Should You Get Rid of Your Gas Guzzler?

December 27, 2011

Rising gas prices can make us scared sometimes. So scared that many people will trade in their gas guzzlers for a fuel efficient car.

Three dollars a gallon seems to be the norm these days which can get expensive at the pump. It costs me nearly 50 dollars a week to fill up my 6-cylinder Camry.

But I wouldn’t trade in my car just to save a few dollars a week. Buying a more fuel efficient car will save me about 10 dollars per week, which comes to 40 dollars a month and 480 dollars a year. That’s worth about two car payments. Not enough savings to justify buying a new car.

When people trade in their cars they usually upgrade to a newer and more expensive car. This typically means monthly payments with interest and comprehensive insurance coverage. If you have bad credit you can expect to pay high interest on that loan which will only put you deeper in debt.

Don’t forget that in addition to the price of the car there’s also title, registration and taxes. This adds up and can take a big chunk out of your savings.

Unless you’re driving a hundred miles a day I wouldn’t recommend trading in your gas guzzler. Hang on to your old Crown Victoria or Ford Expedition especially if it’s been paid off.

I know it’s painful to see 60 dollar fill-ups at the pump but there are other ways of saving money.

Don’t go past the speed limit on the highway. The faster you drive the more wind resistance your car encounters and this makes your engine work harder. Your engine will burn more fuel as a result.

Check your tire pressure once a week. I can’t tell you how many cars I see on the road with nearly flat tires. Having properly inflated tires will help your car maximize fuel efficiency.

But perhaps the most damaging to fuel economy are the “Jack Rabbit” starts. I always see people gunning their engine when the light turns green. Not only is this bad for fuel economy but it puts enormous stress on the engine. It’s like people are trying to prove their car is faster than the rest. It may be good for the pride but it’s definitely bad for the wallet.

Was there a time when you traded in your gas guzzler and ended up in a financial mess?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Pierre March 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Mileage:The mileage is iontrmapt because the longer the engine is used the more likely it is to break down. The average life of a Japanese engine is 250,000 miles. The average life of an American engine is 130,000 miles. This is if you take care of it.Steering:The steering issue sounds like an alignment problem. Its very minor. I have the problem with my car steering to the right. I suppose I smashed into too many pot holes. Alignments are under $ 100. You’re supposed to do it every 12 months but it won’t affect anything else in your car.Driving Noise:The driving noise could be two things. It could be the engine or transmission. Start the engine if it has difficulty starting that means it’s nearing the end of it’s life or you need to get it serviced. To test the transmission drive it on the freeway if it has trouble accelerating it’s your transmission.I know you said she changed the brakes but if your brakes squeak that means they’re old/worn and need to be change.Servicing:The alternator will run you 35-150 bucks. The labor shouldn’t cost you more then 150. The belt is roughly 20-50. If you find someone charging you over 350 that means you’re getting ripped.SpeakersAs for your speakers a common issues is just cause the cable is loose; takes like 10 mins. Chances are you have friends who could help you take a look at it. If they’re busted you could have a new deck and speakers for as little as 100-300 bucks installed.

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