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Cars are expensive to own and drive. Just the same, the more expensive something is, the more likely that it’s possible there are tricks to help save money on it. There are many tricks to operating a car cheaply. Although many of them are simple and some are even obvious, surprisingly few people actually do them.

Take it Easy and Drive with Cruise Control

Click on cruise. Cruise control steadies the accelerator and saves gas. It also makes driving a lot easier. Once you do it you’ll be hooked.

Air Your Tires Up Right

A set of tires costs $400 even for a small car. Improper inflation can cut the tire life in half. Check the tires and inflate them properly every month and before long trips. Proper tire inflation also improves fuel economy.

Do Oil Changes at Quicky-Fast-Mart

It costs a lot to get simple work done at the dealership. Take your car to the corner oil-change shop and have them do it.

Don’t Buy Maserati Oil for Your Chevy

Unless you have a Maserati, you don’t need the synthetic oil that costs $6 a quart. Buy the cheap stuff.

Do the Fluid Thing Monthly

Do your own fluid checks, and do them monthly. Checking them could prevent an expensive disaster. It can also save you the trouble of going elsewhere and paying for it. Important fluids include brake fluid, power steering fluid, oil, transmission fluid, wiper washer, and radiator water.

You Can Work the Antifreeze Sucker-Upper Thing

In the upper Midwest and Northeast, a car engine can freeze solid if the antifreeze isn’t up to snuff. All the same, you don’t need a mechanic to check it. An antifreeze tester costs $4 or less. All you have to do is stick it in the radiator, suck out a little bit of antifreeze, and read the numbers. If the stuff looks relatively clean and the numbers are good, wait another year to have it changed.

Let Someone Else Take the Hit on a New Car

New cars lose over ten percent of their value the minute they drive off the lot. In the first year you own them, they’ll lose another 25 percent of the value. Thus, after you have driven the car for about one-tenth of its likely life span, it has lost about three-tenths of its value. Cars that are two to four years old, with relatively low mileage for their age, offer the best value.

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