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UPDATED: May 25, 2018
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With new models hitting the showroom floors, it’s a great time to buy a 2016, a 2017 or a previously owned vehicle.
However, in this still economic uncertain time, people continue to be cautious about spending, especially on bigger ticket items.
While used car sales and their values remain strong, new car sales estimates are not expected to surpass the 11 million unit level — far below levels of over 16 million just a few years ago.
“Women now purchase 54 percent of all cars, but they influence up to 80 percent of the family car buys”
With many women choosing to ‘ride the storm out’ they may be interested in looking for ways to keep their older vehicles in tip-top shape. Women-Drivers.com provides these 10 tips to increase the life and performance of your car, while saving precious money.
Use our FRE quote tool to compare auto insurance rates today!
# 1 – Dust off your owner’s manual; it’s not just for your mechanic
The Owner’s Manual of your car lists preventative maintenance schedules that are specific to your car’s make and model. Follow this book carefully and make sure that you understand each section.
Scheduling service appointments for routine maintenance checks such as oil changes, tire rotations, and engine checks will ensure that important preventive maintenance services are done in a timely manner.
# 2 – Learn to do simple repairs yourself
Save hundreds of dollars by doing some simple repairs yourself. You can learn simple techniques for changing wiper blades, replacing your air filter, changing the oil or replacing your battery.
Before you begin, do a little homework, get the tools you need and remember to safely dispose of any liquids that come out of your car.
See if your community college has a basic car care class. Investing in a car maintenance class will not only teach you much—–needed maintenance tips but will make you a smarter car consumer.
# 3 – Keep it clean
Waxing your car not only makes it shine, but it effectively protects the finish on the car. Most mechanical experts recommend waxing 1-3 times per year.
In warmer climate regions, or in the summer months, save your interior from sun damage by parking your car in the shade as much as possible or use a windshield cover.
This is especially important if you are looking to sell or trade-in your car.
# 4 – Comparison shop for repairs
When your car requires a repair that costs a considerable amount of money, it is wise to check with 2-3 different dealerships or mechanics for estimates.
Be sure to also get the estimates from various parts of your town, as prices can differ depending on the neighborhood.
To locate Certified Women-Drivers Friendly™ Service Dealers in your area, visit Women-Drivers.com
# 5 – Use what’s available: carpool or take public transportation
Hop on the bus, train or subway; not only will you save on gas, but will also help you relax and make the most of your commute.
Use this extra time to get in some reading, get a few emails or texts handled, or, more importantly, unwind and breathe before or after a busy day.
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# 6 – Conserve fuel
If you are the one driving the carpool, investigate alternate route(s) at rush hour to avoid stop-and-go traffic patterns.
Bumper-to-bumper traffic is tough on brakes and gas mileage. On longer trips, use the ‘Cruise Control’ setting to save 5-10 percent of gas per gallon.
Never drive at high speeds with your windows rolled all the way down; this will waste fuel. Avoid constantly pressing the accelerator when driving; coast when you can.
Keep your tires well inflated; check the pressure monthly.
# 7 – Head to the pump more often
Make an effort to avoid driving while the tank is below ¼ full. Keeping a gas tank that low can increase the likelihood of dirt, debris, and rust forming in the fuel system.
# 8 –Take a look at your accessories
When upgrading your vehicle it can be cheaper to buy certain accessories directly from another company, rather than the dealership.
Accessories such as GPS units and specialty floor mats or rims can be hundreds of dollars less when purchased through the internet or big box retailer.
# 9 – Take a look at your car daily
By doing something simple such as paying attention to possible leaks, you can get your car to the service dealer earlier and save money on costly repairs.
Knowing the color of fluids such as engine oil, and other fluids will make it easier to detect the problem, and will also tip the service manager that you know what you are doing.
Brown fluid is engine oil; bright green or orange fluid is anti-freeze or coolant; clear or light brown fluid is clutch or brake fluid.
# 10 – Know where NOT to skimp
While it may be tempting to buy a less expensive part, it is not always the best policy. Buying high-quality auto part will ensure added security, peace of mind and will save money in the long run.
Make sure that all vital replacement parts are of high quality and recommended by a dealer or advisor that you trust. If unsure, get a second opinion.
Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate and President of Women-Drivers.com once hesitated to engage at the dealership when buying a new car or having her car serviced.
She created this website as a safe space where women review their experience at car dealers and connect with Certified Women-Friendly Dealers.
This pioneering resource is meeting the demand for empowering women to have respectful and fair experiences at car dealerships across America each and every time.
With the growing vehicle purchasing power of women, this one-stop site is filled with helpful articles, a Her & His Car Review section, and tips to demystify the buying experience.
Make sure you compare rates whether you stay with your used vehicle or decide on buying a new one with our free quote tool below!