Save Big on Cars and Gas

Nicole Yorio Jurick, SELF magazine

Women influence nearly 80 percent of U.S. vehicle purchases, yet only 63 percent of us know where the heck the engine air filter is, a Caravan Omnibus survey finds. In honor of National Car Care Month, get car smart and save big.

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Time tune-ups. Avoid too many oil changes and stash up to $76 yearly, says Joye Griffin, a Jiffy Lube franchisee in Kaysville, Utah. Freeway drivers in mild climates need servicing only every 7,500 miles. If you sit in stop-and-go traffic or live in an extreme climate, head in every 3,700 miles.

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Guzzle less gas. Maintain proper tire pressure to improve gas mileage by up to 3 percent; use the right motor oil grade to improve it by 1 to 2 percent; lighten your load (ditch the golf clubs) to save 2 percent. That's a yearly savings of $470.

Heed warning signs.
A check-engine light may signal emissions trouble'Äîyou could be burning 40 percent more fuel. Talk about highway robbery! Squeaky brakes that go without fixing could make a simple $200 pad replacement morph into a $2,000 repair, says Lauren Fix, the Car Coach, an auto pro in Lancaster, New York. Price service centers at, then bring in your ride, pronto.

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Make like a mechanic. Getting your hands dirty could save you hundreds, says Fix, who notes anyone can replace wiper blades or install an air filter. Visit the DIY channel at for how-
to help. Car-ching!

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