In an ideal world, cars do not break down. There is no need for you to take the car to the repair shop. And you don’t get to pay exorbitant repair fees. Of course, that is just a dream. The truth is your car will break down at one point. Then you have to have it repaired. Finally, there is the bill that needs to be settled. If you are fortunate, it can cost you hundreds of dollars only. Worst case scenario is the thousand dollar bill that you have to pay for. So how do you achieve that “happy car, happy wallet” scenario?
Precautionary Maintenance Is All Your Car Needs
This may sound as if precautionary maintenance is the only answer to avoid car repairs. The other answer is: new car. This will cost you, of course. With regular maintenance, the series of little problems that become compounded is avoided. Some will think that doing maintenance is time consuming. When you do maintenance tasks regularly, you only need to spend 5 to 10 minutes and you are done.
- Read the manual. This is the basic thing that most vehicle owners neglect to do. It does not matter whether you have owned 10 other cars previously. Every car has a manual that goes with it. And in it is the schedule of maintenance that you can check. There are also tips that you can follow to enhance your car’s serviceability. If you would use hours of your time reading the manual of your coffee maker, then you should also do the same with the car’s manual.
- Use the App. To help you with remembering your car’s maintenance program, you can use the app appropriate for your lifestyle (or your kind of phone). If you have an Android smartphone, you can use Car Maintenance Reminder or aCar. For iPhone users, there’s Car Minder Plus. These apps give you gentle and strong reminders regarding car maintenance. They can even provide information on car repair history, mileage, last fill-ups and all other things essential for a happy car. These apps are also free.
- Do-It-Yourself Tasks. There are many DIY maintenance tasks that you can do. Doing these tasks can help you save serious bucks. Schedule a one a week inspection. Check your lights if they are working well. Do a once-over of your tires, tire treads, tire pressure and other things that you do not get to look at every day.
Check the oil, fluids and the battery. Learn how to check the fluid and the oil levels. You would also be able to keep your money if you learn how to change the fluids and oil by yourself. Clean the battery regularly with a battery cleaning brush. Make sure that the contacts are clean and that there is no build-up.
These are some things that you can replace yourself: air filters, spark plugs and windshield wipers. When your wipers leave streaks on the windshield, it is time to replace them. Air filters should have a month’s lifespan and should be replaced.
- If you can’t fix it, don’t. There are tasks that you can do on your car. And then there are some that are beyond your capabilities. Admit that and contact a professional mechanic to do the job. Just be sure of some things before you let a mechanic touch your car. Ask a quotation first. Gently remind them that what needs to be repaired is the only thing that will be repaired. This will ensure that you don’t pay for additional or hidden costs.
When your car is running fine and you have savings in the bank, this can only mean one thing: the happy you!