Are you looking for the tips & tricks to keep repair costs down for your vehicle? No worries! Here, in this article, I’m going to list some smart moves to save serious money on car repairs.
A car is the 2nd largest purchase that the consumers make, after a home. But, it’s a fact that costs never stop, when you own the vehicle. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2nd largest household expense is to own and operate a vehicle, which is approximately $8,800/year.
1. Know The Car’s History
The first way to save money on serious car repairs is to ensure you buy a good car. Be extra careful while buying pre-owned vehicles. If the vehicle is 10 or more years old, the repair and maintenance costs usually add up to higher than the worth of the car itself. First of all, you need to make sure that the car you have is safe to drive. For this, it’s crucial to know the history of the car and what all it has been through in the past years.
Just ask the seller to show up the receipts regarding repairs, maintenance, and services. If he does not have any receipts, then you should seriously reconsider your options! You may also ask about the car’s extended warranties and personalized registrations. Last but not the least, do ask about the police reports. If the car went through some serious accidents, there must be a police report to escort it.
2. Check The Odometer Before Buying
When you are considering buying a used car, you must check the odometer for sure. Obviously, it’s always a good thing to have the car with the less mileage. You can find the cars with the less odometer reading, especially from the old folks, as they drive less, and you will get a more reliable vehicle. If you buy a five year old car that has run more than 60,000 Kms, then you’ll surely get in trouble as such cars ask for more maintenance costs.
3. Clean Interiors
While you are checking out the car’s interiors before the purchase, check out the button controls and other such functions as well, to ensure they all work fine. Check out the seat cover for tears and stains as you may end up spending more on these later.
If you are the seller, try to keep the interior clear of stains, smells and the other things as these may lead to car devaluation. Try to put seat covers on to keep the actual ones clean and safe. And when you plan to sell the car, just take them off before the buyers arrive.
4. Don’t Just Rely on the Carfax
Many consumers rely on Carfax reports which reveal the history of the car. Most of the car dealers and owners offer a carfax; however, this does not mean it’s accurate. In fact, most of the studies show that most vehicles have been in some kind of accident, however small, and these reports may don’t include the damage done. So, be aware and don’t just rely on it, as this could mean extra costs for you later on. Have the car checked thoroughly by a professional car mechanic, if needed.
5. Maintain The Exterior
Once you have bought the car, you certainly have to avoid scratches and dents. Always drive carefully.
You also need to check the garage or the ground where the car is parked to inspect the oil pools, which will indicate any problem in the car engine or the transmission. Overlooking small details will cost you a lump sum of money on repairing and also, it will devalue your car from the actual market value.
6. Rotate Your Tires
Just keep it in mind, as compared to the rear tires, front tires wear out more quickly. By replacing them from time to time, you can make sure that all tires wear out in an even way and that you won’t have to replace them ahead of time. This will eventually save your time, money and of course the hassles you face all along.
7. Replace Your Air Filter
It’s very crucial to keep your car’s air filter clean. It will clean the engine and this eventually improves the fuel economy. Try to replace it every 28,000 miles or so. For the exact timetable, you can check your owner’s manual. Replacing air filter is quite an easy job to do, which will curtail overall maintenance cost. You just need 5 minutes and there you go! If you don’t know how to do it; you can learn it by viewing YouTube videos as well.
8. Handle Other Easy Repairs
Handling of other easy repairs such as replacing wiper blades, lights and fuses by yourself, will help you cut down overall fixing costs. It’s very easy to deal with these little things. If you have a busy schedule, just plan ahead to do it on the weekends. You can also watch how-to-do videos for more information on your car problems.
9. Changing the Oil
Usually, mechanics tell that you have to change the oil every 3000 miles, but this criteria is only for used cars. When it comes to the new cars, they contain synthetic oils that can easily cover more than 10000 miles before requiring change. Don’t forget to see the manual card and keep an eye on the exact oil date change.
Whether you are young or old, always try to use these simple tricks which not only ensure you buy a reliable and safe vehicle, but also saves you maintenance money in the long run.
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