2 Little Ways to Take Better Care of Your Car
A record number (107 million) of Americans are buying cars – by taking out loans.
In fact, so many people have car loans now, paying them off is one of the first steps on Crown’s Money Map. Being free from all kinds of debt, but especially credit card and consumer debt, is a crucial step to finding financial freedom.
Sometimes living as a faithful steward means making little decisions that have a big impact.
So how well are we stewarding our indebted modes of transportation?
Here are a few key tips to keep your car in tip-top shape for years to come.
Keep Your Tank At Least HALF FULL at ALL TIMES
Alan Marcus recommends doing this.
First of all, he says, if there’s ever a disaster in your area, the need to evacuate quickly, a pipeline break, or power outages, you will be able to drive for a while. But he gives some other reasons:
- You are less likely to get stranded.
- When it’s cold, condensation can build up in near-empty gas tanks, freeze your fuel line, and prevent your car from starting
- A near empty gas tank can collect water vapor, and rust the inside of a metal tank.
- Water vapor can also mix with fuel and reduce the efficiency of your vehicle whether you have metal or plastic tanks.
- Fuel injectors can be damaged over time.
- Rust formed by the water vapor tends to sink to the bottom of the tank. Small amounts of debris on the bottom of the tank can be drawn into the fuel pump and plug the filters.
Fill Up With The RIGHT KIND OF GAS
Did you know Americans waste billions of dollars each year thinking they will improve fuel economy with more expensive fuel?
The AAA Premium Fuel Omnibus Survey estimates that $2.1 billion is wasted each year by drivers buying premium gas for cars designed to run on regular.
My own wife bought into the premium myth for years!
Triple A (AAA) reports that premium gas is used in high-performance engines that are designed to operate on 93 octane fuel. Vehicles engineered to run on regular gas of 87 octane cannot take advantage of the higher octane rating to produce more horsepower.
So, unless your vehicle has a high–performance engine you are wasting money. Check your owner’s manual to know if premium is required or just recommended.
Now, cheap gas is another issue. TopTierGas.com lists retailers who sell high standard gasoline that produces a cleaner, greener fuel. About 1/3 of the gas stations in America meet the standards. A few extra cents may ensure you are filling your vehicle with gasoline that gives optimum performance and fuel economy.
I doubt you enjoy filling up the tank. But, if you put it off to avoid spending the money, you may simply be costing yourself more money in the long run! Don’t wait for the warning light! Save maintenance costs and never get stranded on the side of the road.
And, some final tips to get the best mileage:
- Do your routine maintenance (it’s cheaper to maintain than to fix big problems!)
- Lighten your load – only carry the essentials
- Keep your tires properly inflated
- Replace a worn or damaged gas cap
- Avoid idling for periods of time
- Drive like a chauffeur – make smooth starts and stops, keep your speed steady and don’t slam on the brakes
- Avoid unnecessary driving, plan your route, and ride-share!
Are you one of the millions of Americans working to pay off their car loans?
At Crown, we recommend starting your debt-free journey by paying off all your credit cards first. If you have credit card debt, we also recommend getting in touch with our friends at Christian Credit Counselors. We love their team of professional and friendly counselors who can help you get out of debt the right way. And you can start with a free debt analysis right now!