5 min


The costs associated with maintaining a vehicle may add up quickly, and it’s never clear when anything will break down. In the long term, you can save both time and money by being proactive and keeping an eye on specific components of your vehicle.

If you want to save money on car maintenance, check out our handy checklist.

Schedule Checks & Services

Scheduling routine maintenance is one of the best methods to cut costs when it comes to keeping your car in top shape. Spending money when there are no obvious problems is counterproductive; instead, think of it as preventing future problems by staying on top of routine maintenance.

For instance, replacing brake pads is a common but inexpensive maintenance task. But if you wait too long to get new ones, you can end up damaging the brake discs, which is a far more expensive repair.

The number of miles you put on your automobile each year determines how often you should have it checked and maintained. A vehicle that is driven regularly over long distances has to be serviced more frequently than one that is driven less frequently over shorter distances.


Check your Oil

Many individuals won’t touch their cars until a professional technician has checked them over first. However, some tasks are simpler than they appear to be at home. The oil warning light or alert can be found in many vehicles to let you know when oil problems have arisen. Ignoring it will not make it go away!

Your car can’t function properly without oil. If it runs out, the engine won’t function properly since the moving parts won’t be greased. This can lead to annoying clunking and grinding noises, as well as damage to hard-to-replace engine components. Aside from lowering fuel economy and causing engine parts damage, dirty oil can be a problem when it accumulates.

Be sure to keep track of when you last changed the oil and when it was changed. Knowing how to check the oil and keeping track of any changes is a good first step, even if you choose not to replace it yourself.


Replace your Air Filters

The intake system of your car pulls air in, filters it, and sends it to the engine’s combustion chambers. When this airflow is blocked, the engine will splutter or stop working altogether.

Most cars contain at least one particulate filter for the air that is fed into the engine for combustion. The engine’s air filter should be inspected and cleaned or replaced frequently. It’s more practical to replace things than to repair them. In reality, “lifetime” filters typically only last as long as the vehicle does. Depending on the local temperature, level of contaminants, and air quality, air filters should be changed every other oil change at the very least. Since filter replacement costs are minimal, it makes sense to do so on a regular basis.

Fuel and oil filters are also crucial to your car’s performance. Use only high-quality filters, or insist on using only high-quality (ideally OEM) filters. If you consult your owner’s manual, you’ll see when you should change your oil and fuel filter. Be sure to strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Check your Battery

The typical lifespan of an automobile battery is between two and five years. By performing some simple maintenance, you may extend the life of your battery. You should perform an annual battery check and be on the lookout for indicators that the battery is about to die. Troubles like dull headlights and a vehicle that’s difficult to start or won’t start at all fall into this category. A voltage meter, available at any auto parts retailer or online, can be used to check the battery power in your vehicle. When the voltage reads 12.39 volts or below, the battery has reached its end of life.

If you forget to turn off your car’s lights and the battery dies, you can give it a jump start, but it’s a sign that it needs to be charged for at least 24 hours. If the battery still won’t start the car after that, it’s time to get a new one, though you should also check the charging system in your car. Any vehicle repair shop should be able to do this for less than $40.

Make sure the terminals on your automobile batteries are clear of corrosion and accumulated debris. Also, ensure that the wires coming from the connectors are taut and free of frays or fractures.


Check your Windshield

Stones and other road debris can easily chip or fracture a windshield. Nevertheless, it is crucial to identify and address these issues immediately. Always keeping your windshield clean will improve your visibility. When the windshield is spotless, check it carefully for damage. And make sure to have them addressed before they grow worse.

Auto Glass Repair Newark estimates that mending a chip or crack will cost about $100. However, if there is a large break across the windshield, it can cost as much as $500 to repair.


Lights On

The lights on your automobile should be checked once every week or two as a simple maintenance check. All lights, but especially the headlights, brake lights, and turn signals, must function properly. Get a helping hand from a friend to see if the brake lights come on when you use the brakes.

It’s risky to drive with broken lights, and it’ll cost you if the cops pull you over.


Tire Shopping

When it comes to auto repair shops, most of them provide similar pricing on the same types of parts. Tires are the one and only exception to this rule. Tire prices can vary widely, so it’s important to look around for a good deal. Look around at various tire retailers and manufacturers, and do some research online. Keep an eye out for discounts, as many tire manufacturers compete for your business by selling packages of tires at a reduced price.

It never hurts to inquire as to whether or not your favorite provider will match the price of a competing estimate. If you want to know you’re getting the greatest deal on auto components, use this rule of thumb.

Using some safe driving practices might also help your tires last longer. Tire wear is increased by driving faster than the posted speed limit and rapid acceleration or deceleration. In order to preserve your tires for as long as possible, avoid damaging them by parking too close to the curb.


Invest in OBD2

Purchasing an OBD2 reader may be the best option if you want to be more pro-active in your car maintenance. This compact on-board diagnostics device may be plugged into your vehicle and provides a wealth of information on your vehicle’s performance and maintenance needs. The most important data may be accessed quickly and easily from your cell phone with the help of an app that is compatible with many of the latest OBD2 scanners.

Using an OBD2 scanner before you have automotive trouble can save you money on diagnostic fees at the mechanic or repair shop.


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