Owning a vehicle can be very expensive. If you obtained a loan, you have monthly car loan payments. You have to pay annually to register and update the tabs. You also have to account for routine vehicle maintenance and unexpected repairs. While you cannot prevent all of the costs associated with vehicle ownership, you can take the following steps to prevent frequent and costly repairs and upkeep fees.
Schedule routine inspections
Routine inspections ensure that your vehicle is running properly and efficiently. Your vehicle can still run, even with a problem under the hood. However, it can cause you to use more gas or it could eventually cause a more expensive part, such as the transmission or engine to malfunction. Car breakdowns can be avoided by periodically checking vehicle belts and hoses and replacing them when worn. At least one belt was reported as unsatisfactory in nearly one fifth of the vehicles inspected in a study (19%) and 17% of the vehicles required at least one new hose. If you are wondering how to choose the right auto repair service, find one that recommends routine inspections to prevent more costly of repairs.
Change tires when needed
Many drivers are unaware that their tires affect the rest of the vehicle. As your tires wear down, you put the rest of your vehicle at an increased risk of damage. You also utilize more gas and are likely to notice a significant increase in the amount of money spent on gas. You will also find that changing out an entire set of tires is more cost effective than changing one at a time. Every couple of years, depending on your driving habits, you should change the entire set of tires. If you live in a four season state, consider rotating your tires frequently or changing to a set of winter and ice tires. This is also a great way to remember when to get your wheels aligned.
Routine oil changes
Oil change services are everywhere today. You cannot drive a couple of miles without spotting at least a couple. Oil is necessary for the health of your engine and transmission. Not only can you run out of oil, but the oil can become sludgy and ineffective. Synthetic oils burn cleaner and therefore resist the sludgy deposits that we sometimes see with conventional oils. In fact, Penzoil Ultra Platinum Synthetic Oil keeps pistons up to 65% cleaner than the toughest industry standards and more than 25% cleaner than Mobil 1 or Valvoline SynPower.
Ensure that you have getting oil change services minimally, two times per year. Oil change services are not expensive and many local shops offer discounts, as well as oil change coupons. If you have other vehicle maintenance completed, such as auto repairs or tire rotations, you can request a complementary oil change. Depending on the extent of the vehicle services, the shop may give you a discount or only charge you for the oil.
Change brake pads often
Many vehicle owners are not even aware that brake pads should be changed regularly. Brake repairs usually require a simple change of the brake pads. Over time, they wear down and do not work as efficiently. This is when you notice a change in the amount of time it takes to break. Changing the brake pads is another service that is not very expensive, but if left unrepaired, can lead to more expensive of problems. Try to have your brake pads inspected during every oil change service.
Owning a vehicle is necessary in many parts of the country. However, it can be very expensive. To prevent throwing all of your hard earned money into your vehicle, keep up with maintenance and repairs. Schedule oil change services twice yearly, replace your tired when needed, change brake pads frequently, and know when it is time for a vehicle service.