4 Maintenance Tips for Rideshare Drivers to Keep Costs Low and Lifespan Long

Ridesharing has become an increasingly popular option for earning a living. Whether you’re looking to generate full-time income or just a little extra on the side, you can do so through companies like Uber and Lyft. For a predetermined hourly rate, drivers can pick up riders in the area and take them to their destinations. While one could stand to make a reasonable amount of cash, many have found that the cost of car ownership can really put a hamper on their ability to earn a decent living.

Unfortunately, when you sign up to work for a ridesharing program, the cost of owning a car, including fuel and maintenance of parts, is not covered by that company. This means that all the extra wear and tear and mileage you’re putting on the car will ultimately end up coming out of your pocket. Sure, there are unavoidable costs associated with owning a vehicle and operating it frequently, but are there ways to cut those costs down? You bet! Here are a few tips to ensure the most important auto parts are being maintained and you get the most mileage out of your investment (efficiently!).

Change the Oil

Most car owners are aware of the importance of changing the oil in their vehicle periodically. However, what many are unaware of is the importance of having the right type of oil and filters in your vehicle. The type of motor oil you use will greatly impact your engine’s performance not to mention its overall lifespan. Although conventional oil is cheaper than synthetic, it has to be changed more frequently: conventional oil change is recommended every 3k-5k miles, whereas many professionals say with synthetic you can wait 7,500 or even upwards of 15k depending on the type. Generally, experts say synthetic oil does indeed have specific advantages over conventional oil, most notably related to the health and longetivity of all the car’s engine parts.

Change Air Filters

Air filters are an intricate part of your vehicle’s intake system. As the engine on your car requires fuel and air to run, the air filter is necessary to prevent dirt and other junk from getting into all the parts of the engine leading to serious damage. If you have an older vehicle that runs on a carbureted engine, you can improve your fuel economy by as much as 14 percent if the filters were really clogged. If you have a newer vehicle, however, you will not necessarily improve fuel economy, but can improve the longevity of the engine, which obviously is also a way to save money on car ownership.

Clean Fuel Injection Systems

Simply put, a fuel injector valve is the engine part that opens and closes allowing fuel to enter. The amount of fuel that enters the engine is solely dependent upon how long the fuel injector stays open. The more efficient the fuel injection system is, the better fuel economy you should experience, thus leaving you with more money in your wallet. You can purchase fuel injector parts cleaner at an automotive parts store for just a few bucks. You add it to the gas tank so that the cleaner can move through the system and restore/clean the valves. You can also opt to have a technician clean the fuel injection system for you for around $100 to $200.

Achieving the Most Savings

You want to get the most out of the extra income you’re bringing in, and the best way to do that is to reduce your overhead costs. As discussed above, changing the oil, filters, and fuel injectors will improve the overall health of your vehicle’s engine parts as well as its fuel-efficiency.

Another way to reduce overhead costs would be to consider learning how to complete many of the maintenance tasks yourself and purchase the parts on your own from a trusted auto parts vendor. Simply learning how to complete a tune-up can increase your car’s efficiency and save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Every make and model will have different requirements–

  • If you have an American-made car, it might actually be worth your time to have a mechanic replace some of the harder DIY items, like replacing new brakes.
  • But if you own a European-made car, not only will the repairs on the car cost more but so do the replacement parts themselves. If this is you, it may be worth your time to learn how to repair as much of the car on your own as you can.  At the very least, with how many retailers there are online, you could buy higher-quality OEM parts for the same price or less than the ‘cheaper’ aftermarket version from the mechanic.
    • For example, let’s say you owned a Volkswagen Passat and needed to replace all or even just some of the above VW parts. An online vendor like eEuroparts will actually help ensure you’re getting quality VW OEM parts and fluids that’re the best suited for your exact model-year.
Although there’s always a learning curve when it comes to figuring out something new, learning to repair what auto parts you can on your car will greatly reduce the cost of car ownership over the time you own it. There’s a lot of other benefits from repairing the parts on your car yourself such as scheduling convenience and quality assurance.

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