Learn what you can do to cut costs on car maintenance and make your auto run longer and better.
A car is a luxurious item, but it’s also a necessity. If the car you currently drive stops running, then you would probably have to go out and buy another one. The best way to keep your car running longer is to invest in regular maintenance and care. However, that can become expensive if you aren’t careful. Fortunately, there are easy ways to reduce your maintenance costs and keep your car running in top condition.
Invest in Oil Changes
Oil changes are non-negotiable when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Regular oil changes keep this lubricant fresh and working properly. Oil wears down over time and loses its ability to protect and preserve your engine. The buildup of deposits will harm fuel economy and cause you to lose power. Oil changes are very affordable. You can change your own oil for ten to fifteen dollars, or you can visit your mechanic and have the oil changed for $20 to $30. If you choose synthetics, then your bill will be slightly higher. However, this is a small price to pay to avoid the serious damage of a seized engine, thrown rod or other expensive repair.
Preventive Changes Save Money
Cars like the Honda Accord are fuel efficient and durable, but they have something known as a zero-clearance engine. If you wait for the timing belts to actually break, then you will be looking at serious damage to the engine. This is why Honda recommends having the belts changed before you reach 105,000 miles.
To determine how often you should change a timing belt or other chains and belts, look in your owner’s manual. An experienced and trusted mechanic can also advise you on how often you should perform this type of preventive maintenance. Spending a few hundred dollars on a new timing belt is far preferable to spending thousands on a new engine.
Regularly Check Fluid Levels
There was a time when people pulled into the gas station, popped the hood and checked their fluids. It’s a rare sight now, but it shouldn’t be. Checking your oil and coolant levels can help you avoid major repair bills. Oil should be checked on a flat surface after the engine has been running, so the perfect time is while you’re at the station getting gas. Coolant levels should be checked after the engine has had a few minutes to cool down, so look at this level right before you are ready to leave the station.
Find a Great Mechanic
The single biggest money saver for car maintenance will be a trusted auto mechanic. Private shops are generally more affordable than dealers, so you will save with a lower hourly rate. They know who has the best prices in town, and a good mechanic will work with several vendors to ensure that they are able to pass great savings on to their customers. When you trust your mechanic, you also won’t have to worry that you are being sold services you don’t really need.
Regular maintenance is necessary to keep your car running smooth and avoid major repairs. Refer to your owner’s manual and talk to your mechanic about when preventive maintenance should be done. The maintenance will still cost you a little over the years, but it will save you a small fortune over serious engine work.
About theh Author
Dillon Davis writes for auto blogs where you can get auto repair Phoenix AZ information and estimates.