One of the biggest purchases anyone can make in their lifetime is securing their own form of transportation. Compared to spending for college education or real estate, however, vehicles aren’t really an investment.
A car is a major expense and the cost associated with it doesn’t end after buying it.
Routine maintenance and repairs are needed to make sure the vehicle can operate efficiently and safely while preserving as much of its resale value as possible.
The good news is that you can follow tips to save money on vehicle maintenance.
One of the easiest car maintenance tips that will save you money is changing the air filters yourself. Your car manual will teach you how and how often you should replace these, which is typically every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
Most vehicles have air filter housings that are easy to access. Replacing your air filter will normally cost around $10 to $20 at an auto parts store, although you can purchase more exotic types that can cost higher.
A mechanic will often charge you $50 or more for the labor alone if you ask them to swap in a new air filter.
So long as you know what you’re doing, replacing an air filter only takes a few minutes to complete and is one of the simplest car maintenance tasks you can DIY to save money.
The same is true with windshield wipers as they are easy to replace and doing so only takes a few moments.
Some auto parts stores may even install them for free if you buy your wipers from them.
These two tips can help you save money that would otherwise go to paying for car service at your auto shop.
Tires cost a lot to replace, which is why rotating them to prolong their tread life is necessary. However, spending $25 or more several times each year is equally costly just to maintain them.
Leaving the tires as they are and deciding to pay for the replacement may be more cost-effective in the long run.
Many tire providers will also rotate tires bought at their shop for free.
They may even provide you with free brake inspections.
Since mechanics will be taking out all four tires to inspect the brakes, ask them if they can rotate the tires while doing so.
Just to be safe, you want to keep the tires with the most tread left on the front, as these are the ones that steer the car.
Rotating tires for free is one of the best car maintenance tips that will save you money.
When parts like the car’s water pump or muffler fail, many car owners immediately bring their vehicle to an auto shop and pay the price, the mechanic says. But, before you agree to the amount, it is best to shop around for repair prices first.
Get on the phone and call other providers to learn how much they charge to do the same job on a specific vehicle model. The majority of mechanics already know how much is involved and can quickly provide you with an estimate on the cost.
You may be surprised to know the range of prices for these jobs, as some can vary by $100 or even more.
Even if you’ve already paid for the initial diagnosis, it might be a better option to take the car elsewhere.
Inspecting the belts and hoses of your vehicle can save you from paying a huge bill in the future.
Belts that are worn down can affect other parts and cause damage to them.
This is especially bad when essential components are affected.
Weak radiator hoses can also cause problems as this can make your car engine overheat and even stop running altogether.
That is why you should swap out your timing belt every 60,000 miles including your serpentine belt once it reaches 40,000.
Experts recommend that drivers should replace their hoses at least once every four years or once they start showing signs of wear.
It is wise to follow these car maintenance tips to prevent major repairs down the road.
Perhaps the most important maintenance you can do for your car is to make sure that you have sufficient coolant in the engine coolant reservoir.
Failing to stay on top of your coolant can put your vehicle at risk of severe corrosion. This can lead to costly repairs and replacements.
The coolant is vital for many essential parts of the vehicle. It affects everything from the radiator to the air conditioner and water pump.
For something that has a big impact on the health of your car, this is definitely something you don’t want to skip.
To be safe, make sure you check your coolant before driving. A depleted coolant reservoir can lead to major engine problems that can cause it to overheat and lead to many issues later on.
Depending on your county or state, your vehicle may need to pass an emissions test before you can drive it around. Staying updated with the necessary maintenance of your vehicle should ensure that it passes the test with flying colors.
If not, that is something you need to secure right away.
Bringing your car to an emissions facility can help you know what you need to fix to fully pass the test.
Once you’re done with that, make sure that you bring your car in for inspection each year. You should get in touch with your local department of motor vehicles to be aware of the specific emission requirements in your area.
Owning a vehicle means that you will have to put up with regular maintenance to ensure that it can continue to function as efficiently as possible.
Besides making sure that it can continue running, it also guarantees that your car is safe for you to drive.
By following these tips to save money on vehicle maintenance, you can also avoid costly repairs that will surely happen if you are negligent.
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NOLA Automotive Repairs has been serving New Orleans clients for nineteen years, making us one of the trusted auto repair shops in The Big Easy.
We offer a variety of services including engine repair, brake jobs, AC repair, and diagnostics.