Save Money on your Car Maintenance
After a home, a car is the second-largest purchase most consumers make. But the costs don’t stop when you drive off the dealer’s lot. How can you save money while maintaining your car?
It is better to spend your money for maintenance than to wait until something big and expensive breaks. However, nothing lasts forever, including your vehicle.
Even if you do all the right things and take care of your car, there may come a time where you feel like you have outgrown it and it’s time to get rid of it. What can you do?
- Sell car online
- Put an ad in the local paper
- Spread the word to friends
- Post on social media
Know Your Car
You will want to make sure you understand everything you need to know about your car. This includes knowing what you need to do for proper maintenance such as how often to change your oil.
Make sure you read your owner’s manual with particular emphasis on the scheduled maintenance guide.
Reading the owner’s manual will also make sure you know where to locate everything so you know all features are working properly.
Knowing ahead of time what you will need to spend money on to keep your car running at its optimum level will allow you to plan financially for these expenses.
Don’t think you have to use premium fuel because you think it might make your car run better. Unless your car is turbo-charged and specifically calls for premium gasoline, you don’t need it.
If your state allows self-serve gas pumps, you can save money by doing it yourself. However, there are some states like New Jersey that do not have self-serve pumps.
Don’t try to top off your tank while pumping your own gas. You will probably lose some of the gas from overflow and therefore will waste money.
Reckless driving habits can also waste your fuel consumption.
- Don’t accelerate too quickly
- Keep your eye on traffic to avoid unnecessary and abrupt stops
- Avoid driving too fast or too slow
- Try to maintain a steady speed especially on the highway
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
As in other aspects of your life, if you fix a small problem, you can avoid small issues turning into big problems.
If something is wrong with your car, you will probably get a warning sign like a light flashing on your dashboard.
The warnings might be for very simple issues that you can fix yourself.
For instance, some cars will show a warning light if the gas cap is not put back on properly. This is something that you can easily fix and won’t have to spend money to have it fixed by someone else.
If you read your owner’s manual, you will know what that warning light means. If you didn’t read it or don’t remember, it is certainly easy enough to refer back to it for clarification.
Do it Yourself
If you are not a car mechanic or even car-savvy, you might be able to save money in certain cases. In the example above where the light flashes on your dashboard because of the gas cap, obviously, you don’t have to pay someone else to do it.
Again, this is why it is important to know your car and refer to your car manual.
There are some basic, relatively easy-to-learn jobs you can do yourself. If you can’t, perhaps a friend or family member either already knows how to do it or can learn how fairly easily.
Some of these basic fixes are changing air filters and replacing wiper blades.
You can also look online for simple “how-to” videos for basic car maintenance or repair issues.
Finding the Best Mechanic
You want to be sure you choose a capable and fair mechanic. We have all heard the horror stories about people who bring their cars in for service and end up spending an arm and a leg on things they didn’t even know were wrong with their car.
Stories like these make it really difficult to trust auto mechanics.
Unfortunately, some of these types of repairs might not have actually been necessary. Hence, the need to find the “right” mechanic.
Ask your local friends and family members who they use and what their experiences have been. Obviously, only ask those whose opinion you value and ask for specific reasons why they trust their mechanic.