Your car is one of the most expensive and costly investments in your life. Usually, only a house can match it for value. And like a house, its maintenance needs can also get pretty expensive. If you don’t want to end up spending thousands of dollars for the next few years, these are some things you could do to control your car expenses.
Have a Trusted Mechanic
A big mistake that many car owners make is that they go to every car shop looking for the best deal. The best way to get savings is by having a regular mechanic. The idea is similar to having a doctor or a dentist you trust. Since they know your car better, you can expect them to know what to do.
Additionally, connect with your mechanic, and they might surprise you. Take your business to them regularly, and they will show you their appreciation. They might throw in a discount or even some free services for being such a good customer.
Store Your Car Properly
Building a garage sounds expensive, but providing your car with protection from the elements can go a long way to keeping it running. Bring in your car for the night so that the elements won’t hurt your car exterior. Cosmetic repairs can end up costing you a lot in the run and besides the cosmetic damage, leaving your car out in the open leaves the mechanical and electrical parts open to corrosion and damage. It is better to prevent those from happening rather than repairing them afterward.
Read Your Manual
All cars come with manuals when you buy them. Many new car owners skip out on reading them, thinking that they are boring. But there is a lot of necessary information inside them. Even if you don’t do a detailed reading, you must check the maintenance section of the manual. This allows you to learn the maintenance schedules for the car. This includes oil changes, brake pad replacements, and more. There might even be special features in the car that you have to know.
If you bought a used car, the manual might be missing. Don’t worry about it. Many car manufacturers now upload their manuals for their cars online. Search for your model, and you can download a copy.
Learn to DIY
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. While there are some repairs that you should leave for your mechanic, there are some things you can do for yourself. All you need is some training and experience. The things that you can easily do for your car can be quite a bit. For example, while your local mechanic advertises cheap oil changes, you can do it for free. It is just a bit messy and will require that you have the free time for it, but it is doable.
Basic maintenance should be within anyone’s skills. Do some reading and watch some videos online. Your manual can be a big source of help once again since some of them have detailed instructions on how to do some things.
Warranties Are Your Friend
When you buy a car, you will usually get a set of warranties. This is because car parts often come with lifetime or limited warranty offer. If possible, you should take up these offers and use them as much as possible. Lifetime warranties are incredible value for the investment. Replacing a part can be as easy as filling a form, without even spending a cent. Even if you don’t think that you will be keeping the car that long, having a warranty option can be a great feeling in case something goes wrong.
Look For Coupons and Deals
The most expensive part of repairing your car is often the cost of replacement parts. Your mechanic might be able to source the parts, but they can’t offer you the lowest price. They usually go for the safe route, not the cheapest approach. But you have the option of doing so. Ask your mechanic which parts need replacing and whether you can supply the part yourself.
If you can buy the part for them, then you can hunt for discounts and deals. Online parts dealers can offer deep discounts, and you can even consider getting second-hand parts. They can surprise you with how good their condition is and how much money you can save.
Cars go through a lot of wear-and-tear. You will end up having to replace yours one day, but proper maintenance can allow you to get the most value from your car with minimal repairs.