High gas prices in increase the cost of living for car owners. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.
According to news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.
In this area, we can take a lesson from professional vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.
Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in gas mileage may put their business in the red.
So what does this mean to drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here’s a quick reminder list:
Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most auto owners honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?
Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at . Figure that they combine to improve your gas mileage by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?
Well, the average personal vehicle in is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your , over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.
From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in MPG can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in . Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.
So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at . Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of income at gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.