Owning a car can be exciting. It gives you the freedom to come and go as you please, with the only limitation being how much money you have to spend. For most of us, the money spent on automobile related expenses is no small matter. In fact, some people end up wasting a lot of money unnecessarily. In order to be sure you’re not throwing away your money, it may be a good idea to pay attention to the following tips on ways to waste money on a car.
Using Premium Gas
One mistake that a lot of people make is to use premium gas when their car doesn’t really need it. High performance vehicles may benefit from the extra oomph of premium gas, but for most consumer cars it’s a waste of money. Unless a mechanic that you trust implicitly recommends that you use premium gas, you would be better off saving the money–and with gas prices the way they are now, the difference between what you would spend on premium versus regular gasoline could amount to a healthy chunk of change–and the more you drive, the more money you would save using regular gas.
Changing Oil too Often
The old time-honored standard for oil changes was every 3,000 miles. With the improvements in modern-day engines, and in the production of motor oil, it is no longer necessary to change your oil quite so often. In most cases, it won’t hurt to go for 5,000 miles between changes. Some oil may allow you to go as much as 10,000 miles. It would be best to check with a trusted mechanic to be sure you’re using quality motor oil, and that it won’t hurt your engine to extend the mileage between oil changes.
Not Changing the Air Filter
On the other hand, most people tend to forget about their air filter and continue to use the same one for much longer than they should. Every time you have an oil change performed, you should ask your mechanic to make sure they look at the air filter, and replace it, if necessary. A dirty air filter can cause the intake to foul. You could end up wasting gas as well as causing possible damage to the engine.
Don’t Check the Brake Pads
Another way that a lot of people waste money on their car is by not checking the wear on their brake pads until it’s too late. If you allow the pads to become too thin, it could cause the metal parts of the brake system to rub against each other. The result would be damage to the metal, which could mean the disk would have to be reground–and that’s a lot of unneeded expense. The best thing to do is have your mechanic check the pads every time you have an oil change or the tires rotated.
Not Replacing Shocks
If your car starts bouncing when you cross railroad tracks, or hit a pothole, it could be time to replace your shocks. Letting the shocks go too long could result in uneven or excessive tire wear as well as poor handling. These factors could lead to you being involved in an accident because the car may not respond the way it should. The shocks should be checked by your mechanic every time you have the oil changed.
Buying Extended Warranties
Although some people swear they’re worth it, an extended warranty may be nothing more than a waste of money. Car dealers like to promote extended warranties because they make a lot of money on them. However, if you take care of your vehicle, by having it serviced regularly, and listen to what your mechanic tells you about possible upcoming problems, you could save some money by avoiding extended warranties.
Being Over Insured
Another way that some people waste money on their car is by being over insured. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have adequate financial protection, but it does no good to carry too much insurance coverage. Even if you’re involved in a bad accident, the insurance company isn’t going to pay you more than your car cost in the first place.
Guest post from Sam Landon. Sam writes for CarInsurance.org.