Car maintenance can get expensive if you’re not careful. Luckily, it’s easy to save money while keeping your car running smoothly. All it takes is a little time and patience. Taking care of small maintenance issues in a timely manner can save you a fortune down the road.
Read Your Owner’s Manual
Dig through your glove box, pull out your owner’s manual and read it. This is the simplest and quickest way to save on car maintenance. Reading it will teach you what your car needs and when it needs it.
You’ll learn when to change your oil, rotate your tires and service your brakes and transmission. The savings you’ll get with this knowledge are two-fold. First, you won’t naively follow a service department’s recommendations, which tend to be one-size-fits-all and may require you to service your car too often. Secondly, you won’t accidentally wait too long between maintenance checks, which can cause expensive problems to develop.
Change Your Oil on Time
This is probably the simplest, most important thing you can do to extend the life of your car. Your car simply has to have oil to run. Let it go too long without changing it, and you will do serious damage to your engine.
Save money on oil changes by changing the oil only as often as the owner’s manual recommends. Don’t blindly follow the guidance of a service station. In the past, the general recommendation was to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Many service stations still recommend this schedule even though most newer model cars don’t need their oil changed nearly this often.
Check Fluid Levels
Oil isn’t the only fluid you need to watch closely. Transmission fluid, power steering fluid and antifreeze levels are also very important. Maintaining the correct levels of these fluids is a good way to keep your car running smoothly.
To save money, don’t take your car to a service department solely for the purpose of getting your fluid levels checked, unless they will do it for free. Checking fluid levels is something you can easily learn to do yourself.
Windshield Wiper Fluid and Blades
Changing your windshield wiper blades and replacing the fluid yourself will also save you a lot of money in the long run. You can buy windshield wiper blades at an automotive shop and easily install them yourself. Windshield wiper fluid is available at many places, including automotive shops and even grocery stores, and it’s very easy to refill.
Take Care of Your Tires
It’s important that your tires hold just the right amount of air because both under-inflating and over-inflating them can cost you money. Improperly inflating your tires can also cause wrecks, so it’s a safety issue as much as a money-saving one.
Overinflated tires will quickly wear down in the center treads, which can greatly reduce their lifespan. Under-inflated tires can decrease your gas mileage by as much as 10 to 15 percent, which can really increase your gas bill. Keeping your tires filled with the right amount of air will save you money and keep you safe on the road.
Regularly rotating and balancing your tires will also increase their lifespan. Many tire dealerships will perform one or both of these services for free if you purchase your tires from them.
You Can Save Money on Car Maintenance
It’s entirely possible to make your car last longer and run better while saving money. Start with your owner’s manual, which will point you in the right direction. Follow its advice and stay proactive to avoid expensive maintenance issues. You’ll save money and enjoy a smoothly running car for many years.
However, should your engine or transmission fail, it’s important to be informed about your options for replacement. Many people do not realize that it is actually very cost effective to purchase a replacement engine and/or transmission and have it installed by a reputable local mechanic. At Powertrain Direct, we offer a variety of powertrain replacement parts to fit every possible budget: