Spring Cleaning for Your Car

66098Spring is in the air, which means it’s time to clean your home, your finances and even your car.  Taking the time this spring to maintain your vehicle can help protect your investment and save money in the long run.

If you are like most frugal families, then like us you are always looking for ways to save money, especially when it comes to the high cost of gasoline.  As we get close to the first long-weekend of the year, following these tips to maintain your vehicle can go a long way towards cutting your car costs.

Wash away winterCanadian winters can take a toll on our vehicles.  The build up of salt, sand and dirt can eat away at a car’s exterior, leaving you with expensive repairs.  Take the time to give your vehicle a thorough cleaning (inside and out).  This will not only make it easier to clean throughout the coming months, but will also go a long way towards protecting your investment.

Breath easier – You may be enjoying the fresh clean air of a new season, but your car could still be choking on the salt, dust and sand it sucked in over the winter.  Replacing your air filter improves air flow to the engine and increases your vehicles performance and gas mileage.

Change your car’s shoesThe change of seasons is also a good time to change the tires on your vehicle.  Snow tires are designed to work best during the cold winter months.  Once the mercury begins to rise, it’s time to switch your tires, which will help reduce your fuel consumption.

Fill up the tankIt’s easy to fall into a pattern of topping up your gas tank whenever the price is low, but buying ten dollars of fuel one day, and another ten dollars a few days later is not efficient.  Drivers are better to locate the cheapest gas and fill the tank – and don’t go back until the tank is a quarter full.

Check your fluidsTake some time to check your engine oil, transmission fluid and power steering fluid.  Each of these fluids effect the performance of your vehicle, and poor performance is a direct correlation to wasted fuel.  Topping up on these fluids can help you save money in the months ahead.

Stop drivingWe know that driving is usually a necessity, but do you really need to hop in your car to go around the corner? Think outside the sedan and find ways to keep your vehicle in the driveway.  Maybe you can carpool to work, or ride your bike to the grocery store.

Slow downIf you can’t stop driving, then slow down. The easiest way to cut your fuel expense is to ease off the gas pedal.   Coast to a stop as much as possible, and keep in mind that faster speeds on the highway use more gas.