Chances are you’re still feeling the squeeze a bit from the recent financial problems. With record numbers out of work and record numbers in part time work instead of full time, money is scarcer than it was just a few years ago – well, at least for the 99%.
You even might be thinking about giving up your car. However, your car makes your life easier, so why not look at some ways to make it work for you. There are many different ways to cut the cost of your car, from ECU remapping to renting it out and finding the right choice – or even choices – for you doesn’t have to be difficult. So what options are available to you if you’re looking to save on your motoring costs?
Tuning: Isn’t that for Performance?
When people think of tuning, they think of sports cars being made ready for the track; but that isn’t always the case. Cars can be reconfigured to both expend more and less energy to either give greater performance, or greater efficiency. One of the biggest parts of this is ECU remapping. This is the art of reconfiguring what the car’s computer ‘allows’ the car to do. Most road cars come with the computer configured very conservatively so that there is the least opportunity for any problems to arise. What this means, however, is that it is relatively easy to alter the performance of your car.
ECU remapping is a form of chip tuning and is performed by plugging into the electronic control unit on your car and reconfiguring what the computer does. You can change all kinds of things: from the ignition control, to the anti-lock braking system. Performance or efficiency gains can be had across the board. This means that remapping your ECU is a simple and effective method of boosting the cars efficiency and making a good saving.
Another form of tuning is engine tuning. Unlike ECU remapping, it is recommended to have a ‘tune-up’ every now and again but most road users do not do so. A simple tune-up can help make an engine just a bit more efficient but will also help to prolong its life. It can be considered as a spring cleaning of the engine, and can result in improved fuel consumption, especially if a small leak had developed because of a loose bolt or inefficient air filter.
Making Money to Save Money
If you’ve managed to eke some good efficiency savings out of your car but are still worried about its impact on your pocket, there are two more places to look. The first one is where everyone would recommend as the first stop and is likely to yield the biggest savings: your insurance. It’s likely that you are able to negotiate a better insurance deal, especially if you’ve gone a few years without any accidents. Put simply, loyalty is not a good thing when it comes to car insurance, so switching your supplier regularly can put a little bit of cash back in your pocket every month.
The next and far less common way of saving is to actually use the car to make money. It’s likely that you’re not using your car every day of the week. Maybe you use or can use public transport – or even cycle – to get to work. Try renting out your car on the days you don’t use it. There are a number of peer-to-peer renting websites that have sprung up in recent years, so you can easily find someone to take your car off your hands for a day, in return for some cash. If you only use your car on weekends, this can garner you much higher ‘savings’ than cheaper car insurance or ECU remapping. Combined them both, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Calvin Ford is obsessed with efficiency savings in every part of his life. He recommends taking a look at ECU remapping to make some efficiency savings on your car. You’d be surprised how simple it is.