MTF Finance Silverdale has some handy tips to help you reduce the chance of costly repairs, use your fuel efficiently, and keep your motor running smoothly.
Look after your car
Keeping your car in good working order can help you to avoid unnecessary repair bills and save money at the pump!
Service your car regularly
Give your engine a lot of love. Service the car regularly, at least every year, and make sure the engine is receiving tune-ups to keep it running at its optimum. Don’t give that niggly rattling sound time to turn into something major.
If your car windscreen or body receives a small nick or bump, make sure it is seen to before it can develop into rust or an unsightly crack, these can prove to be costly. Here’s a tip, check if windscreen replacement is included in your insurance policy.
Check and change your engine oil
Check your engine oil level once a month. If you are unsure how to do this, ask your local Silverdale mechanic for a demo.
If you find that your oil is running a little low, give it a top up with oil that is best suited to your car. Your information manual or your trusted mechanic will be able to guide you. Oil that reduces friction will keep all the moving parts within the engine lubricated, decreasing wear and tear over time. It is best to avoid overfilling the engine.
You can ask your mechanic or consult your manual for recommendations on how often you need to get the oil changed, which generally varies between every 15,000 to 30,000km.
Check the liquid in your engine’s cooling system and top it up if necessary. You might want to include anti-freeze in the mixture. This will give your engine protection from frost damage in winter and overheating in the warmer months.
Check your tyre pressure regularly to make sure it is at the correct level, in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations. This can help reduce fuel consumption. If you are thinking of going on a big road trip, don’t give this a second thought.
Make sure you get your wheels alignment/balancing checked out and corrected every six months or 10,000 km, whichever you reach first. This will be a good time to make sure your tyre tread is sufficient to keep you and your family safe.
Keep your car clean
Wash your car regularly. This will remove any potentially corrosive materials from the body such as bird droppings, tar, grime, tree sap, and other dirt. Not to mention it will make it shine! Finishing off with a coat of wax will create a protective barrier.
Before you drive
Reduce your car’s weight and cut drag
The lighter your car, the less fuel it will consume. Removing clutter from your vehicle not only makes driving more efficient, but more pleasant for you and your passengers.
If you have a roof rack or bike holder that you are currently not using, take this off. This will reduce drag and make fuel use more economical.
Fill your fuel tank to the first 'click' only
Overfilling the fuel tank is wasteful, harmful to the environment, and costly leading to spillage, or loss through the overflow pipe.
Make sure that your fuel cap fits properly too – it prevents fuel from evaporating during the warmer months of the year.
Drive to improve fuel efficiency
By changing some of your driving habits, you can reduce fuel consumption and increase your savings.
Ease off the accelerator
Avoid rapidly accelerating and braking. Speeding up only to quickly slow down again causes more fuel to be used over time.
Try to keep your speed consistent. Smooth acceleration and deceleration is the key to avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption.
At traffic lights, start slowing early and let your car roll to a natural stop.
More fuel is used when accelerating to higher speeds, so it pays to stick to the speed limit. This also reduces your chances of getting a speeding ticket – or paying an even higher price.
Drive in the right gear
Ensure that you aren’t making your engine work harder than it needs to. Drive in the right gear to conserve fuel.
Reduce idle time, and stop-start journeys
While waiting at a traffic light may be unavoidable, idling wastes fuel. Even a 30-second reduction in car idling time can have a big impact on fuel consumption.
Repeated braking and accelerating are also no good for fuel efficiency. If possible, avoid driving during peak traffic hours when there’s likely to be more drivers on the road.
Use air conditioning sparingly
As tempting as it may be on a hot day to blast the air conditioning – and keep it running, chilling your car’s air can increase fuel consumption and increase your running costs. Instead, consider circulating internal air. You’ll still feel the cooling effect from the air’s movement.
Opening your windows can result in increased drag and use more fuel.
Seek out the best fuel price
It may seem obvious, but comparing prices between nearby service stations is the most direct way of saving on fuel costs.
Use a service like Gaspy to find the cheapest fuel in your area.
Hold onto your supermarket receipts too. They’ll often have fuel discounts, which can add up to some considerable savings over time.
Savings outside the car
What else can you do to further reduce costs?
Shop around for a better insurance deal
While a good insurance policy ensures you’re covered if the unexpected happens, it’s worth checking that you’re not paying for any unwanted extras.
Use insurance comparison sites to make sure you are getting the best deal to suit you and your lifestyle. But remember, some insurers don’t include their products on these sites, so you may need to check their sites separately.
Talk to your insurer about the possibility of combining policies to receive discounts, for example house, contents and car.
Get a car loan suited to your budget
If you’re looking at getting a new car or want to refinance your current one, make sure you contact MTF Finance Silverdale today. One of our friendly local specialists will work with you on a loan suited to your needs. Ph: 09 421 0335
We love the Hibiscus Coast, the beaches, the community feel and the wide variety of things to do and places to go and this isn't diminishing as the Coast grows, although we are finding there are rather too many sets of traffic lights than the old days!