Long Live Your Car

Are you keeping your car longer than usual? Like most people these days, you're keeping your car for a longer period of time for a variety of reasons, including the fact that you didn't put many miles on it during the two-year COVID stint, and, of course, car prices are skyrocketing.

So, take it from me—I've had my car since 2009, and it purrs like a kitten—I'm going to share some tips with you on how to save money and maintain your car. I don't know about you, but I always want to make sure my car, Betsy, is happy and healthy.

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Our cars require routine oil changes, which should be conducted every 3,000 miles or every six months if you do not use your vehicle frequently. Tires should be rotated once every 5,000 miles. The mechanic will inspect your vehicle's cooling system, brakes, and other critical components during your routine oil change.

Filters should be updated and inspected every 20,000 miles. What is the function of a car filter, and why should it be inspected or replaced? Filters are an important feature of an automobile because they trap impurities such as dust and toxins in the air and prevent these impurities from entering the engine. They also improve fuel efficiency if kept clean and maintained.

You want your automobile to look fantastic when you're driving around. Spend some time washing and cleaning both the interior and exterior of your car, especially during the winter when the harsh weather can cause rust.

All of this sounds expensive, doesn't it? To begin, you should always have a car budget for gas, maintenance, insurance, car payment, and repairs that is around 15% of your salary. For example, if you earn $4,000 per month, your monthly automotive expenses should not exceed $600.00. When a repair is necessary, sticking to your budget will prevent you from feeling broke after paying the cost. Setting up a separate account to automatically deposit a predetermined amount of money from your paycheck will help you stay on budget. Then, to take it a step further, set up recurring payments for your auto loan and automobile insurance.

One method I've used to save money when maintaining my car, is by using CU Offers, a program endorsed by a company I trust that attempts to save consumers money on local businesses, computers, travel, and medications. Who doesn't want to save money nowadays, especially when it's free and simple to do so? I simply go to the Automotive symbol and see what specials they have that month and book my appointment and I get discounts on car washes. It's quick and simple, plus I get to save money in the process.

Don't forget to follow us on social media and check our blogs online for further discounts.

Christine D.
Association of Vermont Credit Unions