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Nine Ways To Save Serious Money On Car Repairs

Nine Ways To Save Serious Money On Car Repairs

Are you looking for the tips & tricks to keep repair costs down for your vehicle? No worries! Here, in this article, I’m going to list some smart moves to save serious money on car repairs.

A car is the 2nd largest purchase that the consumers make, after a home. But, it’s a fact that costs never stop, when you own the vehicle. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2nd largest household expense is to own and operate a vehicle, which is approximately $8,800/year.

1. Know The Car’s History

The first way to save money on serious car repairs is to ensure you buy a good car. Be extra careful while buying pre-owned vehicles. If the vehicle is 10 or more years old, the repair and maintenance costs usually add up to higher than the worth of the car itself. First of all, you need to make sure that the car you have is safe to drive. For this, it’s crucial to know the history of the car and what all it has been through in the past years.

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Just ask the seller to show up the receipts regarding repairs, maintenance, and services. If he does not have any receipts, then you should seriously reconsider your options! You may also ask about the car’s extended warranties and personalized registrations. Last but not the least, do ask about the police reports. If the car went through some serious accidents, there must be a police report to escort it.

2. Check The Odometer Before Buying

When you are considering buying a used car, you must check the odometer for sure. Obviously, it’s always a good thing to have the car with the less mileage. You can find the cars with the less odometer reading, especially from the old folks, as they drive less, and you will get a more reliable vehicle. If you buy a five year old car that has run more than 60,000 Kms, then you’ll surely get in trouble as such cars ask for more maintenance costs.

 3. Clean Interiors

While you are checking out the car’s interiors before the purchase, check out the button controls and other such functions as well, to ensure they all work fine. Check out the seat cover for tears and stains as you may end up spending more on these later.

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If you are the seller, try to keep the interior clear of stains, smells and the other things as these may lead to car devaluation. Try to put seat covers on to keep the actual ones clean and safe. And when you plan to sell the car, just take them off before the buyers arrive.

4. Don’t Just Rely on the Carfax

Many consumers rely on Carfax reports which reveal the history of the car. Most of the car dealers and owners offer a carfax; however, this does not mean it’s accurate. In fact, most of the studies show that most vehicles have been in some kind of accident, however small, and these reports may don’t include the damage done. So, be aware and don’t just rely on it, as this could mean extra costs for you later on. Have the car checked thoroughly by a professional car mechanic, if needed.

5. Maintain The Exterior

Once you have bought the car, you certainly have to avoid scratches and dents. Always drive carefully.

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You also need to check the garage or the ground where the car is parked to inspect the oil pools, which will indicate any problem in the car engine or the transmission. Overlooking small details will cost you a lump sum of money on repairing and also, it will devalue your car from the actual market value.

6. Rotate Your Tires

Just keep it in mind, as compared to the rear tires, front tires wear out more quickly. By replacing them from time to time, you can make sure that all tires wear out in an even way and that you won’t have to replace them ahead of time. This will eventually save your time, money and of course the hassles you face all along.

7. Replace Your Air Filter

It’s very crucial to keep your car’s air filter clean. It will clean the engine and this eventually improves the fuel economy. Try to replace it every 28,000 miles or so. For the exact timetable, you can check your owner’s manual. Replacing air filter is quite an easy job to do, which will curtail overall maintenance cost. You just need 5 minutes and there you go! If you don’t know how to do it; you can learn it by viewing YouTube videos as well.

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8. Handle Other Easy Repairs

Handling of other easy repairs such as replacing wiper blades, lights and fuses by yourself, will help you cut down overall fixing costs. It’s very easy to deal with these little things. If you have a busy schedule, just plan ahead to do it on the weekends. You can also watch how-to-do videos for more information on your car problems.

9. Changing the Oil

Usually, mechanics tell that you have to change the oil every 3000 miles, but this criteria is only for used cars. When it comes to the new cars, they contain synthetic oils that can easily cover more than 10000 miles before requiring change. Don’t forget to see the manual card and keep an eye on the exact oil date change.

Whether you are young or old, always try to use these simple tricks which not only ensure you buy a reliable and safe vehicle, but also saves you maintenance money in the long run.

Featured photo credit: upload.wikimedia.org via upload.wikimedia.org

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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