5 Ways To Save Money on Your Old Car’s Maintenance

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baloon111 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

baloon111 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

With the rising cost of living and persistent inflation, people are holding on to their cars longer instead of splurging on the latest model.

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According to S&P Global Mobility, 70% of cars on the road are six years or older. While that isn’t good news for car dealerships, it’s great news for local auto repair shops. “With average age growth, more vehicles are entering the prime range for aftermarket service, typically from 6 to 14 years of age,” Todd Campau, aftermarket leader for S&P Global Mobility, said in a statement.

You can save money and keep your car running smoothly longer with regular maintenance. Here are five ways to help your car and finances in good shape.

Never Half Less Than Half a Tank of Gas

It’s a sinking feeling to see a low fuel gauge, especially if there’s no gas station nearby, but there’s another reason not to drive with less than half a tank.

“In modern cars, the fuel pump is mounted inside the gas tank,” DeBroux Automotive stated. “The pump requires a consistent flow of fuel to lubricate and cool itself as you drive. If you drive around on empty, the pump can fill with air, causing overheating and failure. To prevent this, always keep your car full of at least half a tank of gas.”

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Take Care of the Transmission

Everyone knows it’s important to get regular oil changes, but it’s also vital to check the transmission fluid. Otherwise, you can do serious damage to the car — and your pocketbook.

“Over time, the fluid can degrade due to exposure to heat, friction, and contaminants,” Conrad’s Auto Transmission indicated. “When that happens, its ability to lubricate and protect decreases, leading to increased friction, rough gear shifts, and potential transmission problems. This is why regular maintenance, including fluid checks and changes, is crucial.”

Pay Attention to Maintenance Lights

Nobody wants to deal with car trouble, but the best approach is always to be proactive and address the check engine light or other warnings as soon as they appear. This can help prevent bigger problems down the road.

Rotate the Tires

Every 5,000 miles, it’s recommended to rotate your tires to preserve the life of the tire.

“Tires naturally wear unevenly, and if you don’t rotate them, you’re reducing the overall life of those tires,” Progressive outlined. “You could even put your wheels and the rest of the car at greater risk every time you drive.”

Drive Carefully

Avoiding bad driving habits not only helps keep you safe, but it’s better for your car and savings account.

According to Progressive, “Turning at high speeds, accelerating too fast, and braking hard can damage your tires, which means they’ll lose tread and need rotating sooner.”

“Bad driving habits also stress several car components, which will shorten their life. Strong acceleration isn’t the worst thing, but if you’re doing it all the time (and when the engine is cold), you’re harming parts of the engine,” Progressive concluded.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 5 Ways To Save Money on Your Old Car’s Maintenance

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