Cutting Down on Car Maintenance Costs
By: Good2GoPublished: March 1, 2016
Owning an automobile can be expensive. On top of insurance and licensing fees, some states require emissions testing. And of course, you have to make sure your car is fueled and maintained. But many skimp on that last part – car maintenance.
People on tight budgets are often tempted to skip routine maintenance services, or at least delay them. Skipping these services could cost you much more in the long run. The worst-case scenario ¾ poor maintenance can lead to increased accidents. The best-case scenario ¾ poor maintenance will shorten the life of your car.
“If you don’t maintain your car, you’re taking a vehicle that might have been driven for 200,000 miles over its life, and you’re knocking it down to maybe 150,000 miles,” says Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com.
Your best bet is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. However, if you decide not to, here are a few tips that are considered “cost-cutting” and could save you money over time.
Read and follow the owner’s manual: knowledge is power.
Follow the preventive maintenance schedule for fluid changes, timing belt replacement, and brake and tire inspection as much as you can – this may save hundreds of dollars over the life of your car. Knowing what’s in the owner’s manual can also provide a “leg up” when dealing with mechanics, some of whom may recommend unnecessary repairs.
Find a good mechanic.
Finding a reliable and affordable car mechanic can make a world of difference when it comes to car maintenance. Some prefer to use their dealer for service, while others go the local mechanic route. Either way, by building a strong relationship with your mechanic you’ll be able to save some money and keep your car cruising down the road.
Know your car’s red flags.
Don’t ignore warning signs your vehicle may be giving you. Is your gas mileage suddenly less than before? The engine may need analyzing. Is your ride getting rougher? The shocks may need replacing. Hear a new or unusual sound? Don’t wait! Get it checked out to make sure it’s not serious.
Maintain even speeds while driving.
All cars have a “magic number” that is the ideal cruising speed to improve fuel economy – usually around 50 mph. If you tend to be a “lead foot”, you may want to utilize cruise control, if your car has it.
Check your tires frequently.
Another way to get better mileage is with proper tire inflation. Known as PSI (pounds per square inch); the correct PSI can be found on your driver side doorjamb, or in your owner’s manual. And, don’t forget to rotate your tires regularly.
Keep a checklist in your car to remind you of upcoming services:
Oil changes, tire rotation and air pressure checks, timing belt replacement, brake checkup, spark plug and filter changes, etc.
The true cost of not maintaining your vehicle can include hefty repair bills for bad brakes, a failed engine, or even an accident.
Regular maintenance makes your car more reliable. Finding a reliable insurance company is just as important. Good2Go Auto Insurance is a trusted provider of both minimum coverage and comprehensive car insurance. Whether you need to insure your brand new family vehicle, or need immediate coverage to drive legally, Good2Go has a policy that’ll meet your needs. Unsure what type of coverage you need? Call one of our representatives at 1-877-200-9912 or visit us online at www.good2go.com. You’ll be happy you did!