life, it's that a well-maintained vehicle can save you money. A car or truck that's regularly inspected and repaired often costs less overall than one that isn't. That's because ongoing neglect eventually causes major mechanical issues. Plus, a car that's well maintained is far more dependable, meaning it won't leave you stranded. We've put together some tips to help you keep your vehicle road ready.
Start with Your Tires
Tire maintenance involves checking the tread, air pressure, and getting them regularly rotated. Starting with the tread, tires with plenty of tread help keep you in control and reduce the chance of a flat or blowout. Check your tires regularly using the penny test. Using a standard penny, place Lincoln's head down into the center of the tread. If you can see more than half of his head, you might need new tires.
Rotating the tires on your vehicle can also help reduce the chance of a blowout and prolong tire life. Additionally, checking the air pressure every month can improve your MPG and help your tires last longer.
Tip: inflate or deflate your tires based on your owner's manual or the driver's side door sticker, not the PSI indicated on the tire. That number is the maximum pressure the tire can be inflated, which can be vastly different from your vehicle's specifications.
Get Your Brakes Inspected
Eventually, the brakes on your vehicle will need replacement. In the meantime, professional inspections can help you get the most life out of them. That includes replacing the brake pads.
Get the Oil Changed Regularly
Changing the oil and other vital fluids, as well as double-checking hoses and belts, is a great way to save money on unnecessary future car repairs. Other fluids to check include coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. If any of these liquids leak onto other parts of your engine, it can cause severe damage. Driving without transmission fluid or engine oil can quickly add up to large repair bills.
Charge Up and Clean the Battery
Batteries wear out over time, especially with extreme weather, if you drive a lot each day, or if you use after-market items like a sub-woofer. Charging that battery periodically can give them added life. Once or twice per year, clean the terminals on your battery and recharge it with a trickle-charger. This car tool isn't cheap, but it can save you a lot of money over time.
Change the Air Filter
Twice a year, locate your engine air filter and replace it with a brand new one. It's a low-cost fix that can save you a lot of money with better gas mileage and prolonged engine life.
Keep it Clean
A clean car is a happy car. It's also a great way to protect the paint on your vehicle as well as the undercarriage from road chemicals and other harmful elements.
Add Maintenance Costs to Your Budget
Driving a car or truck requires maintenance, from oil changes and new tires to windshield wipers and more. Adding vehicle upkeep to your monthly budget can help you pay for repairs without pulling from your savings or using credit.
One Nevada Can Help
If you need assistance with your budget or have questions about adding more money to your month, BALANCE is for you. This confidential, no-cost financial counseling service is available right now with your One Nevada membership.