Several individuals encounter the ordeals of a car repair, which happens to most of us. Vehicle owners may be concerned about repairs due to the costs, but some of them are unavoidable. Vehicles, after all, are machinery that can malfunction at any time. By planning ahead and scheduling regular maintenance, you can keep the price of costly repairs down the road to a minimum.
1. Make sure you understand the warranty
To find out if you’re still covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty, a drivetrain warranty, or both, dig out your warranty card or call the dealership with your vehicle identification number. Please find out how long you’re covered under either or both warranties, what they cover, and what you need to do to keep them valid. Your warranty is your best defense against having to pay for expensive repairs while it is still valid.
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2. Keep Your Warranty Intact
If a warranty clause covers your vehicle, make sure you don’t do or fail to do anything that will make it void. It entails maintaining your car regularly and keeping accurate records of those visits, regardless of who performs the maintenance. Although using an aftermarket or recycled item will not void your warranty in itself, be aware that if it is installed poorly or causes further damage to your vehicle, those repairs may not be covered.
3. Intermittent Maintenance
Once you buy the car, the first and most obvious step is to perform all necessary maintenance before it becomes a chronic issue. Small things like keeping your windshield washer fluid full, rotating your tires, checking coolant and oil levels, changing your oil regularly, having your brakes in good working order, and sending your car in for a once-over at least every six months are all part of it. All of these things can usually be done in one visit to a reputable independent mechanic for less than $100.
4. Keep a Check on Warning Lights
It is a clear result of the initial idea of good maintenance, yet you’d be shocked how many individuals put off going to the mechanic despite a warning light on the dashboard. It’s not a good idea to drive the car till it dies just because it starts and runs. The dash warning light signals that something significant is wrong with your vehicle and that it needs to be fixed right away. If you know your way around a car, you can always check the malfunction code with an OBD-II scanner and decide what to do next. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert on automobiles; most local auto parts businesses will gladly provide a scanner and search the codes for you for free.
5. Change Your Driving Style
The impact of your driving style on your maintenance intervals is surprising. You don’t want to spend $600 or more per year on new brake pads and rotors. Take it easy. That is all there is to it. You won’t have to use your brakes as much if you don’t accelerate away from every stoplight like a jackrabbit, which will extend the life of your discs (or drums) and pads. Similarly, more relaxed acceleration reduces wear and tear on your car’s engine, suspension, and gearbox, allowing those components to last much longer before needing repair—as well as avoiding the unnecessary strain that can lead to unexpected (and costly) failure.
6. Check the Levels of Fluid Often
The most crucial fluid level to monitor is oil. The optimum amount of oil ensures that the engine is properly lubricated and that friction is minimized. When you fill-up your gas tank, make it a practice to check the oil level. If you need to put more oil in the engine, make sure you use the oil that the car manufacturer recommends for the most outstanding results.
Check the coolant level regularly, especially during the summer and when traveling by car. Your engine won’t overheat as a result of this. Add a 50/50 blend of coolant and water to the radiator if the coolant level is low. You may have a coolant line leak that has to be repaired if your engine overheats frequently.
7. Look After Your Vehicle’s Tires
According to most manufacturers, tires should be rotated every 7,000 miles. It increases the longevity of your tires and ensures more even wear for increased road grip. Your tires should be rotated during every other oil change. Your suspension system suffers when the wheel alignment is improper. If you’re having trouble keeping control of your vehicle, check your alignment system to avoid developing more serious problems.
Proper tire pressure improves fuel economy and reduces the risk of a blowout on the highway, which may be dangerous, unpleasant, and costly if a tow is required. Follow the owner manual’s recommended tire pressure. When you go to the gas station, check the tire pressure and adjust it as needed.
8. Consider a Warranty Extension
Following the expiration of your original warranty, an extended warranty will cover some of the repair costs. It’s not always a good buy for all drivers because they’re typically expensive to acquire and come with high deductibles. Many experts recommend putting those payments into a repair savings account instead.
It’s time to accept reality: things are going to get complicated. Avoiding considerable sums of money is one of the most effective ways to ensure your financial future. You may save a lot of money by spending some time getting to know your vehicle’s manual. You’ll be more conscious of your maintenance plan, and you might even pick up a new skill.
Spend more time with your car rather than more money on it. Listen to the odd sounds it makes, and you’ll be able to detect issues before they occur. Please don’t overlook the check engine light when it comes on.