It can be difficult to keep up with car maintenance. We understand the frustration of having to change the oil every 5,000 miles and rotate the tires. But it’s all worth it because you can prevent major repairs from happening.
You can save money on vehicle maintenance by making a little more effort. These car maintenance tips can help you delay or even avoid having to spend a lot of money on auto repairs.
Tips for Car Maintenance to Save Money
1. Make sure you have a spare tire.
As important as the other four tires under your car, it’s equally important to make sure the backup tire is properly inflated. You don’t want to find out that your spare tire is flat when you are trying to get the jack from your trunk. You will need to call a towtruck, which can cost hundreds of dollars. It’s much better to spend one dollar on an air pump so you can inflate your tire. This will save you the expense of a tow.
Maintenance Tip: Check the air pressure of your spare and driving tires once a month.
2. Change the oil.
How can the oil in your car affect your budget? Oh, plenty. Did you know that oil problems are one of the most expensive car maintenance problems to fix? It is better to spend $25 on oil changes than to delay and end up with a damaged engine that will cost more than $25.
Maintenance tip: Change your oil every 5,000 miles, or follow the recommendations of your car manufacturer.
3. Make sure to clean the battery.
Your battery’s terminals can become corroded (which looks like a white or bluish powder). The battery can crack or stop working properly if it isn’t kept clean. A quality car battery can be expensive, and a tow may cost you more. It is worth spending $5 on a wire brush to keep the terminals clean.
Maintenance Tip: Check your battery for corrosion twice a year.
4. Replace the brake pads.
Are you hearing a clicking sound when you press the brake pedal? Your brake pads may be worn out. The cost of a new set for all four wheels can run to $300, plus labor costs if they are installed by a professional auto mechanic.
Maintenance Tip: Make sure to check the brake fluid whenever you change the oil. If it’s dark, you will need to change your brake system soon.
5. Replace your air filter.
The car’s air filter prevents pollutants from getting in through the vents. A faulty air filter can cause major damage to your air conditioner system. We know you don’t want this. The cost of replacing your entire AC unit can range from $1,000 to $4,000.
Maintenance Tip: Replace your air filter once every 12 months or every 12,000 miles.
6. Replace your windshield wipers.
The cost of buying windshield wipers depends on your car’s make and model. They can cost anywhere from $30 to $50 per pair. Although it seems expensive for such a small item, wipers that are efficient and reliable are essential when driving on the open road. You shouldn’t drive if you don’t have a clear view of the road. Dirt can build up and cause glass to crack if it isn’t cleaned regularly. Keep in mind that windshield wipers can be much more affordable than a new windshield, which costs from $100 to $500.
Maintenance tip: Make sure to check your windshield wipers every season, and replace them if necessary.
7. Rotate your tires.
Rotating your tires can extend the life of your tires. All four tires on your car wear differently. Depending on the speed of your car and roads, the wear rates of your tires may vary between the front and back sets. Rotating your tires can prolong their life and help you save $400-$800 on a new set of four tires.
Maintenance tip: Rotate your tires every 3000 to 5000 miles.
8. Inspect the shocks, springs, and struts of your suspension system.
You most likely take the suspension system for granted. It is something that most people don’t think about, but it can cause a lot of problems for your car. You should replace all four shocks if you discover that one is not working properly.
Maintenance Tip: Make sure to check the shocks and overall suspension system every 15,000-30,000 miles.
9. Make sure you check your coolant.
There’s a risk of corrosion inside the car if you do not change the coolant. Coolant can affect everything, from the heater and air conditioner to radiators and water pumps. This is a critical component of your car’s overall health and you shouldn’t skip maintenance.
Maintenance Tip: Inspect your coolant two times a year at the very least, once before the heat hits and then again before the cold snaps in.
10. Check your spark plugs.
Spark plugs are the most well-known car part. It’s a good thing. Spark plugs are a common cause of engine problems. They are easy to fix. Engine work can be expensive so a $15-30 spark plug replacement is an affordable way to save money and avoid major engine overhauls. The cost of replacing the engine can range from $3,000 to $7,000.
Maintenance Tip: Change the spark plugs approximately every 30,000 miles.
11. Check your belts, hoses, and buckles.
It’s worth giving your car’s belts and hoses a thorough cleaning to avoid costly auto repairs down the line. The other essential components of your car may be damaged because of worn-down belts. A weak radiator hose can cause engine overheating.
Maintenance tip: Change your timing belt once every 60,000 miles, and your serpentine belt once every 40,000 miles. The hoses should be changed every four years, or when they are showing indications of wear.
12. Perform an emissions inspection.
Your car might need to pass an emissions inspection depending on where you live. It should pass easily if you keep up with your auto maintenance. If it fails to get a gold star that’s something you should know as well. The emissions facility will inform you of what went wrong and what must be done to pass inspection.
Maintenance tip: Make sure to inspect your vehicle once a year. To find out the requirements for your state, check with your local department.
Call Miller Brothers Transmission Auto Repair and Body Shop now if you need help in maintaining your car.
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