20 Ways to Waste Money on Your Car


January 15, 2007   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Parked Cars

Last year we discussed a few ways to avoid the mechanic by completing your own simple auto maintenence. Today, MSN in Seattle adds 20 ways to waste money on your car.

Can you add to to this list. To me it’s pretty good.

  • Premium gas instead of regular. Buy the cheapest gasoline that doesn’t make your car engine knock. All octane does is prevent knock; a grade higher than the maker of your car recommends is not a “treat.”
  • 3,000-mile oil changes
  • Taking false economies. Better to replace a timing belt on the manufacturer’s schedule than to have it break somewhere in western Nebraska
  • Using the dealer’s maintenance schedule instead of the factory’s
  • Using a dealer for major services. Independent shops almost always will do the same work much cheaper
  • Using a dealer for oil changes
  • Not replacing your air filter and wiper blades yourself
  • Going to any old repair shop
  • Changing your antifreeze every winter
  • Replacing tires when you should be replacing shocks
  • Letting a brake squeal turn into a brake job
  • Not complaining when your warranty claim is rejected
  • Not keeping records
  • Buying an extended warranty
  • Overinsuring. Never skimp on liability, but why buy collision and comprehensive insurance on a junker you can probably afford to replace?
  • Assuming the problem is major
  • Not changing the fuel filter
  • Not knowing how to change a tire. Have you even looked at your spare?
  • Not keeping your tires properly inflated
  • Car washes

I personally agree with all of these. If you don’t let us know. For some reason auto maintenance myths always bring out the aggression in people.

20 ways you waste money on your car by MSN


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