What would make the perfect car? A Ferrari’s motor is a no brainer for a high-performance level. A Prius’ gas mileage is money in the bank. Tesla’s self-driving mode would be sweet safety and a multitasking dream come true. Think of everything you could do with your own super car's automated chauffeur touring you around town.
You might not own a Ferrari, a Tesla, or a Prius--or any super car. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t pamper your car with the same amount of care as a super car. Car performance is simpler than you think. Find out how to keep your car optimally running to truly enjoy your ride.
The roar of a Ferrari engine coming to life is an exhilarating experience. But hearing your own car purr from outstanding upkeep can offer high octane pride. Keep your ride in top condition by giving it Ferrari-status car maintenance.
For optimal car performance:
- Change your air filter once a year. Disposable air filters cost as little as $20 and protect your engine from airborne dust and grime.
- Replace your fuel filter in accordance with your owner’s manual. A dirty filter restricts gas from flowing to your motor and hinders performance. A damaged filter lets grime into your fuel injectors. That can severely harm your engine.
- Check your motor oil monthly. Oil protects your engine from friction and heat. If the oil is low, fill it up. If the oil is dark, change your oil. Check owner’s manuals for mileage recommendations.
- Add and flush coolant. Filling your car’s coolant reservoir keeps your car from overheating. Also flush your coolant system every five years to clear out gunk. Otherwise, your radiator or thermostat will get clogged and your car will overheat.
- Replace your Spark-Plugs when the manufacturer recommends. If your engine is misfiring or surging, your car is not receiving enough energy. Even if your engine is not experiencing problems, replacing spark-plugs at the recommended time prevents engine problems in the future.
Tesla’s self-driving mode
Self-driving cars used to only exist in Sci-fi movies. But, safety features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping are now more prominent. Google and Tesla are racing to build the first automated super car. Tesla plans to release the first automated truck in September. Self-driving cars are ready to be the next big thing.
With a self-driving car, you could text your girlfriend, eat a hamburger, and watch the game while navigating infuriating traffic.
Until automated cars become mainstream, here are some must-have auto tech:
- Antilock brake system (ABS) prevents your brakes from locking when you brake suddenly.
- Automatic headlights and high beams turn on when it is too dark to adequately see your surroundings.
- Cameras and radar sensors aid you when you are backing up your vehicle. Through visual or audio reports, these safety features report how close you are to objects in the blind spot.
- Rear automatic emergency braking stops you from backing into objects behind your vehicle.
- Lane departure warning alerts you to drive back into your lane if it detects you are drifting.
- Collision avoidance systems either alert the driver when an imminent crash is detected or autonomously apply the brakes to avoid an accident.
- Blind spot monitoring gives a visible or audible warning when other cars are in your side or rear blind spot.
Prius gas mileage
Toyota Prius gets up to 50 MPG due to its hybrid engine and aerodynamic design. You could put the money you would save on gas, toward that trip to Cabo.
However, if you’re planning on buying a new Prius solely for the better gas millage, you might be better off with sticking with your old car. Motor Trend reports you have to drive a Prius for a year before you begin recovering the money you spent. In comparison to the low-cost Toyota Corolla (which has 27/50 MPG city/highway), you would have to drive a Toyota Prius C would for two years and ten months to break even. A Toyota Prius Eco would take seven years and nine months.
Avoid emptying your wallet every time you pull up to pump.
Here’s how to get the most bang for your buck with the best fuel efficiency:
- Drive more efficiently. Cutting in and out of traffic. Racing to stoplights. Quick braking from tailgating. All those maneuvers do is burn more gas. Maintain a constant speed and coast to stop lights. Your wallet will thank you. (And other drivers will like you more.)
- Using cruise control on the freeway keeps your car at a constant speed, which makes you a boss at saving money. Just remember to pay attention and don’t set cruise control in traffic.
- Remove extra weight. Additional junk inside your car or on the roof weighs your ride down and minimizes performance. If you keep a tool box in the trunk for patch-ups on the road, keep it to bare necessities.
- Avoiding idling saves up to a half gallon of gas per hour. If you’re waiting for friends, turn your car off. Use your phone instead of your battery to listen to jams. Running the AC also eats up energy. Save money by opening the window.
- Check your tire pressure regularly. Low tire pressure makes it more difficult for your car to roll. That robs you of fuel efficiency and road performance.
Saving money with your car model and upgrades
Having souped-up Ferrari engine would be awesome. But, better gas millage and safe driving will save money. Depending on your state, certain hybrids receive tax rebates. Most major insurance companies offer discounts for advanced safety features. And, depending on your driving history, you might also qualify for safe driver discounts. That may not make your car a super car, but it makes it pretty super. Even if you don’t qualify for these discounts, insurance companies often offer deductions for traffic school and defensive driving classes.
Read How Defensive Driving Schools Can Curb Aggressive Driving to learn more.