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Owning a car means freedom to venture off into the road on weekends and being able to avoid the cramped up bus or train commute every morning. But with this luxury also comes the responsibility of car ownership, particularly the regular maintenance needed to ensure your trusty transportation works in tiptop shape every time.
Although it comes cheaper by the gallon than premium fuel, regular fuel is often avoided by car enthusiasts and drivers from fear of engine damage due to cheap fuel. However, most modern cars can easily adjust to regular fuel since engines are now outfitted with knock sensors that change timing automatically when uncontrolled combustion is sensed.
Sure, the people you know who drive always change their oil after every 2,000 or 3,000 miles, which ultimately prolonged the lifespan of their beloved four-wheeler. However, like engines, oil has evolved since the industrial era. Instead, stick with the car manual's advised oil change mileage and disregard all biased recommendations from service managers and TV commercials whose only real purpose is to fatten their pockets with sales.
Don't worry, they won't pressure you into buying a bulk supply of tires at a time. Costco, BJs, and Discount Tire Centers are great places to purchase low-cost quality tires. What's even great is that they will even mount the tires for you, free of charge. Make sure to check for occasional coupons and promotions to save more cash.
If you haven't bought a vehicle yet, do your homework on how much it will cost to repair the car in the event of an accident and how much replacement parts cost. Some car models and makes will have harder-to-find parts, which means more cost from your pocket. Either ask trusted drivers in person or peruse through websites like, Car Complaints and Kelley Blue Book, to learn more about the car's potential repair costs.
Avoid going idle unless you're at a spot where you'll need to quickly move out of the way when needed, such as in front of a private driveway. If you're parked and waiting for someone, switch off the engine. An idled car can still burn through one-fourth to one-half gallon of fuel per hour.
These car maintenance tips can help you save money over time by avoiding simple mistakes and performing basic maneuvers that do not complicate the whole car ownership experience.