Toronto Mike

How to Reduce or Avoid Vehicle Expenses in Toronto

It's easy to reduce, and sometimes totally avoid, certain vehicle expenses if you are a resident of Toronto. There are three major ways to lower the amount you spend on vehicle-related items like repairs, insurance and fuel. Here's a look at to cut costs and put more cash back into your pocket:

Get Routine Car Maintenance Done on a Regular Basis

To cut down on car repairs, prevention is the key, according to experts. It's simply a fact of life that vehicles break down with the passage of time. The trick is making sure that the car or truck you drive is kept in proper working order with regular maintenance. How often should you do the typical chores that keep your ride in good health?

Check the oil and oil filter every 3,000 to 7,000 miles. This is a good time to also check coolant, windshield wash fluid, transmission fluid, wipers, exterior lights, tires and power steering fluid.

At the 15,000 to 30,000-mile point, check the battery, air filter, fuel filter, brake pads, hoses, radiator, and all parts of the suspension system.

When you reach the 35,000 to 50,000 milestone, check spark plug wires, plugs, replace the battery, suspension and ignition systems.

Finally, at the 60,000-mile point, check radiator hoses, brake pads, power steering fluid, timing belts, brake fluid, HVAC, tires and suspension.

Shop Wisely for Auto Insurance

You can bag some major dollars by comparison shopping for auto insurance. An hour of online research can help you get your premiums down to a level you can live with. Toronto residents should always compare quotes before renewing their auto insurance, and that makes very good sense because renewal time is when you can most easily switch carriers without having to pay a penalty or go through the hassle of making a bunch of phone calls. Simply mark "do not wish to renew" on your old policy and set the new one up to begin on the following day. Keep in mind that as you age your insurance rates will go down in most cases. If you drive many miles, or many years, without an accident or a claim, carriers should offer you even lower rates. If there's one area where comparison shopping can pay off instantly, it's with auto insurance.

Keep Tires Properly Inflated

Tire pressure is perhaps the most overlooked part of the vehicle expense reduction puzzle. Why? Because properly inflated tires can cut fuel costs by as much as 15 percent. With the cost of gasoline/petrol as high as it is, that means an annual savings of around $160. How do you know what the correct inflation level is? Ask your mechanic because every car is a bit different and the exact inflation, in pounds, varies based on the weight of the car, the age of the tires and the season. You can use the suggested amount of air pressure listed on the tire, but it's smarter to have an expert take a look at your tires and set a more accurate level.

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