So, you attended traffic school online to get a great rate on your auto insurance, and now… something’s wrong with your car. It’s always something, right? Some people can tell exactly what’s wrong with an automobile and get it fixed on sound alone. They’ll tell you precisely what it means when you hear something that sounds like a mouse squeaking in the dashboard, they’ll be able to identify what needs replacing when you hear an occasional crackling sound. They’re like magicians. But, you don’t need to be a car whisperer to do some basic, cheap tune-ups on your own, or at least identify what needs fixing. Here are some basic fixes you can do if there’s something about your car’s performance that just seems off.

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Replace Your Air Filter

Air filters are one of the cheapest things to replace, and you might be surprised at how much better your car performs once you swap it out. When the filter is clean, air goes through more easily, and your car doesn’t have to work as hard as Olympic bobsledding and dangerous speeding to get that extra horsepower. Think of it this way: If you drink through a straw, you get to enjoy a nice cold Coke. If you drink through a chopstick, you’re going to turn red in the face. You can also clean air filters out by hosing them down and letting them dry.

New Spark Plugs

If your car seems to have trouble on hills or accelerating, it may be that not every cylinder is firing, so you’ve got the other cylinders doing extra duty to carry the one that’s not working. By swapping out your spark plugs, you can get your car humming again.

Clean Your Car Out

Flat tire in the trunk you’ve been meaning to dispose of? Camping equipment in the back seat? The more junk you have cluttering up your car, the more wear and tear you’ll do to the auto. It’s a small thing, but you’d be surprised how effective it is.

Oil Changes Aren’t That Expensive

Changing your oil is easy enough to do on you own, but then you have to figure out how to dispose of it and so on. Our advice: Just have it done professionally. You can get it all taken care of in one go, you don’t have to go pay someone to throw your trash away for you or anything. On that note…

Use Better Oil

Get the best oil your car can take. Really, it’s a difference of a couple extra dollars a few times a year, or hundreds of dollars in repairs later down the line. Take care of your car and it’ll take care of you.

Get A Tower Strut Brace

If your car has some issues with handling, a tower strut brace might be just the thing to make those turns a little cleaner. It’s just a bar you stick in there under the hood, it can be installed in five minutes, but it makes your car feel a little more solid so that you can make turns without the entire car wobbling and weaving left and right like a boxer.

There are plenty of other simple things you can do to get better performance out of your car, but these should get you off on the right foot. Attending traffic school online can help you with your insurance, but it’s up to you to take care of your car.