Since the banking institution's collapse in the mid-2000s, money saving has been high on everyone's mind (along with, if you'll humor or excuse the rhetoric, gasoline prices). In times like these it's easy to see the automotive sales game do one of two things: remain stagnant and falter or innovate and flourish.
All things considered, not everyone can afford a new car, right? Or maybe you just purchased a new car and are only halfway through a three-year lease or six-year financed purchase? If you fit one of these broad categories, what can you do to keep your car running well and, in the end, save some cash either by means of staving off problems or keeping more costly problems from coming to light?
Thanks once more to Consumer Reports we have that answer. Below, please enjoy five simple tips that everyone can perform with little to no training. If you encounter a larger problem with any of these tips, feel free to schedule a service appointment today and keep any issue from exploding (G-d forbid, literally) into an expensive problem.
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5 money-saving DIY tips for car owners
By Gordon Hard, ConsumerReports.org, June 5, 2012
1) Treating hazy headlight lenses
Modern headlight assemblies usually have clear plastic covers that can grow hazy over the years from exposure to the elements. To save the expense of changing the whole headlight reflector assembly, you can use a restoration kit, usually consisting of abrasive cloths and a special finishing liquid. Some kits are applied with elbow grease, while others call for an electric drill.
2) Windshield wipers
You can extend the life of wiper blades by keeping them clean. Wipe off the rubber edge with a paper towel moistened with glass cleaner, or water and a little dish soap. Wiper blades don't last long. In our tests we've found that six months is about the best you can expect a set of wiper blades to stay in top form.
3) Wash and wax your car
Giving your car a good cleaning helps preserve the paint by removing road grime and residues that can eat through the finish. The time spent hand washing a car gives you a close-up view of every body panel, so you can spot scratches, chips, and dings you may not have otherwise noticed. To maintain a quality shine, periodically apply car wax. A spray wax is best suited to weekly or special-occasion applications. Other waxes can be used less frequently, every 2-3 months.
4) Light bulbs
Changing a light bulb isn't difficult-most these days have a twist-and-pull bayonet base or they simply pull out and push in. Bulb specifications are usually found in the owner's manual. However, accessing a bulb (usually called a lamp in industry parlance) can be a real chore. Consult a service manual or look online if access to the bulb isn't obvious. Auto-parts stores and your franchised dealer carry good selections of replacement bulbs. If you're replacing a halogen headlight bulb take care not to touch the glass with your bare fingers. Skin oils on the quartz glass are said to shorten its life.
5) Touch-up paint
Touching up paint flaws early can save a heap of money down the road. You can touch up small scratches and chips with touch-up paint, available for a few dollars at your car dealership and at some auto-parts stores. Make sure you get an exact color match. Touch-up paint usually comes in a small bottle with an applicator brush in the lid. Otherwise, use a small, pointed artist's brush and cover the scratch by going over it in tiny dabs. Let this paint dry for at least a day or two before polishing the car.
Source: 5 money-saving DIY tips for car owners, Yahoo! Autos. www.autos.yahoo.com/news/5-money-saving-diy-tips-for-car-owners.html, June 5, 2012.