Budget Car Maintenance: Keeping Your Vehicle in Shape While on a Budget
If you’ve ever owned a car, you’re probably all too familiar with that dreadful feeling while discovering a maintenance issue. Whether it’s an oil leak in your driveway, a frozen air conditioner, or a thumping noise from under your hood, handling these issues is usually not very fun nor budget friendly.
Car owners cannot always avoid expensive emergency repairs, but they can be limited by performing proper routine maintenance. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape while sticking to your budget.
Start by Adding Maintenance to the Budget
While most people budget for car payments, insurance costs, and gasoline, people often forget to budget for vehicle maintenance. Budgeting for routine maintenance will not only assure that you don’t put off performing routine maintenance but will also save you money in the long run.
But where do you start?
Start by putting small amounts of money aside each month that you know you will need to spend on your car. It is important when creating a budget for car maintenance to get to know your car and its needs.
For example, If you know that your vehicle needs a $65 oil change every three months and a tire rotation every year, set money aside for that from each paycheck and it will not seem to be as much of an expense when the time comes. Your car’s maintenance guide will also provide general tips on how to care for your specific car, detailing what routine maintenance procedures should be done and how often.
It would be wise to put any amount of money aside for an emergency fund. As much as we try to limit emergency maintenance, it is sometimes unavoidable and often times when you least expect it. It is smart to have this money (or some of it) already set aside just in case of emergency; you never know when your transmission may fall out or your tie rods may snap!
You Get Out What You Put In
It is important to save money where you can when it comes to car expenses and maintenance. However, it is not always best practice to look to save a few cents when filling up at the pump.
An easy way to get more life out of your car and prolong any unforeseen emergency maintenance expenses is actually by spending a little more at the pump. Filling your car with premium, higher octane gasoline makes your vehicle more efficient and also more resistant to engine knocking. Engine knocking is not only unpleasant to the driver but can also land you in a mechanic shop pretty quickly as it can damage engine components.
Additionally, make sure that you are filling up with gasoline from a reputable brand or gas station. Bad gasoline in your vehicle will cause problems in your engine such as misfiring and stalling and can lead to reduced fuel economy. Spend the few extra cents at Kroger or BP before buying cheap gas off the side of the road and your wallet and your car may just thank you later.
Drivers looking to save money should also look to the many premium grade fuel companies which offer stellar reward programs to help loyal customers save a certain amount per gallon.
Be Your Own Handyman
Several routine maintenance procedures can be DIY to save money. These jobs can range from quick and simple to extremely time consuming and complicated. But it sure doesn’t hurt to give it a try!
Some of the simple DIY maintenance jobs are changing out your air filters and windshield wipers, replacing your spark plugs, and rotating your tires. If you wanted to go the extra mile you could start changing your own oil, flushing your radiator, and replacing your brake pads. Any of these maintenance jobs can be learned online and especially through a good ole YouTube video. What can’t you learn from a YouTube video these days?
Save Money on Parts
Most people want new nice things and shiny cars, but who cares how pretty your car battery is? If you are in need of a new battery and you are wanting to save money, consider buying a refurbished car battery for half the price. With proper care, refurbished batteries usually last around 5 years and provide the exact same use as brand new batteries. There are many other car parts you can find that are gently used, refurbished, or discounted such as tires, breaks, mirrors, and body parts.
These are just a few of the ways that you should be keeping up with your car maintenance no matter what kind of budget you are on.
For more tips on how to keep your vehicle in check while sticking to your budget, reach out to your nearest AZ Auto License Service Location.