This weekend wasn’t good for me. My beloved VW Jetta had to get towed Sunday and I’m waiting to see what the mechanic’s diagnosis is for it. Yesterday he said he just got it and from first check, it appears as if my Jetta spat out a spark plug. if that was the case, it’s an easy (and non-costly) fix.

Unfortunately it can be worse and he’ll let me today what he finds out. My VW Jetta has been pretty well and I hope it stays that way for a few more years. I’d hate to spend a ton of money on the car.

We’ve been trying to take care of our vehicles to avoid a car payment. We’d like to pay cash for our next car, so we look for ways to cut done on car costs as much as possible without taking up too much of our time.

Keeping Your Car in Shape

The best advice I received on keeping car expenses low is be vigilant about maintaining them. It does involve spending money, but it’s usually much, much cheaper than spending on a huge repair due to negligence.

  • Wash and clean your car. It’s not just having a good looking car, it’s also about examining your car. Keep your trunk light and you’ll improve your gas mileage a little bit. Check to see if there are any rust spots developing and try to minimize the damage.
  • Be aware of your fluid levels. Make it part of your your routine to keep track of your car’s fluids. You can cause a lot of unnecessary damage by not checking your oil.
  • Maintain good tire pressure. It won’t save you a ton on gas, but it will help you not wear out your tires quicker. Some gas stations charge a dollar, so bring your quarters with you. Wawa has the air pump free of charge (at I know in Virginia), so there may be others that offer the same deal.
  • Staying on Top of Your Gasoline Bills

    If you want to cut down on your gasoline bills, you have to become a more aware driver. Keep mind some of the following tips and you may see some savings at the pump.

    • Use a gasoline spreadsheet. My husband has one he’s created. He keeps his receipts and enters the information in batches.
    • Be consistent with your driving. Switching back and forth between the brake and accelerator constantly eats up gas more than if you maintained your speed.
    • Turn off your car. If you’re picking up someone and it’ll be longer than a minute, go ahead and turn off the car.

    It’s not rocket science, but these tips have helped a bit. We also try to get our gasoline at Costco to save about 7-10 cents a gallon compared to surround gas stations.

    Your Thoughts on Keeping Your Car Running

    What’s your maintenance schedule for your car? How have you saved money with your car(s)?