Most of us depend heavily on our car, and when something happens to it, we usually waste no time getting it fixed and paying the repair cost. We all want safe, reliable, and smooth-running cars. One way to ensure that your car stays in good condition is to invest in servicing it. Whether you own a new or used car, every vehicle needs regular maintenance to keep it running at its best and prevent major repairs. It may seem expensive to maintain regular service, but in the long run, it's less expensive to keep your vehicle serviced regularly than it is to pay for a major car repair when the car breaks down. You can do a few things to help you save on car maintenance.
Schedule regular maintenance care.
It's essential to keep your car properly tuned to ensure it runs smoothly and keeps you safe. One of the first things you'll want to do when you get a new car is to read the owner's manual so you’ll know what maintenance services are required and when. It could also help you identify specific problems with your car.
Servicing your car based on the recommendations in the owner's manual could help delay or prevent major car repairs. Most basic car maintenance services include changing the oil and filter, checking coolants, spark plugs, batteries, tires, windshield wipers, belts, and hoses.
In between scheduled maintenance services, please get in the habit of checking the oil, tire pressure, and fluids to ensure the levels are where they need to be for your vehicle. For example, check the dipstick for proper oil level, and use a tire pressure gauge to check the air levels in your tires.
Buy your parts.
Unfortunately, some mechanics charge high prices for parts. Depending on who services your car, you may purchase your parts. If this is the case, you could save a lot of money by buying them at a lower cost at your local parts store, such as Car Quest, Advance Auto, O'Reilly, or Auto Zone. You can also purchase parts on Amazon.
Keep in mind that not all repair shops will allow you to bring your parts so ask before you buy them. If the mechanic doesn’t allow you to bring your parts, you can ask them to reconsider, and most will say yes. However, there may be stipulations to bringing your parts. For example, they may not cover the warranty for the parts.
Another way to save on car maintenance is to buy used parts. You can buy them on Craigslist, eBay, or from a salvage yard.
Compare prices with other car repair shops.
You could potentially save money on car maintenance simply by shopping around. You may not think about comparing prices for car maintenance or repairs, but it's a good practice to put in place. In some cases, local shops may price match their competitor's price to gain your business.
Service the car yourself.
With help from YouTube and Google, you can easily learn how to do basic car maintenance and repairs such as replacing the battery, brakes, or highlights. You can also learn how to change the windshield wiper blades, air filters, and fuses. These simple tasks could save you money and time by doing them yourself.
Buy tires from a warehouse store.
You could save money on your tires by buying them at a warehouse store like Sam's Club, Costco or Walmart. Some warehouse stores typically offer the lowest price on the market for tires. Do your research to determine what benefits are included with the tire purchase, such as lifetime warranty replacement, lifetime tire rotation and balancing, and road hazard warranty. Keep in mind that most warehouse stores require a membership to make purchases and take advantage of their benefits.
Save up for car maintenance.
Are you prepared to pay for car maintenance and other expenses that come with owning a car? Saving up over time will help take the stress out of figuring out how to pay for those expenses. One way you can prepare to cover maintenance costs is to add car maintenance as a line item in your budget. Then, you can open a savings account specifically for maintenance and repairs to save up over time so that you'll have the funds available when you need them.
While scheduling regular car maintenance may seem expensive, it's necessary if you want to keep your car running smoothly and in good condition. With these helpful tips, you'll be able to reduce your maintenance cost and use the extra money to pay off debt, save for a vacation, or an emergency fund.