7 Things To Regularly Check On Your Car To Save Money

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and the adage applies very well to keeping your car running right. Here’s 7 common sense things you need to be checking on your car on a regular basis to save yourself a lot of money in the long run. We found the tips in the summer 2007 issue of our USAA member magazine. They’re all pretty obvious, which is why you’ll be smacking yourself in the head if you don’t do them, so read up and make sure you’re on schedule.

1. ENGINE COOLANT AND ANTIFREEZE
How Often: Check twice yearly, once before summer and again before winter; change if coolant has brown tint or rust bits.
Pay Now: Free to check; up to $5 to top off with correct mix of water and coolant or antifreeze. If you don’t use the right coolant for your car, you could damage your engine.
Or Pay Later: Without coolant, you can damage the water pump ($50 to $100) and possibly your engine.

2. OIL
How Often: Check monthly; change every 3,000 to 6,000 miles
Pay Now: Free to check; $20 to change yourself (oil, disposal fees); $20 to $40 at a shop.
Or Pay Later: Not changing the oil can void your warranty. Increased wear will shorten the engine’s life span. Rebuilt engines cost $1,000 to $3,000, plus labor, depending on the car.

3. AIR FILTER
How Often: Check monthly; change when less than 50 percent of the filter lets light through when held up to a 100-watt bulb.
Pay Now: Free to check; $15 to $50 to change yourself; add another $20 or so for someone else to change it for you.
Or Pay Later: 10% increase in fuel consumption; if gas costs $3 per gallon and your car holds 20 gallons, you’re wasting $6 with each fill-up–$156 a year, if you fill up every two weeks.

4. TRANSMISSION FLUID AND FILTER
How Often: Check monthly; change every three years or 36,000 miles.
Pay Now: Free to check; a few dollars to top it off; $30 to change it yourself; $40 to $80 to for someone else to do it.
Or Pay Later: Dirty or low fluid can cause problems with shifting and transmission failure. Transmissions cost $1,000 to $2,000, plus labor, to repair or rebuild.

5. BRAKE FLUID
How Often: Check each oil change; change every two years or as needed if your brakes feel soft.
Pay Now: Free to check; $3 to $20 a quart, depending on the fluid; $65 to $165 for a mechanic to change the brake fluid.
Or Pay Later: $60 or more to replace pads; $2,5000 or more, depending on your car’s year, make, and model, for a complete brake job. Brake fluid absorbs moisture over time, reducing the brakes’ effectiveness, which can lead to accidents.

6. TIRE TREAD
How Often: Check monthly; buy new tires when you see all of Lincoln’s head on a penny stuck headfirst in a tread.
Pay Now: One penny to check; $40 to $200 per tire to replace, plus labor.
Or Pay Later: As much as $25,000 or more for a new car if you wreck due to a tire blowing.

7. TIRES FOR PROPER INFLATION
How Often: Ideally once a week, but at least monthly; inflate as needed.
Pay Now: Free to check; 25 to 50 cents to inflate.
Or Pay Later: $40 to $200 per tire, plus labor, to replace improperly worn tires.

(Photo: hehatemeMAN)

Comments

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  1. Thank you for this. Im clueless about my car.

  2. Toof_75_75 says:

    Regularily? Perhaps, regularly.

    Not having coolant/antifreeze has bigger repercussions than the water pump. If your car does not have coolant/antifreeze it will overheat the motor and you will be stranded on the side of the road and possibly damage the motor.

  3. beercheck says:

    8. Badging

    How Often: Immediately prior to purchase.
    Pay Now: However much you like.
    Pay Later:
    Scandinavian badge: Purchase Price x 2
    British Badge: Purchase Price x 3
    Italian Badge: Purchase Price x 8

  4. CyGuy says:

    The last one should include lower gas mileage from under-inflated tires, which I think costs the average car-owner an extra 3% at the pump, or about $50/year using the values they give under the air filter entry.

  5. sir_eccles says:

    Other free things to do to your car to save money:

    - Take out unnecessary crap collecting in the trunk (or boot if you’re British like me), it’s just dead weight

    - Take off the roof rack if you’re not using it

    - Take off those stupid f’ing team flag things

    - Close the windows while driving

  6. Jonathan21 says:

    Hey, that tach looks familiar…….

  7. Dave_Surfs says:

    Mash-up this list w/ a year insight calendar like this one [lifehacker.com] (if the link won’t resolve, search lifehacker for the 2008 compact calendar) and stick it in the glove compartment or clip it to your visor so you can check when you did each task last.

  8. beercheck says:

    @sir_eccles: Close the windows??? Assuming you’re not advocating using the a/c in lieu of windows, ok. But if you are…..c’mere, I wanna show you something..

  9. techie44 says:

    #4 is misleading. Transmission maintenance schedules vary so widely between age and model of cars, that tip#4 should have simply been left out. Older trans. fluid is good for 36,000 miles but newer ones last for 100,000 miles. Some BMW’s fluid never need to changed for the life of the vehicle. If you need to topoff the fluid, it means you have a leak, and there is no way you can change all the fluid yourself. You need a flush machine to do it.

  10. B says:

    @beercheck: What’s wrong with using a/c?

  11. Optimistic Prime says:

    A note on transmission fluid, many cars don’t have a dipstick anymore, newer GM’s in particular. They discovered people didn’t know how to check it properly, added fluid when it wasn’t needed, and killed too many transmissions. Though not a safety measure, check your A/C monthly by just running it to keep the seals supple, even if it’s the winter. Then again many cars do this automatically when you use your rear defrosters, but…

  12. full.tang.halo says:

    $20-$40 for an oil change, try driving any luxury car, more like it’s $75-$125 for your average bmw 3 Series, full synthetic, 8 quarts.

  13. Steve108 says:

    Checking brake fluid level is important, but will not increase the lifespan of your brakes. The brakes also need to be checked, since if they wear too far they can ruin the rotors, or cause an accident.

  14. kc2idf says:

    @B:
    The A/C draws its mechanical energy directly off of the engine, and exerts a very noticeable amount of load in doing so.

    Don’t believe me?

    Get in a small car (something Corolla-sized would do) with a small engine (<2.5L) and see how long it takes to do 0-60. Now turn on the A/C and repeat.

    Don’t try this in a Subaru; they have a clutch that disengages the A/C when you accelerate hard. They also have really snotty engines for their size, which spoils the experiment.

    However

    I think that Beercheck may be wrong about this. Opening the windows rather than turning on the A/C fouls up the aerodynamics of the car, and the aerodynamics are a big part of where the car’s fuel economy comes from.

    On the other hand, it may be a wash. Maybe I’ll do an experiment with it once the weather warms up a bit.

  15. JayXJ says:

    Not a bad idea to check steering, suspension componets, and the level in your rear differential when your under the car changing the oil or dropping the transmission pan to change the fluid and filter.

  16. dawime says:

    Very few cars nowadays need their oil changed every 3000 miles. My car manual says every 7500, and my wife’s car is every 5k. I am sure there are vehicles that the suggested interval is greater than that.

  17. RogueSophist says:

    @kc2idf: Most of the literature I’ve been looking at online (in the last five minutes) suggests that, for city driving, opening the windows and turning off the A/C will yield the best fuel efficiency. At highway speeds, however, the windows will create so much of a drag that it’s actually more efficient to put them up and turn on the A/C. I’d imagine actual results would vary significantly with the shape and size of one’s car, but it makes sense to me. Not to mention that the effect on acceleration will be a bit less apparent at highway speeds, unless one is changing lanes. That said…I’m probably going to stick with whatever’s most comfortable at the moment.

  18. dodongo says:

    @dawime: It’s not just mileage (I’m suspicious of the 7500 miles, though, unless the manual also recommends some type of synthetic oil), it’s also time. Quick, short burns build up water, and thus corrosion, in the oil, counteracting the anti-friction, anti-corrosion goodness you have the oil in there for in the first place. I’d change the oil in any car two, maybe three times a year at a minimum, regardless of mileage.

  19. Toof_75_75 says:

    @RogueSophist: You took the words out of my mouth. The mythbusters did an episode a while back where they tested this very thing. They found that @ 45mph opening the windows was more efficient. As your speed goes up, though, the impact on drag of having your windows down increases dramatically and ends up making it more efficient to have your A/C, especially since you won’t be stop and go driving.

  20. beercheck says:

    @B: @kc2idf: @RogueSophist:

    Hmmmm. I don’t recall those Nascar guys running with pop-out windows and compressors.

    Most efficient = windows up, no a/c
    2nd best = windows down, no a/c
    least efficient, by far = a/c

    It’s a harder test nowadays since cars’ ecms kick up the throttle when the compressor engages, but if you’re on a level road, keep the accelerator in the same position and roll down the windows, you’ll hardly notice any change in speed. Do the same with the a/c and you’ll lose VERY noticeable speed.

  21. beercheck says:

    All that said, comfort trumps all.

  22. Akamaru says:

    @RogueSophist:

    I actually read the same thing a few years ago. Nice post.

    I checking your tires seems like one of the things you should do at a MINIMUM if you drive, people.

  23. fignark says:

    As much as $25,000 or more for a new car if you wreck due to a tire blowing.”

    so… was there a need to put the 25k number in there? you might as well have put “up to eleventy-billion dollars…or more!” in instead. sounds even more dramatic that way.

  24. jwissick says:

    Some coolant is supposed to be brown…. particularly extended life coolants found in Chrysler cars.

    *** NEVER add brake fluid to your car!!! ***

    Your brake fluid level indicates how worn your disk brakes are. If you add fluid it will throw off the float that makes the brake light come on when the brakes are worn!!! Yes. I know what I am talking about. I used to be an ASE certified mechanic before I went into the high tech world.

    If your brakes are soft it is NOT cause you are low on fluid. Do not change your own brake fluid unless you have been train how.. especially with todays anti-lock brakes.

    If you want to not bother checking your tire pressure, you can get your tires filled with Nitrogen. It is a larger molecule than the other gas mix found in the air and leaks out much slower. It will cost a bit more.. about $5 per tire, but it is worth it as it prevents corrosion in the rim.

    Best to take your car to a brake shop one a year for a top to bottom brake inspection.

  25. HeHateMe says:

    @Jonathan21: Mazda6

  26. zjgz says:

    25,000 dollars to replace brake pads?! i think i’ll just buy a new car instead!

  27. kimsama says:

    @jwissick: Amen about the brake inspection — one of my brake lines rusted through and I felt like I was on a soap opera: cruising along and then my brakes stopped working! Oh noes, it was Ricardo!

    That said, I did need to put more brake fluid in, just to get to the mechanic in one piece (yeah, and it’s only 1 mile away).

    P.S. Brake fluid is ridic toxic, so I agree with you on the not changing it, too.

  28. econobiker says:

    @jwissick:

    But JWISSICK that figures that the vehicle has a brake wear light- most don’t. And remember that places which replace brakes usually don’t actually change/flush the fluid when they work on the brakes- they just top off too…

  29. alice_bunnie says:

    I change my Honda Odyssey’s oil every 7000 miles because I follow their maintenance schedule in the manual for whatever they like to call not driving in high temperatures and lots of stop and go traffic.

  30. CurbRunner says:

    @jwissick: said:
    “Your brake fluid level indicates how worn your disk brakes are.”

    Have your brake system checked to determine the exact problem when brake fluid level is low.
    Low brake fluid level can also indicate brake fluid leakage in the brake lines, master cylinder or wheel cylinders seals…so it can be more than just an indicator of worn brake disk pads or brake shoes.

  31. AD8BC says:

    Check the air filter with a 100 watt bulb?

    Gasp!

    If you can’t do it with a crappy CFL bulb, it just shouldn’t be done/

  32. RalphieDC says:

    @alice_bunnie: If your van is still under warranty I would follow the most rigorous schedule given in your manual to avoid the argument with the dealer about what is considered severe driving conditions and why your van is not covered. Better safe than sorry. If you maintain to the manuals highest level the dealer has no argument that the proper maintenance schedule wasn’t followed.

  33. MercuryPDX says:

    @dawime: Mine says 5K. The place where I get the oil (and all fluid levels checked and topped off) checked says with Synthetic, I can go 7,500 despite their sticker saying 3K. Hrm.

  34. snowmentality says:

    @jwissick: “If you want to not bother checking your tire pressure, you can get your tires filled with Nitrogen. It is a larger molecule than the other gas mix found in the air and leaks out much slower. It will cost a bit more.. about $5 per tire, but it is worth it as it prevents corrosion in the rim.”

    …Air is 78% nitrogen as it is. I really doubt the other 20% makes that huge of a difference when it comes to the speed at which it leaks out. And it’s not like you’re removing all the air from the tire before inflating it with nitrogen anyway, so there’s going to be some oxygen in there. Besides, your rim is hitting regular air on the outside anyway, so how is pure nitrogen inside going to prevent corrosion? I sincerely doubt the difference is large enough to justify $20 every time I inflate my tires.

  35. aj_robins says:

    Also, if you have a reasonably modern car with an engine computer and a “check engine light”, please don’t ignore the light if it comes on. There’s a reason why it exists. Even if the car seems to “run fine”, you’re possibly running inefficiently (lower gas mileage), polluting the environment, and/or possibly damaging the car. For example, if the oxygen sensor isn’t working right, you may damage the horribly-expensive-to-replace catalytic converter if it goes long enough.

    Also, for 2005 and earlier BMW 3-series, changing the oil can be cheap and easy if you use an oil extractor, which sucks out the oil via the dipstick tube (and yes, people have verified that this method gets out — on 3-series BMWs — about as much oil as via the oil drain plug). Just do a google search for “bmw oil extractor diy”.

  36. pretzelgreg says:

    @beercheck

    Badging? I may be tired byt I dont understand your post.

  37. jwissick says:

    @econobiker: All cars with disk brakes (front / front and rear) have a wear light. It is the same as your parking brake light. When the float in the master cylinder his a predetermined level, the light turns on. The wearing of the pads causes them to move closer to the rotor… this makes the fluid level drop gradually and eventually triggers the light. This is why it is illegal for any shop to add brake fluid to your car unless the brakes are being serviced. And any REPUTABLE shop will flush your system when they service your brakes when they bleed the system. If your shop is so lazy not to flush your system when they service your brakes, you prolly will have bigger problems than old brake fluid.

    @kimsama: DOT 3 fluid, the most common, is not toxic really. It is certifed by the dept of agroculture as it is a soy product.

  38. tkozikow says:

    @dawime: While the car may be OK with 5000 or 7500 mile oil changes, the oil additive package generally is not going to last that long. Oil changes, even full synthetic, every 3K miles are cheap insurance which should give you peace of mind. I think that some Mercedes models allow for 15K between oil changes, but this is only asking for trouble. Does it really make any sense to save $150-200 year on maintenance for a $50-80K vehicle?

  39. Kraln says:

    @jwissick

    I’m pretty sure when I changed the pads on my e36/5 BMW that there was a physical sensor on the brake pads. The float is to tell you that your brake fluid is low, but there’s another light for pad wear.

  40. beercheck says:

    @pretzelgreg: Emblems. You know, the stuff that tells you who manufactured/marketed the car.

  41. pinecone99 says:

    People need to focus less on the economic aspects of auto maintenance and remember they’re out there piloting a 3000+ pound projectile of death. Bad tires/suspension/brakes can kill!

  42. rdm24 says:

    @beercheck: If you are going under 40, use windows. If you are going over 40, roll ‘em up and use AC judiciously (not at full blast, not all the time. unless you REALLY need it).

  43. rdm24 says:

    There is no better money-saving instrument than a properly used brain.

    But it requires a lot of maintenance!

  44. ninjatales says:

    If you can see all of Lincoln’s head on the penny, it means that either you’re not driving your car or you drove it and crashed it somewhere.

    Being able to see all of his face means time to change unless you live in areas where you get no snow.

  45. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    Watch those tires. Sometimes its hard to tell though. My car used to vibrate at high speeds. The tires all looked fine. One night I was coming home doing 70 on the freeway when my car bounced and sounded like I hit something, but I was the only one on the freeway. I pulled over and saw my rear bumber hanging off and large marks on my car. I thought the axel broke. Tow truck came and said “Nope, your tire lost its tread”. Sure enough it did.

    Easy fix… A little glue for the bumper ~$5, some elbow grease to remove the tire marks on the car and then 4 new tires @ $400 for all. But warrentied though, but still expensive.

  46. pretzelgreg says:

    @ beercheck

    ahh….me slow today. So the eye-tal-yan cars will cost you 8x your purchase cost in maintenance….like the ol “FIAT” = Fix It Again, Tony

  47. barty says:

    @dawime: I’ve been changing oil at 6000 miles on every vehicle I’ve driven for the past 14 years. Those trying to convince you to change your oil more often probably have a financial interest in doing so. I’ve torn down the motors at least partially on a few of these and have not observed any unusual wear on the motors at over 150k+ miles.
    @jwissick: On most non-luxury vehicles, that means “hey dummy, your fluid is TOO low.” While the fluid level drops as brakes wear, I’ve rarely seen that light come on just because the pads needed to be changed. In many vehicles, you’d probably be wearing metal on metal by the time the fluid dropped to that level. Most likely there’s a slow leak that needs to be fixed.

    @kc2idf: Almost all fuel injected vehicles disengage the A/C when the throttle is over 80% or so. Even some older vehicles had a WOT switch on the carburetor or throttle linkage that would disengage the A/C.

    However A/C compressors are much more efficient than they used to be and place much less drag on an engine than they once did. Couple that to smaller engines having more power than ever, and there’s little difference in fuel economy with the A/C off or on. Personally, a 1% gain in fuel economy (if its that much) isn’t worth sweating to death in the hot, humid summer weather we have here.

  48. niteflytes says:

    Very useful post – thanks.

    My car “tells” me when to change the oil. I’m not sure if I should trust it to tell me or follow a schedule.

  49. sir_eccles says:

    @pretzelgreg: I used to know dozens of those, but only one springs to mind…

    FORD – Fix Or Replace Daily

  50. Sudonum says:

    @jwissick:
    Not toxic, but a hell of a paint remover…. made from potatoes IIRC.

  51. iMike says:

    There aren’t any “disposal fees” on DIY used motor oil in any jurisdiction in which I’ve lived. Just take it to the local Jiffy Lube, where they will happily take it for nothing.

  52. GloStix says:

    @snowmentality:
    In order for rust to form you will need oxygen. Nitrogen is not Oxygen.

  53. RvLeshrac says:

    @pretzelgreg:

    Which is, of course, crap. Different models may require more maintenance than others. Buying a Pinto over a Beat because the Pinto was “made in America” would be just as stupid as thinking an M3 will break down more often than a Mustang.

    The major difference is in parts. Dealer parts for a foreign car which has no or few plants in your country are going to run more than local parts. Depending on where you live, labor may be substantially higher as well – it will be more difficult to find someone to service your Ferrari in the middle of the bayou than it will in New York.

    That still doesn’t make the Ferrari break down more often, when properly maintained.

  54. RvLeshrac says:

    @niteflytes1:

    Many “Change” or “Check” lights will also be tied to the odometer. You should follow a schedule, but (assuming everything is working properly) it won’t kill your car. Risk management.

    @GloStix:

    Too bad the air we breathe includes oxygen. And all the water that gets on your wheels during the rain is 1/3 oxygen.

    @iMike:

    Please don’t do that. They’re liable to recycle it to use in those $20 oil changes.

  55. RvLeshrac says:

    Oh, one important thing that hasn’t been mentioned is SALT.

    If you live in an area that puts salt on the roads during the winter, you *need* to buy that undercoating, and you *need* to keep a quality paint job on your car. “Quality” means “Not Maaco,” it means a rather more expensive and more complete job that includes sanding and priming.

    You can do without it, if you don’t mind having your car rust out from under you. If that’s too much maintenance, buy a nice stainless-steel DeLorean!

    A good wash will help avoid the above, as well, but if you’re in an area that salts the roads, you probably don’t want to be hurling water on your car.

  56. zolielo says:

    FOr AC on with a minimal mpg loss try light weight and or underdrive pulleys.

    Other things to check are the Oxygen Sensor, Throttle Possition Sensor, Mass Air Flow Sensor, drive belts and or chain, spark plugs, etc.

  57. ry_ry says:

    @pinecone99: Exactly! If something is wrong on your car, fix it! If you think something is wrong, get it checked out! It’s expensive, but this is not quantum physics, people.

    Aside: My Accord’s brake indicator goes on with the handbrake, when the fluid is low, or when it’s humid and/or cold outside. Makes for some interesting mornings…

  58. rbb says:

    @tkozikow: If you use the correct oil for your car and follow the proper maintenance schedule, the additives will last. Changing the oil early than the schedule actually causes more wear because of the new additives being broken in.

    In my VW diesel, the recommended interval is 10,000 miles and they mean it. My gasser VW also has a 10,000 interval. I had the European versions of each car with the oil monitoring system, I could stretch the interval out to 20,000 easily, which I may do anyways after a UOA (used oil analysis). And yes, I do use a VW spec 507.00 synthetic, but it’s cheap when you look at the $/mile cost.

    The 3 months or 3000 miles is just propaganda put out by the oil and lube shops and believed my millions who don’t know how to RTFM or maintain their vehicle.

  59. Syrenia says:

    @snowmentality: I have nitrogen in my tires and I love it. The shop where I bought the tires filled them with nitrogen for about $10 total when they put them on, about 18 months ago. I’ve been by twice since then to have the pressure checked, and there’s been no loss in pressure. (I’m really, really bad about checking tire pressure.)

    A friend put the same tires on his car but with normal air, and has to put air in every month or so. I’ll never give up my nitrogen.

  60. SexCpotatoes says:

    OMG my tires eat pennies!

  61. olegna says:

    All of those can be done in the time it takes for your gas pump to fill your tank. I do this about every third fill-up. It’s not rocket science. And don’t fill your tires with nitrogen at $5 a pop. That’s just dumb.

  62. STrRedWolf says:

    Don’t forget to look at the tread itself. If the tread is wearing more one one side or another, you better get it in the chop and have them realigned.

  63. STrRedWolf says:

    Shop, not chop. :(

  64. banmojo says:

    meh. Buy Japanese and don’t bother with most of these things. My Honda Acura has 150,000 miles on it, I’ve never changed the oil or the coolant, or the air filter for that matter. Never had it serviced. Just put new tires on it, had the break pads changed about 50,000 miles ago. It’s like the freakin’ Energizer Bunny. How much more than 150k do you want from your car anyhow? As for me, I’ll drive it till it dies, then buy another Honda.

  65. czarandy says:

    There’s no evidence that tires with nitrogen deflate any sooner than those with air. Even if there was a difference, it would have to be minimal since air is 78% nitrogen already.

    It’s much more important to check their pressure regardless of what they are filled with.

  66. CurbRunner says:

    @dawime: said; “Very few cars nowadays need their oil changed every 3000 miles. My car manual says every 7500, and my wife’s car is every 5k.”

    I’ve never had an oil related problem with since I’ve used Mobil 1 synthetic oil in every car I’ve owned since it came out in about 1975.
    My oil change intervals have always been between 8500-9000 miles with a filter change about halfway through that cycle.

  67. bdon says:

    brake fluid is powerful. I ate a tire with it. bad brand tire or not..it really happened. A shop isn’t a bad idea..unless you can remeber the trials and errors ;)

  68. cheesebubble says:

    Regarding the AIR FILTER, you can squeeze some extra life out of it if you have access to an air compressor. Locate and remove your air filter then shine a trouble light behind it and gauge how much dirt is caught in it. Blow the debris out of it with compressed air. Afterward, you should be able to see more light through the filter.

    When you decide to actually replace the air filter, most retailers have a reference book for customers to look up their car’s model and year. A few brand options will be listed. Generally, the cheapest one will suffice. Done and done.

  69. sven.kirk says:

    @cheesebubble: As for the air filter, grab a K&N. Yes, they do cost more. But they can go between cleaning longer, better efficiency, and cost the same or cheaper (depending how long you own the vehicle). Mine cost me $55, and that was for the filter and cleaning kit.

  70. ceilingFANBOY says:

    After spending $550 on new brakes for a piece of shit Taurus, I’m never going to let my brakes get bad again. Then again, my brakes going out on me was more a schedule issue of never having the time to replace them, but from now on, I’ll make time if I have to.

  71. Rusted says:

    @sir_eccles: I like the fresh air, so one window stays partially open.

    @banmojo: Riiight…. I got my T-bird past 200K but I took care of it. Three years later, someone else is still driving it. Betcha it’s at 300K by now.

  72. Lawk Salih says:

    I should forward this post to a friend of mine who paid $500 for an oil change thought it was a full service.

  73. vanilla-fro says:

    @kc2idf: This changes around 45 – 50 MPH according to a mythbuster’s experiment. at that speed the windows being open do effect the aerodynamics.

    Also opening your truck bed doesn’t help, it is actually worse.

  74. carpediemcls says:

    Another very important thing to check, is to not ever let your car get below half a tank in winter, and below a quarter of a tank in summer. This is especially so if you live in a colder climate where freezing is possible. If you do, throw some fuel system cleaner in your gas tank and it’ll save your engine a lot of gunk inside.

  75. James says:

    Porsche Boxter oil change recommended at 15,000 miles (of course dealer will likely suggest more. B/c, you know, what does the manufacturer know?).

  76. tchann says:

    Oh, engine coolant. Sears tried to tack that check and replacement on to an inspection once for a low prices of $70. Yeah, I said no.