As the majority of our population knows, vehicle maintenance is a constant thing and can easily become costly. Thankfully there are ways to keep up with the needs of your automobile all the while keeping more money in your pocketbook where it belongs:
01: Read the Owner’s Manual
It might not sound too exciting at first, but reading and becoming familiar with your vehicle’s owner manual can help immensely. The knowledge you obtain will probably be more useful than what you thought possible. It can inform you on everything from what your dashboard warning lights mean to where your spare tire is located and much more in between. In the long run, knowing the items in the owner’s manual makes you understand the vehicle you’re driving thus you can understand when all is right or if something becomes off-kilter.
02: Have a Reputable Auto Repair Shop/ Mechanic You Trust
Going to the same auto repair shop and becoming a regular customer can definitely help in the long run. Building that interpersonal relationship with the crew that’s going to be in charge of the wellbeing of your vehicle is very important because you’re putting your trust in them for you to get from point A to point B safely. If you don’t currently have one or are looking to switch places, consider reading online reviews or asking around from trustworthy sources to get an idea of where to go.
03: Do Preventative Maintenance
Put your knowledge to use and perform preventative maintenance on your vehicle yourself. These items can include but are not limited to: routine oil changes, checking the spark plugs, hose and filters and keeping up on the wellness of your battery and engine.
04: Get Price Quotes
When inflating happens, so does the cost of all items. Along with that includes the prices of vehicle maintenance overall. Keeping up-to-date on the cost of items in life can be helpful when it comes time for you to purchase something. This also applies when it’s time for your vehicle to get a regular checkup or if you need to take it in for a repair. That way you know an approximate sum of what might be charged. In order not to be shocked when you go to pay the bill, ask for a price quote before the work is actually done. If you’re not comfortable with the amount you’re told, consider requesting a breakdown of the total. If you still believe you’re being asked to pay too much, it never hurts to get multiple quotes from different places.
05: Heed Warning Signs
Believe it or not, your vehicle talks to you in a sense. Make sure you listen to what it’s trying to tell you and, if it needs attention, take action. For instance, dashboard light warnings such as the “check engine” or “low fuel” lights are helpful and pretty straightforward. Some brake pads start squeaking - informing you to at least get them checked and perhaps replaced. If your vehicle is having troubles starting, there might be an issue with a low battery or the starter or alternator might be going out. The best thing to do in most cases is to take it in and let a professional take a look at it. However, the sooner you take it in after warning signs ensue, the more likely the cost will be less in the long run and the safer you’ll be on the road.