Car Running Costs
Having a car is a privilege, but it comes at a price. Not only are there additional fees when purchasing a car but there are also running costs. Keeping the car top notch can be costly, but there are ways to cut running costs for your automobile and save money to spend on other things in life. The main costs associated with the car is insurance, fuel and parts. Fuel is a definite must for most cars, while this is a major factor it can be slightly controlled. It is practically one of the most expensive running cost for the vehicle, ranging from as little as $10 per week to $100 depending on how much you drive.
Vehicle parts are not invincible, road conditions, driving style and time are major factors in wearing out your car parts. If you do not react and get the parts checked and serviced it may lead to bigger and more costly problems down the line.
Here are some top money saving tips you can do to cut running costs for your car.
Car Money Saving Tips
Ultimately, the best way to cut costs for your car is to not drive it at all or as often. Although, not many would buy a car just to look at. If you can possibly get a lift or carpool and take turns going from work, college or anywhere in particular, do it. This is a great way to save money on fuel, mileage as well as car parts. You can almost cut your work commute costs in half! You can find sites like Coseats, Goget or to Car Pool, and plan your trip well ahead.
Taking the shortest route isn’t always the best way to go in terms of money saving for fuel. Take the route with the fewest stop signs and lights relative to the distance. You are wasting more fuel and wearing out your brakes by stopping and going.
Avoid hard-braking and try to slowly brake if possible. As this wears your brake pads and rotors much less than a hard brake. So when you see that you are coming to a stop, release the gas. For manual cars downshifting properly would help reduce wear.
Seek Cheaper Petrol
Like any type of shopping, you can browse around for cheaper petrol. Saving up to 10c per litre at times. Using apps like the MyNrma fuel app on your phone, you can see the fuel prices in the area. So you know where you’re headed next or if there are stations on the way. Don’t be waiting for your tank to be near empty to fill up as you may not have a choice at what to pay the next time around and won’t be able to search for the best deals.
RPMS – Acceleration
Drivers that slow down more gradually when coming to a stop and slowly speed up after typically save more fuel. Don’t be accelerating so hard from a stop. You would want your Rpm’s to be around 2,000-2,500 before the gear shifts for both manual and auto cars. This is the most economical range.
The faster you go, the more power is required for the car to move forward. Not only is it trying to generate more power but the air gets thicker. Driving at over 100km/h is almost like driving constantly through cake. The slower is better, but don’t be going so slow you are holding up traffic. So on the highway if possible, you can cut running costs for your car by reducing the speed by 10km/h. Managing your speed along with acceleration can help you conserve fuel.
Try to keep your car as light as possible. Don’t be having unnecessary things in the car and trunk. The heavier the car the more power is required.
Straighten The Alignment
If your wheels and tyres are unaligned and not straight, not only does it wear out the tyres, but it also makes your engine work harder, using more fuel. Uneven tyre wear requires you to change tyres more often. Good quality tyres are not cheap. A wheel alignment is usually done three to four times a year.
Deflated tyres can affect fuel efficiency especially if you do drive long distances. A deflated tyre makes it more difficult for the engine, making it use more power than is required which uses more fuel. Make sure you check the tyre pressure and is pumped to the required standards. Typically you can find out the correct pressure from your car’s door sill, bonnet, trunk, glove box if your car has stock wheels and tyres. But do not over inflate as this may pose trouble on the handling and grip of the vehicle.
Clean The Air Filter
Check your air filter every time your do your engine oil minor service. To check whether it needs a replacement, just open the air filter housing and check the colour of the filter media, if it is far from clean consider changing it or either lightly dust off excess dirt if it looks like it can be used for a bit longer. It is ideal to change it every 10,000km or once a year. A clean air filter can improve fuel efficiency as air flow is easier. If you have an aftermarket air filter you can check out how to clean it here.
Doing easy services yourself like Changing the oil, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter and some fluids (coolant, brake, clutch, washer, power steering, battery) yourself would save you a lot of labour costs from the mechanic. But for each component you would need to put time out to look into each process separately and in-depth so you won’t make any errors. Using the correct and new engine oils also benefits the engine as it doesn’t put any additional stress on the engine. Each fluid has a different time period to be changed, this can also be found in the logbook or manual along with the type of fluid.
If you have done any additional modifications to the engine in any way, it is ideal to get a tune to make any adjustments to the ratio of fuel and power for efficiency. Running rich is definitely not fuel efficient, meaning your car is eating more fuel than is necessary. However you do not want your car running too lean, this will make your engine struggle.
Turn The Engine off
If you don’t need your car on, turn it off. Having the car on not only cause pollution but it is wasting petrol. If you know you are going to be parked for much longer than a minute, turn the engine off while waiting.
Car Insurance & Green slip
Insurance is necessary and costs probably the most. Have a look at insurance sites and compare costs and factors as with the compulsory Green slip. Can possibly save you a couple hundreds but do a thorough check as some insurers may offer or exclude certain things.
Spending time to clean the car yourself not only saves money but it lets you appreciate the car and see any errors up close and personal. Having it looking top notch also helps the car resale value.
Besides all the necessary car services and fluid checks, keep attentive to any noises, squeaks, creaks or issues that may arise. Things do happen and wear out. Each car is unique and go through different road conditions and driving experiences.So don’t let a minor problem become a major problem and get the issue checked straight away, saving you costs in the longer run.
Taking note of all these top money saving tips and factors will ultimately add up and cut running costs for your car. And as petrol prices are on the rise, you would ideally want to save that extra cost and use it on other things. Being fuel efficient not only saves you money, but it is also good for the environment as well.