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Duncan's Automotive

Simple DIY tips make a big difference

Everyone knows that cars need frequent maintenance and that those repairs will cost money, no matter what. But having your car services isn't just for when things have broken down. In fact, regular maintenance of your car is actually in your best interest — for example, you can improve the gas mileage on your vehicle by up to 4% with a proper tune-up.

Spending money now to maintain your car may be a hard pill to swallow, but it will save you majorly on huge breakdowns later on. Auto repair is one thing when it's an oil change, but entirely another when your engine fails. That's why engine maintenance, smog inspection, and getting your car serviced are so important. Check out these maintenance practices here:

1. Keep an Eye on Your Spare Tire

Make sure your spare tires are fully inflated and ready to go at any time. If you end up with a flat on the road and find that your spare is flat, too, you'll most likely have to call a tow truck, which can run you up to hundreds of dollars. You can even buy an air pump at the gas station to keep your spare totally inflated.

2. Change Your Oil

Changing your oil is a basic car and engine maintenance task, and yet so many people neglect to do it. The oil in your oil tank lubricates the engine parts and it converts gas to the energy that moves your car. Without it, your engine will grind against itself and possibly cause very expensive damage. Pay attention to that little sticker on your windshield and have your oil replaced regularly.

3. Clean Your Battery

Buy a wire brush and keep the battery of your car clean -- they tend to collect a white, corrosive material that can cause cracks and eventually battery death. Car batteries tend to cost upwards of $100, so spending a little time and money to maintain it now will go a long way later.

4. Replace Your Brake Pads

Replacing your brake pads might be pricey, but not nearly as pricey as it would be to pay out of pocket to repair that Lexus you rear-ended because your brakes weren't up to snuff. Not to mention that your safety drastically decreases the thinner your brake pads are.

Keeping up with minor automotive repairs and maintenance now will save you loads of money and headaches down the line.