Goleta, CA. (PRWEB) June 13, 2008
Thanks to recent record-breaking prices, car owners are struggling to find new ways to stretch their gas budget, from driving less to using public transportation more often. Bargain Network, a car buying and listing service that helps members find the car of their dreams at bargain prices, reports that proper car maintenance can help consumers save money as well.
The choices are clear: Either spend money on a new car every few years, or keep the same trustworthy one for a longer period of time. With appropriate maintenance and care, an average car can run great and look sharp for many years. The key is to follow a rigorous maintenance schedule, which can help avoid costly repairs. Take a look at six easy maintenance steps, put together here by Bargain Network:
1. DIY. There's no one better-suited than the owner to wash the car and give it other much-needed touches of love. Wash and wax the car frequently, keep it looking clean inside, and check the level of different fluids, such as oil, coolant and transmission fluid. Also, learn to change the oil and filter yourself. Most manufacturers recommend doing so every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever comes first.
2. Help the car breathe. The engine will run better and cleaner if the air filter is changed at least once a year. People with long commutes or those who do a lot of "stop and go" driving should pay special attention to the air filter, and might need to change it more often.
3. Stay cool. The cooling system of a car is a vital feature that many people tend to disregard. To function properly, the engine has to be well-lubed and cool at all times. Use the proper coolant, and check the hoses regularly. Also, try to warm up the car for at least three minutes every morning.
4. Pressure check. Keeping the right inflation pressure for all four tires improves overall performance, including fuel economy. Air pressure and proper rotation of the tires will help ensure the car stops properly and stays on the road.
5. Avoid exhaustion. The muffler, catalytic converter and other parts of the exhaust system can wear out, weakening the power of the engine. Examine the exhaust system at least once a year, as part of the car's periodic tune-ups.
6. Drive smart. The way a car is driven adds to its overall wear and tear. Taking off fast and coming to a stop quickly, tailgating, and excessive use of the breaks are some bad habits to avoid if the goal is to help prolong the life -- and gas mileage -- of a car.
In addition to these essential tips for improving a car's endurance, consumers should also replace the battery, fuel filter, belts, hoses, PCV valves, spark plugs and others, according to the manufacturers' repair book. For the best price information, auction database listings, and many other benefits for used car buyers, think Bargain Network at BargainNetwork.com.
About Bargain Network
Bargain Network is a unique membership service that provides consumers with best price information on significant purchases such as homes, vehicles and consumer products. Because Bargain is a membership service, it does not accept any advertising, or compensation from merchants, so consumers are guaranteed unbiased, impartial and complete pricing information. After a free trial membership members pay a low monthly fee to enjoy the benefits of Bargain Network. To learn more about Bargain Network, go to http://www.bargainnetwork.com/.