Money Saving Tips to Lower Your Driving Costs

In hard economic times we need to make every dollar stretch as far as we can but sometimes, to save money, you have to spend a little money. This is especially true where your car is concerned. Simple low cost maintenance procedures and driving habits can save you a lot more money over the long run.

An unknown author came up with the acronym B-L-O-W-B-A-G that makes it simple to remember how to take care of the most important features on your car.

B = Brakes - Worn brake pads can damage the brake rotors leading to more expensive repairs later on.
L = Lights - It is easy and cheap to change your own light bulbs and good lights can prevent a collision by making your car more visible. Keep extra bulbs in your glove compartment just in case.
O = Oil - Oil changes are cheap and, when done on schedule, will extend the life of your engine. Make sure you use the manufacturer's recommended oil type. Check your oil level often and keep an extra bottle handy just in case.
W = Water - Check your water level and make sure you use the recommended coolant for your engine. Check your radiator for leaks and make sure your windshield washer reservoir is full.
B = Battery - Check for corrosion on your battery terminals and, if your battery is not sealed, check the water level and replace it with distilled water when necessary.
A= Air - Check your tire pressure when the tires are cold. Maintaining proper air pressure will prevent wear on your tires and extend your gas mileage.
G = Gas - Make sure your gas gauge is showing the proper level and use the proper octane level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Other money saving tips to remember include:

Tires - Rotate the tires every time you get your oil changed. Rotating your tires will prevent excessive wear and extend the life of your tires. Check the tread; worn tires can cause you to skid on wet roads or they can blow out and possibly cause a collision.

Suspension System - Making sure the springs and connections are in good working order will help extend the life of the vehicle and prevent more expensive repairs later on.

Reduce your insurance rates by attending a defensive driving course or traffic school - In some states, voluntarily attending a defensive driving course can help you reduce your insurance rates. It can also help you improve your driving habits and thus prevent more wear and tear on your vehicle. Check your state laws to see if you are eligible.

Drive the speed limit - Speeding, just by a little bit, won't save you much time and it can cost you money. For example; a ten mile trip at the posted speed of 40 mph will take 15 minutes. Driving 5 mph over the speed limit will only save you a little over a minute but it will cost more gas, create more wear and tear on the engine, and possibly lead to an expensive speeding ticket.

The National Safety Commission works to increase awareness of important safety issues, particularly those that deal with highway and traffic safety information. Our mission is to make consumers more vigilant and understand that "safety is no accident," through education, quality traffic school online courses and outreach programs. Through our traffic safety blogs we promote defensive driving techniques, driver training and safety.