The thing about owning a car is that one minute it’ll cost you little to maintain. And, the next, you could end up facing a big repair bill because something expensive broke!
These days cars are quite robust and will last provided they have the right maintenance. But, even some routine service work and repairs can end up costing a small fortune.
Is there a way to keep those costs down, or should you consider getting to your destinations on a bicycle from now on? The good news is you don’t have to brace yourself for two-wheeled transport. You might not know it, but it’s quite simple to maintain your car like a cheapskate!
The brilliant news is you can also make sure it’s well-maintained at the same time! Here’s what you need to do:
Perform weekly checks on your car
One way to avoid unexpected repair bills is by carrying out simple yet quick weekly checks on your car. The main areas to cover include:
- Wheels, tyres, brake discs and pads;
- Engine fluids (oil, transmission, coolant, power steering, and windscreen washer);
- Front and rear exterior lights, including side-mounted turn signals; and
- The exhaust system.
All you need to do is a quick visual inspection of each component. When it comes to checking fluids, be sure to top up any reservoirs that are low. If you keep needing to top them up, you may have a leak somewhere. In those cases, check the hoses related to that area for leaks.
Repair rather than replace
It’s a sad fact that we live in a disposable society. These days, many car mechanics would rather replace faulty components than repair them. You might not realise it, but there’s still a community of car owners that prefer to repair things if they can.
For instance, let’s say that you own a premium sports car like a Porsche 911. The brake discs on them can cost a small fortune to replace. If yours become “warped”, you can have them ground down until they are flat again. The cost is a tiny percentage of the new replacement parts.
Other items like starter motors and alternators become faulty due to small, inexpensive components. Again, repairing those items can save you hundreds!
Buy used parts instead of new ones
Some things you’ll need to buy brand new, such as engine drive belts and brake pads. Of course, there are many things that you can source on the secondhand market.
When searching for spare car parts, always look to see if going down the used part route is a viable option. Again, it’ll save you lots of money. In some cases, the used parts might be items that have never got fitted to a car. They could just be items where the official boxes got opened up!
Service your car at home
One final tip is to consider doing basic oil changes and services on your vehicle at home. The workshop tools you need are inexpensive and can get used on any car. Plus, you’ll save hundreds on garage labour rates.