Getting a Tax Refund?

March 30, 2016

We've got some tips on taking care of your car with that tax refund.

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Tax season is coming to an end, and millions of Americans are waiting to receive their tax refunds. Last year CNN Money reported that the average tax refund was roughly $2,893 at the end of the return period. That's a hefty chunk of change, and investing it in your vehicle is a smart way to go. Here are some wise ways to put your tax return into your car. 

1. Buy new tires. Tires are pricey to replace, so they tend to be one of those things people put off buying. But driving on old tires can negatively impact your car's handling and your overall safety. If your tires are bald or leaking air, take advantage of your tax return and purchase a new full set while you've got the funds, and spring for a quality option rather than off-brand, cheap tires. You'll be amazed by how much better your car feels to drive. If your tires are still in good shape, consider shelling out some cash on tire alignment and rotation services, which are essential to the health and longevity of your car.  

2. Get up to date on recommended maintenance. If you've been ignoring your "Check Engine" light for a while, now's a great time to take your car in for repairs. But even if there's no indication that anything's wrong, it's a good idea to put some money into scheduled maintenance. Scheduled maintenance includes a range of minor services (oil change, tire rotation, etc.) and major ones (replacement of filters and fluids, timing belt replacement, and services related to fuel delivery and emissions systems). By getting regular tune-ups on schedule, you'll extend the life of your vehicle and spare yourself more extensive damage down the line. 

3. Deep-clean and fix your interior. As your car ages, a lot of little things start to break. Maybe you've blown out one side of the stereo system, or your overhead light bulb has burned out, or there are tears in the fabric of your seats. There's also a good chance that your interior has gotten dirty in a way that a superficial vacuum job won't clean. All these little things add up, and they take a toll on your overall driving experience. So why not put some of your return money toward thoroughly cleaning and fixing your interior? Whether you decide to attack it yourself or have a professional do it, getting your interior in good shape will have a big impact on how your car feels in daily use.