While the initial cost of your car might feel a little steep, it’s the long-term maintenance of looking after it that stacks up quickly.
It is estimated that the yearly cost of car maintenance is in the region of $1,500; some repair bills are larger than others, though.
Keeping you, your passengers and other road users safe is only made possible by keeping your vehicle in the best condition.
With that in mind, here are some money-saving tips to keep your car in great condition.
Old tires, worn tires, tires without tread, or those that haven’t got the correct pressure are going to cost you money. When your tires aren’t inflated correctly, you’ll use more fuel and are likely to damage them.
You can also extend the life of your tires by rotating them. Your tires will wear in different ways depending on their position. Switch them around and extend their life.
Furthermore, you should make sure that you have a spare tire. You should check air pressure in all tires, including the spare, regularly. New tires can last up to 6 years and often come with a warranty – this is the most cost-effective way to reduce tire maintenance costs.
While replacing the battery isn’t too costly, even those who don’t drive too often can avoid replacing the battery often.
It isn’t uncommon for a bluish or white powder to build up on the terminals of your battery. This powder is a sign of corrosion.
When there are signs of corrosion, it can quickly lead to the battery not functioning, cracks, or cutting out on a long journey.
A wire brush can brush away the corrosion and is a cheap way to keep your battery healthy.
It is also essential to take your car out for drives over 15 minutes at least once a week to keep it charged.
If you find your engine is juddering or otherwise acting up, it can be the spark plugs. The spark plugs are around $15-$40 and are a much cheaper expense than the astronomical cost of engine work.
Your car’s manual will tell you how you can check and replace the spark plugs, and you can also find YouTube videos for your make and model to make it easier.
It is a good idea to check the spark plugs every 30,000 miles.
Windshield wipers are relatively cheap but can make a huge difference to your visibility. Clean and well-maintained wipers will ensure that you can see the road no matter what conditions you are driving in. You should usually chance your wipers before winter hits each year.
Your car will be kept in the best order if you book it in for service every six months or every 12 months.
In some cases, if you miss a servicing, your warranty will become void – plus with full service history, when you come to sell the car, you’ll make more money.
You might need to try a few different mechanics before finding the one you trust. The right mechanic will often tell you how to achieve car safety at a more reasonable price.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your current mechanic, look for reviews and talk to people in your area to see who they use.
From your tires to your spark plugs, and every time you get work done on your car, make sure that you have some warranties or guarantees for the work. So if anything happens with the item, you can return it, get a replacement, or the work done can be looked at again.
Keeping your vehicle in good working order requires regular maintenance, but it doesn’t need you to need to drain your savings to do it!
If you are working on your emergency ‘what if’ fund for a time like car emergencies, here are some great tips: How to Create an Emergency Fund When on a Tight Budget.