Looking for ways to save money on car maintenance? Owning a car can be an exciting step up in life. It means freedom and independence to go wherever you want whenever you want.
But it also means responsibility.
We don’t mean that in a negative way. Taking care of your car can actually save you money, time and energy in the long run — and it truly doesn’t need to take a lot of effort.
We’ll lay out five basic principles of car maintenance that will ensure your car runs as long as possible.
5 Ways To Save Money On Car Maintenance
First things first, driving safely and sensibly will save you thousands in the long run. That might sound like common sense, but take a drive during rush hour and you’ll find many drivers neglect the concept.
Maintaining safe speeds, breaking slowly and accelerating as easily as possible will prevent expensive damage to your vehicle and save you gas money.
Get regular tune-ups
Next, find a mechanic you trust and schedule regular tune-ups.
What is a tune-up? We’re glad you asked. It involves replacing parts of your car that take the biggest beating over time, like your air filter, spark plugs, oxygen sensor and more. It can also include some basic maintenance work, such as an oil change, brake check and air-conditioning test.
It takes a little extra time and cash on your part to do this, but prevention will save you thousands in repairs over the years. Aim to get a tune-up every year or so.
Monitor your vehicle’s overall health
While a trusted mechanic is invaluable in preserving the integrity of your car, a little preventative maintenance on your part is also important.
To save yourself any extra trips to the mechanic and some costly diagnostic tests, you can also invest in an OBD II monitor to keep track of what’s going on under your hood.
All you need is a monitor — find one that can check your engine and your tires — and a smartphone. You can set up an app to display all the vital information on your dashboard and receive push alerts to help you spot and fix potential issues quicker than ever before.
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Learn how to do a few things yourself
With the help of an OBD II monitor and that trusted mechanic, you can also start to learn a few simple maintenance tricks yourself.
After reading your owner’s manual, start with something easy, like replacing your brake lights or windshield wipers. Then, move on to something a little more advanced, like changing your oil.
You’ll be surprised by how much you can do yourself — and how much you’ll save on labor costs.
Take advantage of warranties
Finally, don’t forget about the warranty you signed. Both new and used cars usually come with some form of warranty deal that can help offset maintenance and repair costs.
To find out what kind of warranty you have, get your car’s VIN number and mileage ready. Then, call the dealership where the car was purchased or one that sells your vehicle. An employee should be able to help you figure out what is available for you.
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You’ve Got This!
We know that it can be intimating taking on such a big responsibility, but doing your best to be mindful of how you drive and what you do to maintain your vehicle is sure to take some of the stress off your plate.
So snag the car monitor, set up an appointment with a technician and review that owner’s manual before you hit the road!