The senior in high school loved his car. In fact, it had become his priority. While his parents were scheduling appointments and paying for a writing tutor, he was scheduling his car for window tinting and auto detailing. In fact, when he showed up for his writing session, he and the tutor had to make a quick trip to the parking lot to view the latest after market accessories before they could begin work on the 12 page research paper about computer hacking. The tutor made the visit to the parking lot to show interest in the senior’s pride and joy, but she herself had been driving around without a gas cap for the last week.
Whether you are a driver who always has to have the latest auto detailing trend, or you are a driver who barely manages to get the family minivan washed once every six months, car care and maintenance can be a major part of many people’s budgets. Classic car restoration tips, for example, keep an entire industry busy. Some fixes, of course, are less expensive, but pay off quick dividends. The writing tutor’s missing gas cap is a great example. Loose, damaged, or missing gas caps are an inexpensive fix but if left unfixed cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate annually. On the other end of the spectrum, fixing a serious issue, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve vehicle mileage by as much as 40%.
Car detailing may be tempting for young male drivers, but an even smarter investment might be washing the car every time it is necessary instead of letting salt, tar, and other elements corrode and cause rust. An estimated 8 million vehicles a day are cleaned at car washes.
Depending on where you live, the average car repair in the U.S. ranges from $375 to $423 in 2014. One of the most most common fixes is a little more expensive than replacing a gas cap, but can also lead to fuel savings. As of the year 2015, the oxygen sensor, which can have a negative impact on fuel economy, remains the most common “check engine” light repair. The repair, however, can improve fuel economy by as much as 40%. Even keeping your vehicle properly tuned can improve gas mileage by 4%.
It doesn’t matter if you are more like the high school boy who is spending all of his money on auto detailing and on auto detail cleaning service, or more like the tutor who does well just to keep her car kind of clean and keep from losing another gas cap, all automobile owners know that owning a car costs money. It’s just a matter of how much!