The average American will receive around $3,100 in tax refunds this year. That’s no small chunk of change. If you’re like a lot of us, you’ve already spent that tax refund in your head before it arrived. Maybe there’s a brand new TV you’ve had your eyes on, or a vacation you’ve been wanting to take.
Investing that refund into your car, however, might be one of the best ways to use that money. Let’s take a look at how that can work for you.
1. Paying off any debt on your car will save you loads
Chances are you got some help paying for your vehicle via a bank loan. Most of those loans carry interest. If you are still making payments on that loan, consider using some of your tax refund to pay off the balance. Any interest you pay is money that doesn’t contribute to the value of your car and instead lines the pockets of your banker.
Any time you get a big chunk of cash like a tax refund is a good time to pay down loans which are accruing interest.
Paying off the balance of your loan could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of the loan.
2. Getting a thorough check-up is great preventative care
There is a reason why many health insurance plans offer free preventative care visits–early detection of health problems can save thousands of dollars in care. This is the same for your car.
Take your car to your mechanic and get them to spend an hour or so thoroughly checking over your vehicle to see if there’s anything that can be tightened up, cleaned or replaced before it becomes a problem.
That small rattling noise from under the hood might be an annoyance now, but in a month it could be a blown gasket if left unattended. Spotting problems before they become major ones can result in thousands of dollars difference in the repair bill.
3. Give the exterior some TLC, too
While taking care of the mechanical side of your vehicle probably takes priority, making sure that your car’s exterior is in top shape will help preserve its value. You need look no further than the Kelly Blue Book website’s value calculator to understand how the outward appearance of your vehicle affects its selling price.
In most places you can have your professionally washed, waxed and detailed for just a couple hundred dollars. Not only will it improve the value of your car, but chances are you’ll enjoy driving your spiffy like-new car much more too.
4. Look for air suspension problems (and you’ll probably find them)
If you’ve got more than 50,000 miles on a vehicle with an air suspension, it’s a good time to start looking for small, underlying issues so that you can fix them before they get out of hand.
The first components to go are usually the air bags. There is also a high probability of small holes or leaks in the hoses that deliver air from the compressor to those air bags, as they are prone to getting nicked by road rubble.
To check for leaks, prepare a bucket of soapy water and apply it with a brush to your car’s plastic or rubber air suspension components. If you see bubbles forming at the surface, you’ve got a leak and you should consider replacing that component immediately. If the leak is in one of the air bags, you’ll want to consider replacing all of them as they do wear out at about the same rate.
If endless air suspension repairs doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time or a good use of your money, consider replacing that faulty air suspension with standard coils using one of our conversion kits. They typically cost less than replacing just one of your air struts and should last you the remainder of your vehicle’s life.
5. Tires tires tires
Whenever you have some spare cash to put into your car, make sure to look at your tires.. Worn down tires are going to cost you in operating costs and increased wear and tear on your vehicle. If the treads are alright, you’ll still want to balance and rotate them as uneven wear and tear costs you more to drive than evenly worn tires.
Your car’s tires are its first line of defense from uneven road surfaces, and good ones will save you money in the long run. Consider premium tires, especially for older vehicles.
6. Get a good old-fashioned tune up
Is it just us or does it seem like the tune-up is a lost art?
Your vehicle is made up of dozens of moving parts, all which vibrate and shift over time. Parts being out of alignment seriously degrades the performance of your vehicle.
It’s a little like walking around with your shoe untied. Sure, you can walk around just “fine” but it’s a lot less comfortable and there’s a higher chance you’ll injure yourself.
With some of that extra refund cash, take your vehicle in to your mechanic and ask them to give it a once over with the wrench and some grease. It might cost you two to three hours of labor but you’ll save money in the short term on gas mileage and in the long term on the working life of your car’s components.
There is nothing we love more than saving our customers money. When tax refunds come around, it’s a good opportunity to use that influx of cash wisely and take care of your vehicle so it can take care of you. Since the beginning, we here at Strutmasters have done everything we can to provide affordable, effective solutions for car owners.
Visit our website or call us today at (336) 597-2397 to speak with one of our suspension experts about your vehicle.