Money Saving Car Maintenance Tips
The cost of car maintenance can mean a great deal of money each year, especially as your vehicle starts to age. Research has shown that motorists spend approximately £162 each month on repairs and/or maintenance, not including the initial purchase cost. In some cases, this cost can run into large expenditures on a yearly basis.
We want to give you some valuable tips to help keep your expenses down and your vehicle running in top shape:
Don’t Put Off Maintenance Until It’s Too Late
Should your vehicle become damaged or suffer from wear and tear, you should get it taken care of as soon as possible. Wear and tear or damage can increase the problem, making repairs even more expensive. For instance, if your brake pads are wearing out, your car will suffer from disc damage which will be a great deal more expensive and can be dangerous. Regular maintenance should protect you from high costs for repairs and keep you safe.
Keep On Top Of Your Service Manual & Scheduled Services
If your car is relatively new, you might want to take your vehicle into a franchised dealer for any needed services or repairs. Even though this could be more expensive, over the long-run, it will ensure the value of your vehicle. If you prefer a full manufacturer’s service history, you will definitely spend a great deal more money.
As your car ages and the mileage increases, you might consider taking your vehicle to a local garage instead of a franchised dealer to save on the costs. Due to the repair or maintenance costs, there will be little to no impact on your car’s value when you are ready to sell it.
Comparison Shop For Tyres To Save On Costs
When it’s time to replace your tyres, shop around to get the best quotes. Quotes can vary enormously but some providers might offer a price match which is worth looking into. In some cases, there might be room to haggle the cost.
You Can Save Costs By Performing A Pre-MOT Check First
An MOT Check includes checking your interior warning lights, brake lights, wheels, and tyres to name a few. You should check all these items out first because even though your garage may give you a free retest, they could charge you a good deal of money for inexpensive fixes. Also, it can be very inconvenient to get repairs elsewhere first and discover you must return for an MOT.
Check Reviews And Comments Online
Before hiring anyone, check out reviews and comments from customers to find the best local garage and/or mechanic. Get recommendations from the friends or family you trust. It’s possible you can get a better deal if you are a valued customer who has left positive feedback.
You should also look into both independent and franchised garages to make the best choice. There are many excellent independent specialists for high-end vehicles such as Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes. Do not overlook using Google to find someone in your area. Also, keep in mind, independent specialists can offer options for using manufacturers or aftermarket parts. You could possibly get your car repaired with original parts and save on labour costs.
Keep in mind, if you need warranty work performed, most local garages or specialists are not authorised by the manufacturer to make these repairs. Also, if you need specific parts quickly it might depend on who will be able to accommodate you in a timely manner. You might be able to ask for a better price if you have been quoted less elsewhere.
Do Your Homework For Standard Maintenance First
If you think a mechanic is recommending unnecessary work, you should check it out and get a second opinion. Getting online quotes from online sites, you could save on costs. You do not have to use these online garages but you might get a better handle on what you should be paying.
How To Save Money On Parts
If you shop around, you might be pleasantly surprised to save on the costs of parts. If this is not something you are knowledgeable about, ask a family member or friend who is good at this and get their advice. Check with your mechanic first to see if he is willing to use your parts. Some mechanics will only use parts they have ordered and have in stock, understandably so as they will use a supplier they trust.
Installing rubber mats or seat covers will protect the fabric inside your car, particularly if you travel with children and/or pets. You might not like seat covers but they can improve the resale value of your vehicle.
Regularly check your oil level to prevent damage to your engine. If your oil is too low it can lead to very expensive repairs and in some cases go beyond repair.
Is An Extended Warranty Worth It?
You do not have to purchase an extended warranty from the manufacturer but if you do you can save a lot of money for unexpected repairs. There are many extended warranty providers on the market so do some research to find the best deal at a decent price that works for you. Always read through the warranty to find out what is covered so read carefully. Getting the right warranty could save you significant money when something unforeseen happens. As an example, some warranties do not cover wear and tear and therefore may not be a good choice. Paying close attention is very important if your car has a high mileage or is getting older.
Do It Yourself
If you have the experience and knowledge to perform some maintenance on your car, you will save significant money. There are also many places online that have great advice and guides to help you brush up, including YouTube. With a bit of skilled knowledge, it can come in really handy to help you get your vehicle repaired and save on the costs. Though many vehicles these days have sophisticated computer management systems that will be beyond the general vehicle owners capabilities, even with some research online.
Inflating Your Tyres
It’s really important that your tyres are at the correct pressure. You can easily find out the proper pressure by checking your manual for the right inflation level. If your tyres are not properly inflated you will spend more on fuel as more fuel is burned when tyres are not fully inflated and eventually your tyres can wear out. Your vehicle also seem sluggish to drive.
Your Air Filter
A clean air filter will also save money on fuel and prevent wear and tear on your engine. If you need to replace the filter, you can do it yourself or take it to a mechanic. If you have a friend who is mechanically inclined, they can show you the filter and point out when it needs to be changed. Once you know how to change it, you will save on expenses.
Your Driving Habits Play A Role
Your driving habits play a big role in your fuel consumption. Driving at high speeds or constantly hitting the accelerator will cause excessive fuel costs. Good driving habits can reduce the costs and ease the stress associated with potentially bad driving habits.
Your Motor Oil
Word of advice, choose a higher quality motor oil and make sure you choose the correct grade. Choosing higher quality brands might cost slightly more, but the quality of oil will allow your engine to perform better and you will use less fuel. Check your oil regularly and if you need just a bit more, top it up.
You may not know, running your A/C, will burn up to 25% more fuel! There are times you have to run the air conditioning but try to avoid turning it up full. If you can run the A/C at a lower level, you will save money. LMC Birchwood offer a air condition regas/recharge or air con service, we are also the only garage in the area to offer a regas/rrecharge with the new HFO-1234YF gas.
Plan Trips Ahead Of Time
If you plan ahead for a trip, you can save on the cost of petrol. Possibly some trips can be linked together and by choosing the most direct routes. GPS can be helpful along with finding the best routes on websites offering these services. Or check an old fashioned map.
Avoid Excessive Weight
You should check out your vehicle and remove items that are heavy to save on fuel. You might have items you have constantly overlooked but you take with you everywhere you go. Place them in your garage or in storage if you do not need them all the time.
These tips will help you to maintain the operation of your car and help you to trim your expenses. Taking some good advice will help keep more money in your pockets, daily, weekly, and monthly! Saving money should not be difficult. Follow your required maintenance schedules and make sure your car is in top shape.
Be sure and shop around for better prices as well as for better products that will help your car out over the long-term. Keep in mind, to follow the advice of your manufacturer in terms of service schedules, maintenance and parts, this will not only increase your car’s life but will save you money in the long run.
If you are in or around Birchwood, Warrington, Winwick, Risley, Partington, Padgate, Newton le Willows, Lymm, Lowton, or Irlam? Lowton Motor Company Birchwood is the solution to your professional car care requirements. With over 25 years of experience, we have thhe knowledge to keep your vehicle in tip top shape. As the largest garage in Birchwood we provide a convenient and affordable service.