Owning a car does not end in driving it. Maintenance practices are crucial to ensure that your vehicle is safe for you and your passengers. However, it can be a real drag. You’ll have to change the oil every 5,000 miles, rotate the tires regularly, and check your engine frequently. But doing so is vital to prevent significant repairs in the future that may cost you thousands of dollars. If you have an old vehicle, extending your car’s life day by day is an accomplishment.
Here are seven car maintenance tips to keep your car pristine and avoid unnecessary repair costs due to poor car care.
1. Check Your Spare Tire
Apart from constantly checking your four tires, you also need to ensure that your spare tire will never let you down. The last thing you’ll need is having a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and not having a spare tire to replace it. In that case, you’ll need to call a tow truck, which can cost you hundreds of dollars.
To avoid this scenario, test your tires’ air pressure every month, including your spare tire.
2. Change Oil Every 5,000 Miles
Di you know that oil problems are some of the most expensive car maintenance issues to repair? This is because oil has a massive impact on your car’s functions. So, it’s better to spend as little as $30 for change oil services than to risk your car’s overall functionality and spend more than what you can afford.
3. Paint Maintenance
Car maintenance does not just involve utmost care for the engine. It should also involve the vehicle’s overall appearance, including the exterior and interior. If you have leather seats, make sure to clean your car seats with a leather conditioner to ensure that it stays looking good as new.
Similarly, car experts suggest washing the car at least once a week with a sponge and automotive shampoo. Once you’re through, wax your car to give it an extra layer of protection. If you notice any damage to your paint, it’s wiser to take it to an auto body paint shop to prevent it from getting worse.
4. Always Clean Your Battery
Corrosion (which is bluish or white powder) can form on different areas of your battery. If you do not clean your battery regularly, it could create a crack and cause it to function poorly, leaving you stranded in the most unpleasant places. Keep in mind that a new car battery can go as high as $100, plus car tow services cost even more. So, buying a $3 wire brush and cleaning your battery is definitely worth the effort.
5. Replace Your Brake Pads
Once you hear an unusual sound as you hit the brakes, it’s time to change the pads. A brand new set of brake pads can cost up to $300, excluding the labor fee if you want to be professionally installed. Of course, that price may seem hefty, but changing your pads is vital to ensure that they work perfectly fine when you’re driving. An accident can cost you more than $300, so think carefully.
6. Replace Air Filter
Air filters block pollutants and prevent them from coming inside the car. As you can see, it has a significant role in keeping the air inside your vehicle clean, so you need to treat it well. Besides, an old filter can affect your car’s air conditioning system, and honestly, you won’t want that. AC unit replacement can cost you around $1,000 to $4,000 while replacing your filter at least once a year can cost you about $15 only.
7. Replace Your Wipers
Depending on the model and make of your vehicle, a new pair of windshields can cost you from $30 to $50. While you might think that it’s too expensive for something not entirely relevant, functional wipers are huge necessities when you’re driving on the open road. After all, they help you see the road.
Cleaning your windshields is crucial, too, as dust can build up over time. They can even cause glass breakdown. Just remember that a new pair of wipers is way cheaper than getting a brand-new windshield for your car.
The more proactive you are in keeping your car in excellent condition, the less money you’ll need to spend on repairs and significant fixes. And while you might think that your car insurance can cover these expenses, think about the hassle you’ll go through. You’ll submit documents, pay fines or extra fees, and on top of that, you will have to wait at least a week or more before you can use your car again. Maintain your car as much as you can to prolong its lifespan. Spending a few bucks on maintenance practices is always worth the money.