Finances in 55 Seconds: Quick Car Maintenance

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car maintenanceWith gas prices still quite high, it is important to do what you can to increase the fuel efficiency of your car. While doing one thing with your car, such as changing the air filter, probably won’t make much difference in the way your car uses gas, consistent maintenance over time can help your car run better — and save you money. The key is to generally take care of your car, not assume that one magical fix can improve your fuel efficiency.

You might be surprised at the number of little things you can do to improve your car’s performance so that it runs more efficiently, saving you money on gas. Indeed, there are a number of things that you can do in 55 seconds or less to help maintain your car and keep it in good working order. Here is a list of quick car maintenance things you can do to help your car run the best it can:

  • Do a quick de-clutter: This took me less than 55 seconds. I went through the car and took out the trash. Grab a trash bag and gather everything up. In general, a clear car is a happier, more efficient car.
  • Check the fluids and top them off: Regularly check your fluids and top them off as needed. I can check all my fluids without too much trouble, rather quickly. Add a little more fluid, and you can keep things running smoothly.
  • Look for leaks: Take a few seconds to look for leaks. If you notice that some of your fluids are leaking, you can get the problem taken care of. It only takes a few seconds to look, and you can save yourself greater costs and aggravation later if you take care of issues now.
  • Check your tires: Properly inflated tires can be helpful as you work on improving your fuel efficiency. You can check all four tires in less than 55 seconds. Then, it only takes another 55 seconds to add a little air to each of the tires so that they are at the optimum level. You should also look for cuts, bulges and tread depth while you’re at it.
  • Check filters: If you have the know-how, you can quickly check your own filters, and possibly even change them. If you have a dirty air, oil and/or fuel filter, you should have that changed.
  • Check lights: I was pulled over and warned about my brake light being out. The friendly officer didn’t ticket me, but he did enter the stop in his system. I’d be ticketed if I didn’t get the problem fixed. That may not do much in terms of my fuel efficiency, but it could sure hit my pocketbook — and a ticket might even affect my insurance rates. You can quickly check your light bulbs on brake lights, as well as your turning signal and head lamps. Then, it usually takes less than 55 seconds to change a burnt out light.

Some car maintenance activities are going to be time consuming. However, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your car clean and running better in less than a minute.

(Photo: maureen lunn)

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2 Responses to “Finances in 55 Seconds: Quick Car Maintenance”

  1. Jim says:

    In addition to what is mentioned and since the article seems to point to reduced fuel consumption, thus saving money, here is what I do:

    Reduce excess weight – empty trunk and other areas of items that are, well weighty.

    Maintain proper tire pressure.

    Drive slower if possible on longer trips and use cruise control.

    Consider using a high quality synthetic oil.

    I drive a F150, 5.4L, AT and 4WD.

    Did the above and on last 3 trips, 400 miles round trip each, I went from 15.5 mpg to over 19 mpg. I just fell in line with some Semi’s and kept pace with them at 60-65mph. I arrived at my destination more relaxed and not that much time difference.

  2. skylog says:

    this is something that everyone should do on a regular basis, but undoubtedly gets put off too too long.

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