Got your driver's permit? Top 5 things to know about your car.

You have your driver’s permit? Congratulations. You've learned the rules of the road and earned the right to drive. But there's a lot more to driving. If you want to drive safely and save money, you have to know how to keep your car properly maintained. One of our recent surveys at found that two-thirds of parents of teen drivers rated their teen's basic knowledge of car maintenance as "somewhat or completely clueless," or "average." Teens can use online resources on our site or other websites to learn more. Here are five car maintenance and repair tips to get you started:

1. Gas: Don’t buy more than you need

Joshua Lott/Reuters/File
Fuel prices are displayed at a Chevron gas station in Phoenix, Ariz., in this file photo. Here are two tips to save money on driving: Don't buy premium gasoline, unless your car requires it, and don't 'top off' your tank.

Using a higher grade of gasoline than your car manufacturer recommends is like throwing money away. Premium gasoline costs 20 to 40 cents more per gallon than regular, and most experts agree that there is very little difference in quality between grades of gasoline. Another money-saving tip: When the gas tank is full and the pump handle shuts off automatically, do not add more gas. Gasoline needs room to expand, so if you top off your tank, the extra gasoline can evaporate into your car’s vapor collection system, causing your engine to run poorly. Sometimes, that extra gas is fed back into the gas station’s holding tank through its vapor recovery line. What’s more, overfilling your gas tank can cause harmful vapors to be released into the environment. 

1 of 5
of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.