Posted on | June 16, 2012 | Comments Off
If you have been driving for a while, you probably think that you’ve got it all smoothly under your control. Yet even the most experienced drivers can make major mistakes when it comes to their cars. Take a look at the following list – are you making any of these major car mistakes?
One area where drivers often go wrong is when they purchase their car. Whether they buy too much – or too little—car for their needs or spend too much, it’s easy to go awry on the car lot. Some of the most common car buying mistakes include:
“Just Browsing.” If you aren’t sure what vehicle you want to buy, you might just stop buy the lot on a weekend afternoon to browse. Fast forward a few hours and you’re driving off the lot in a car that you aren’t really sure about. Before setting foot on a car lot, do your proper research. Compare price, features, safety ratings, gas mileage, check the dealer alternative and then set out for test drives armed with information.
Not Calculating the Bottom Line. Sure, that car might look like a great deal, especially when you factor in discounts and rebates. However, when you factor in maintenance, insurance and fuel costs it might not be such a great deal. When considering a car purchase, look at the overall lifetime cost to avoid unpleasant surprises and hits to the wallet.
While modern cars need significantly less maintenance than those of years gone by, they still need a little TLC to stay in top running condition. Some areas that many car owners overlook?
Tire maintenance. Keeping your tires properly inflated keeps you safe and helps you get the best gas mileage. Many drivers hit the road on over or underinflated tires though, damaging their vehicle and their bottom line.
Oil changes. Although improved synthetic oils and cleaner burning engines can give you more miles or time between changes, it’s still important to get the oil changed regularly. Dirty oil hurts your engine, and performance. Change the air filter while you are at it; if you drive in a lot of dirty conditions, it needs to be done a few times a year.
Got gas? Some drivers pay more for higher-octane gas, which isn’t always necessary. Follow the manufacturer recommendations to ensure the best performance. And always tighten your gas cap, to keep water and contaminants out of the tank.
Is there any cargo more precious than our kids? Yet many drivers fail to properly install car seats, increasing the possibility of serious injury (or worse) in an accident.
Buy a car seat that is the proper size for your child, and follow the instructions for proper installation. If you need help, visit the local police or fire department for help; most communities offer free car seat checks and will install seats for you. Keep the kids in the back seat, away from air bags – never let the little ones ride in the front.
If you’re making any of these errors, make some changes today. It could save you a lot of money. Or, even save your life.