Besides your home, the car is the second-largest purchase most people make. And, the money you spend doesn’t end when you drive it off the lot either. To keep your vehicle running well, you have to buy fuel, insurance, and pay for maintenance and repairs.
Stated by 12 Volt Solutions, your car well-maintained is crucial to it performing well and being reliable for years. Regular maintenance means you’re less likely to have a significant, costly breakdown.
But, maintenance costs can be expensive, so in this article, we look at nine ways you can keep those costs down while still keeping your car running smoothly.
Schedule Regular Service
It may seem like a pain, but it’s best to schedule regular service for your car from a reputable mechanic. It’s good to do this at least twice a year, in the spring and the fall, but four times a year is better.
Regular service means ensuring your car is safe, and that minor problems are caught and fixed before they blossom into big ones.
Check Your Tires
Rotating your tires and inflating them to the correct air pressure makes the tires wear evenly and last longer, which means you don’t have to buy tires as often. Keeping your tires inflated to the right specification helps save on fuel too.
Experts say properly inflated tires can save you up to 6 percent on your fuel costs. Lastly, properly inflated tires ensure your car brakes properly, which makes you safer.
Reduce Your Load
Many people carry unnecessary weight in their car, treating it like a storage unit rather than a vehicle for transportation. That added weight makes your engine work harder, putting more stress on it, which means it will break down sooner.
The extra weight adds wear and tear on the car’s suspension and tires, causing both to wear out prematurely.
So, check your vehicle for any items you’re lugging around that are dragging you down. The only extra things you should carry every day are a spare tire, a jack, jumper cables, and an emergency road kit.
Practice Smart Driving
What is smart driving? Well, it means driving your car sensibly by not speeding or rapidly accelerating. It also means not jamming on the brakes or taking corners too hard.
Many driving experts say that when you drive aggressively, you lower the fuel mileage you get by 5 percent in the city and up to 33 percent in highway driving. So, if you want to reduce what you spend on gas, keep your speed at about 50 when you can.
It’s tempting to overdrive the car when you’re on the interstate, and sometimes you have to go faster for safety’s sake, but in general, lower your speed to reduce your fuel consumption and the wear and tear on your vehicle.
Another great way to reduce strain on your engine and save money on fuel is to turn off the engine instead of letting it idle when parked for a long time.
Maintain To Prevent Issues
Preventative maintenance is key to keeping your car in good working shape and reducing the problems you might have. While you may not like working on cars, you can learn to do some basic tasks yourself to help save money versus always taking it to a mechanic.
Checking the oil, water, fluids, air filter, tire pressure, and tread are all simple tasks anyone can perform at home. By doing these checks yourself, you can find little problems like worn tires before they become dangerous problems down the road.
Get An Honest Mechanic
Now, we’re not saying most mechanics are dishonest, but it’s wise to do your research and find someone you can trust to give you the best price for the work and who’s honest about what needs doing.
Ask your friends and family who they go to and find someone who knows a lot about cars and see who they recommend.
You can also check social media reviews for local mechanics and find out who’s good and who to stay away from. Lastly, you can look for mechanics that operate out of an AAA approved facility because they have to maintain specific standards to retain that designation.
Ask For A Second Opinion
So, your car has an issue and you took it to your mechanic and got an estimate. Even if you trust your mechanic, it’s wise to get a second look to make sure the estimate is fair, and the work described is correct.
Whenever you have a major repair to make sure you’re getting the best value for the money. Unless it’s an emergency repair, take a few days and shop around if you can.
Look For Discounts & Warranties
Another great way to save money on car maintenance is to see if you can find online deals and coupons when getting work done at places like AutoZone or Pep Boys. Also, depending on how old your car is, you may still have a warranty available on it.
Think About The Vehicle You Purchase
Sure, you may want that foreign car, but think about how much more expensive and difficult it’s going to be to maintain as opposed to an American car. Buying domestic often means cheaper and easier access to parts and to mechanics who know how to fix them.
Car maintenance might seem expensive, but when you consider the cost of a major repair, it’s suddenly pretty cheap in comparison. Regular maintenance keeps your car running smoothly and gives you peace of mind knowing that it’s safe and will last as long as possible.