Keeping a car is becoming more and more expensive with increasing fuel prices, insurance and other costs all of which makes car maintenance a challenging task. There are however ways on how to keep the cost of car maintenance down without resorting to desperate measures.
Find A Reliable Local Garage
Instead of taking your car to a mass dealership, go to an independent local garage you can trust. Of course you don’t have to settle for the first garage that you go to. Assess their services and if the list seems to be too long, you always have the option of checking another auto shop for a second opinion. This will enable you to get a good deal and still have the vehicle serviced well
Check Your Drivers Manual
To keep your vehicle running smoothly and affordably, the driver’s manual will help you greatly. It will guide you on how to tune the car’s radio, what the tire pressure should be and generally how to operate the car for optimal performance. The manual will also tell you when to replace certain parts in the car such as the CAM belt, brake pads and other components that may cause fatal damage to your vehicle or engine. In most cases, you can avoid costly repairs by resorting to pre-emptive measures like driving to the garage before or immediately you notice a slight fault.
Keep Your Service History Intact
Though like most motorists you may think that regular checkups can be quite costly, the truth is that such an initiative will preserve the car’s resale value and also eliminate potential problems. Engine problems can be spotted early enough and will be cheaper to fix. If your car is new, this may also be requirement to keep your warranty valid. You have two options of either taking your vehicle to a local garage or to an authorized dealership. The latter option is expensive but recommended for newer vehicles and will look good on the logbook. A reputable dealership will also know the common faults of your car depending on its make and model. They will then recommend preventive measures that you can take to keep the cost of car maintenance down.
Check Your Coolant, Oil & Brake Fluid Regularly
To maintain a car affordably, repairs need to be kept at minimum. These are therefore things that you should do regularly. For the vehicle to run smoothly, the fluid levels should be topped up to avoid costly repairs. You can use the dipstick under the bonnet to check your car’s oil level at least once a month without even visiting a garage. You don’t have to check the brake fluid and coolant often but still the manual will guide you on when and how they should be checked.
Check The Tire Pressure
If the tires have the right pressure, they will last for long and you will save fuel as well. Under-inflated tires will strain the engine causing you to use more fuel. Over-inflated tires on the other hand will reduce the tires lifespan and also cause extra wear to the tires treads. Therefore, service the tires regularly once a month or twice a year especially before you make any long-distance journeys. Check the depth of the tires tread as well to ensure that they are safe for the road. Worn out treads should not cover more than 75% of the tire surface.
Haggling over price, extending the car warranty and buying car tires online are also effective ways on how to keep the cost of car maintenance down. You can also save some money by sourcing your own car parts instead of getting them from a local garage. When it comes to insurance which is an unavoidable expense, order yours on an annual basis. By paying a one-time fee for the whole year you will be charged less compared to a monthly subscription. If you can afford it, also choose a comprehensive auto insurance policy that will cover everything in case of an accident when your vehicle will need repairs.
written by: elyson