Money Saving Maintenance Tips

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Cars & Money
Cha-Ching $$$

I don’t know of anyone who has money to throw away. Whether you perform you own maintenance, depend upon the five-minute jeffy-lube, or take your vehicle/s in to your local automotive repair facility; you can save bucks by putting these simple tips into practice.


Oil Changes

Shop around for the best oil change prices, if you don’t do your own oil changes. Check your local flyers (you know, the ones that come in your mail box) for deals. Auto repair facilities offer oil change specials, in order to get to know you, and you might make a new friend; you might not, but at least you will get a good deal on an oil change.

Dealerships will also advertise the occasional oil change special if you can tolerate the “hard-sell” that comes with it, you can save a dollar or two. Also look for oil change specials that include a free brake inspection, as this can easily turn into a free tire rotation, once the wheels are removed.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then you can earn enough oil for a free oil change annually, with this easy tip. After you have poured the new oil from the plastic bottle into your engine, place it upside down with the cap removed into the neck of a clean plastic gallon container (or 5 quart plus oil container) and leave it for approximately twenty-four hours. Once every last drop of the oil has drained out, then place another new oil container into the gallon container in the same manner. Repeat this procedure until all of the new oil containers are completely empty, then discard the empty containers and place the cap back on the larger container. When successive oil changes are performed, repeat the procedure. After a few oil changes, you will notice that your “free” oil is accumulating. Now, wait until you have enough to perform an oil change, use it and replace the larger container with a new one to begin collecting free oil, again.


Tires Maintenance

Of course tire rotation is the key to the longevity of your tires. Ideally, your tires should be rotated every six-thousand miles. Depending upon vehicle make and model, rotational patterns will vary but as a rule: rotate drive axle tires from front to rear or vice-versa (straight back or forward) and non-drive wheels should be rotated to the opposite side ( in a crossed pattern). Be very aware of directional tires; always inspect your sidewalls for directional arrows before rotating. Obviously, rotational tires will only be rotated from front to rear, or vice-versa.

Next to tire rotation, proper tire inflation is the most important factor to prolonging the life of your tires, maintaining ride quality, and improving highway safety. To keep things simple, every tire has the maximum tire pressure written on the sidewall. The lettering is very small and you may need to get close to read it, but it is there. Inflate your tires to the maximum figure written on the sidewall.

Just a note of caution: Your average “pay-as-you-pump” air pump (at the corner gas station) only produces approximately twenty-five pounds-per-square-inch of pressure. The average light-duty vehicle tire will require thirty-eight pounds-per-square-inch of pressure. Once the air pressure equalizes, no more air is going to be pumped into your tire. So, these types of inflation devices are useless for inflating your tires to the correct pressure. You will need an air compressor that builds more air pressure than your tire requires. Check your tire pressure at regular intervals. If you have someone else perform your maintenance, make sure that they check your tire pressure at each oil change.

Cold weather always necessitates tire inflation, as rubber expands and air pressure decreases with the lower temperatures.

Hope these tips help to save you some money and be on the lookout for more money saving maintenance tips.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.