Once you’ve finished paying off your car, you may have some extra money in the bank each month that doesn’t have to go toward another hefty car payment.
After that last payment, many people start to let their cars go to the maintenance department or even trade them in for a newer model.
However, life without a car payment can help you save money, pay down debt, and plan for your financial future. Check out these car tips and tricks on how to make your vehicle last longer.
Car Tips and Tricks
Here are the tops three tips and tricks to keep your car running well after the payment stop.
Change the Oil
Many people neglect to change their car’s oil as often as they should. A car that doesn’t get its oil changed regularly can experience serious engine problems and reach the end of its life sooner than cars that get regular oil changes. Most car manufactures recommend changing your oil after 3000 miles or every three months. Some makers of newer cars recommending changing the oil until after 5000 miles.
It doesn’t cost much time or money for an oil change. In the short term, you can get the cheapest oil that will work with your engine and even learn to change it yourself to save on service fees. In the long term, your car will stay in better shape so you can go much longer without a costly car payment.
Take Care of Your Tires
Tires should be maintained, rotated and replaced regularly to keep them in the best shape possible. Good tires and tire pressure ensure safe journeys. Always keep a spare tire in your car in case of a flat.
This saves money by allowing you to skip the tow service—just put the spare on your car so you can drive to a tire shop to purchase a new tire. You should also try to maintain your tire pressure. Even if your car alerts you to any problem with the pressure, you should check it yourself every few months to be sure.
Stick to a Service Schedule
Get your car a standing check-up appointment with your mechanic or car dealership, and stick to the schedule. Get your car’s fluids topped off or changed, fill up your tires, clean it out and off, and get essentials such as brake pads checked out.
Keeping a regular schedule with your mechanic or dealership can help to identify developing issues before they become serious problems. This will help keep your car running smoothly longer. At a minimum, all of these items should be checked during your car's annual inspection.
Final Thoughts on Car Tips and Tricks
A new car is one of the fastest depreciating assets you'll ever own. To help prolong the life of your vehicle, and save money it best to follow the general maintenance tips to keep your car safely on the road. Happy driving!
Brian is a dad, husband, and an IT professional by trade. A Personal Finance Blogger since 2013 who, with his family, has successfully paid off over $100K worth of consumer debt. Now that Brian is debt-free, his mission is to help his three children prepare for their financial lives and educate others to achieved financial success. He blogs at Debt Discipline.