Archive for September, 2010

Though many people always are of the impression that a car is not a good investment, there are ways to make sure that it does not bankrupt you just because you want to have a nice vehicle. With the advent of the smartphone and other tech devices, there are more free ways than ever to keep from having to go to that shady car mechanic around the corner. You can save yourself a few car expenses with a little smarts. Here are some of the best ways.

1. Gas apps.

There are now downloadable gas apps which can easily be found for all of the major smartphone operating systems which check the local gas prices for any zip code that you put in. Simply download the app and you can see where to get the cheapest gas!

2. Make sure that your gas cap clicks.

If your gas cap does not fit properly, then you lose gas over every bump, nook and cranny! This, as you might imagine, does not bode well for your gas mileage at all. An improperly fitted gas cap is actually something that is worth taking to that shady auto mechanic around the corner, because whatever money that you pay him to fix it will come back to you in spades in the form of saved gas money.

3. If you are looking to buy…

Make sure to buy at the end of the month, when all of those shady car dealers are scrambling to meet quota. You can help them meet quota, alright, for a substantial discount off of the price of your dream vehicle!

4. Credit card apps.

Just like you can download an app for your local gas prices, you can also download an app which helps you find which credit cards offer gas rebates as an incentive. This app is readily available from many third parties, and for all smartphone operating systems. If you are going to spend it anyway, then you might as well let the credit card company pay for your ride over there. Get the right credit card and save!

5. Check your smoke.

The color of the smoke coming out of your tailpipe is an indication of how the insides of your car are faring, as well as the texture and the nature of the exhaust. If your smoke is black, or puffing from the tailpipe, that can indicate clogs in the system. If this is the case, have your carburetor, fuel pump or computer sensors checked by a mechanic that you trust.

6. Get a second opinion.

Many times, going into a car mechanic shop for the first time, you have “mark” written all over you. However, if you simply get estimates, you are then able to play offers off of one another and get the best one for yourself. Take the time to do this in a rental car even if your car is seemingly out of commission. The money that you save by making mechanics compete against each other is well worth the one day that you will have to rent the extra car.

7. Use your cruise control.

The computer onboard your car is much better at sectioning off mileage than your lead heavy foot. Whenever you can, implement the cruise control and let the car dictate for itself the best way to utilize your precious gas resources.

8. Get a stick, not an automatic.

Sticks get better mileage than automatics, plain and simple.

9. Get a GPS for the car insurance company.

Even if you always know where you are going, the car insurance companies consider a GPS a safety device. That one little investment can save you thousands in car insurance premiums over the life of your car.