Most people are shocked when they find out how much a simple repair job can cost. If you know what to look for and take some preventive measures, then you can save yourself money in the long term. In this blog post, we will talk about ten tips to help you minimize the cost of automotive repairs.
Read on for more information about these ten tips!
1. Save Fuel with Proper Maintenance
One of the best ways to save money on car expenses is proper maintenance. Keeping your car well-tuned up can help you avoid costly repairs in the future. One example of this is fixing a sticking thermostat before it causes the engine to overheat or wear out other components that are working with heat beyond their tolerance.
Keeping the fluids in your car fresh, such as oil and antifreeze, can also help maintain efficiency, translating to savings on fuel costs. Replacing air filters often is another good idea because if it gets clogged with dirt or dust particles, these can affect your gas mileage by making the engine work harder to keep the car running. Not only will this make your car more costly to drive, but it can cause it to fail prematurely too.
2. Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection
Before you buy a used car, have it inspected by a licensed mechanic first to get an idea of how much life is left in the vehicle and if there are any possible issues that you will want to deal with before driving it. A thorough inspection should be able to list all significant problems that need attention and those that are only minor and will not affect the car’s reliability too much. This can save you from buying someone else’s problem, which could end up costing you a lot of money later.
3. Battery Care
Checking the battery in your car regularly for corrosion on the terminals is essential because it can cause the battery to die much faster than normal. It also needs to be replaced every five to six years, depending on its quality, because older types of batteries don’t hold a charge as well. Most auto parts stores will test the life of your battery and tell you if it is time to buy a new one. When you go to get a new battery, make sure that the price includes installation because it can be very difficult to put them in by yourself, and doing so may void your warranty as well.
4. Oil Changes Are Important
The oil inside your car’s engine needs to be changed periodically. You can usually tell when it needs replacing because your engine will make a loud clattering noise, and you will notice that your oil pressure is low. If left unchecked, the problem may get much worse and result in major engine damage. To avoid this from happening, make sure to have regular oil changes performed at a local auto parts store or dealership. Most professionals will be able to give you an estimate on how much time is left before your oil needs change, which can save you from being stranded with a broken-down vehicle later on down the road.
5. Check the Spark plugs
The spark plugs need to be checked regularly as well because they are responsible for igniting the gas in your engine. If any of them fail to ignite, it may result in bad gas mileage, or the vehicle could refuse to turn on. It is best to have them inspected by a professional before getting any repairs done because most auto parts stores will not replace them for free unless they are defective. It is possible to do this job yourself, but it can be challenging to get to them, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up damaging the plugs or your vehicle’s electrical system.
Spark plugs will need to be replaced about every 40,000 miles, so make sure to keep that in mind when checking them.
6. Use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Parts to Maintain the Warranty
All car manufacturers have a warranty on their vehicles, and to maintain it, they require that specific parts be used when performing repairs. If you need to get your vehicle fixed due to something going wrong while under the warranty period, make sure only OEM parts are used unless you prefer to do without the warranty. When you buy OEM parts, they are costly because you pay for the original manufacturer’s brand name and reputation. You can save money by purchasing aftermarket or generic parts that may not be as well made but will work just fine in your vehicle.
7. Take Care of Your Tires
Proper tire care will improve your vehicle’s gas mileage and make it last longer. One of the main things is to make sure they are properly inflated. This will not only affect how far you can drive on a tank of gas but also how long they will last before needing replacement. You should check them regularly using a tire pressure gauge and keep them at the recommended inflation levels. If you find any issues with them, such as holes or worn-out areas, have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage and wear on the rest of your tires.
8. Learn How to Do Minor Car Repairs
Another way you can save money on auto repairs is by learning how to do some minor repairs yourself. If you have a repair manual for your specific vehicle model, you can get a lot of information from this for free. There are even online repair manuals available to you, which will show good diagrams of what is involved with repairing and give you an idea of whether or not it is a job that’s within your ability.
When doing repairs yourself, you should always be careful about following safety precautions. When working on your car, make sure you are aware of any safety issues that may come up. You have the vehicle in the proper jacks and stands when raising it will help to keep you safe while you’re doing minor repairs. Also, be careful with using power tools for anything related to the removal or installation of parts that could cause injury if not handled correctly.
9. Always Be Prepared for Road Emergencies
It is essential always to be prepared for road emergencies because if something goes wrong while you are on the road, you can cause an accident which could result in injury or even death to yourself and others. Having all the necessary items with you in your car for emergencies can help to reduce the impact of these types of problems. They include things like a flashlight, first aid kit, flares or reflectors that are bright enough to be seen at night, signaling items that can help you alert other drivers to your presence when needed, and a spare tire.
10. Check your coolant levels regularly
Checking your coolant levels regularly can help you avoid overheating problems with your engine. If there is not enough, it could cause the engine to seize up and have to be replaced, which can cost thousands of dollars. To check, look at the bottom of the radiator towards the back or front of the vehicle. It should be about even with the level of the radiator cap, but not overfill it. Also, make sure you have enough coolant to take care of any repairs that might be needed because if they are done without adding more, it can cause damage to other parts of your engine.
By following these ten easy steps, you can save yourself a lot of time and money on vehicle repairs by taking care of the little things now before they become big problems later on.