Having your very own vehicle is not easy and can be costly. Even though, many people always end up taking care of their vehicle’s insurance and the gas by allotting a specific budge for it; they often forget about regular maintenance of their vehicle. When you save up for emergency maintenance, you will end up saving on expensive repairs.
Depending on the size and brand of the vehicle you have, owning a car can cost around $6,000 to up to $10,000 on a yearly basis. When it comes to routine maintenance, it can cost you around $1,200 per year, according to a study that was conducted by AAA. Therefore, it is vital to have a separate budget plan for this purpose.
How To Make A Car Maintenance Plan
Before you plan out a budget for the maintenance of your car, it is important that you have a plan consisting of the major areas you want to focus on. In this case, it helps to have a car maintenance checklist.
In general, you should have these major parts listed here checked, when it comes to the maintenance of your car: replacing the windshield wiper, having an oil change, replacing or rotating the tires, getting a new battery, and replacing the brake pads. The details of why it is important to get these things checked and their cost is discussed below.
Besides these important parts, make sure that you stay alert whenever you feel like your car is giving your signals regarding something else that might require attention. For instance, strange noises coming from the engine, squeaking brakes, when your ‘check engine’ light flashes, when your car shakes once you accelerate, and so on.
Moreover, there’s also a manual that comes with your car; hence, you need to go over it in order to see the proper routine maintenance that should be done on your specific vehicle.
Major Car Parts That Need Maintenance And Why
When you get a new car, it requires less attention. However, as the years go by, you might see yourself visiting your mechanic every few months or so. Of course, this depends on the type of car you have. There are certain cars that are more reliable, while others come with their own set of mechanical issues that might develop over time.
It should be noted that the different costs mentioned in this article could vary, depending on where you live, the place you take your car to, and the type and brand of your vehicle. Listed below are some of the major parts of your vehicle that need regular maintenance and are vital for its longevity.
1. Replacing The Windshield Wiper
If you live in a place where it rains on a regular basis, then the last thing you need is for your windshield wipers to stop working or start to malfunction. Regardless of where you live, having windshield wipers that work properly is really important.
You need to replace your windshield wipers when you notice that they are causing a problem. According to experts, every six to twelve months is the ideal time to replace them even if there isn’t any issue. The cost of replacing your wipers could range from $55 to $88.
2. Having An Oil Change
This is another important thing that should be included in your car maintenance. However, this depends on how far and how much you have driven your vehicle. Experts believe that you should get an oil change every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
However, if you haven’t reached the minimum mileage limit, then you should get an oil change every twelve months. Your standard oil change usually costs around $25 to $50.
3. Replacing Or Rotating The Tires
When your tires’ treads have reached a specific depth, it is time to replace them because they have worn out. They need to be replaced because this can increase the stopping distance of your vehicle during wet highway conditions by a significant distance of 87 feet.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you should replace your vehicle’s tires once every six years, regardless of the number of miles you have driven. When it comes to replacing all four of your tires, it is going to cost you around $525 to $725.
When it comes to tire rotation, experts recommend doing it every 5,000 – 8,000 miles. This could cost you around $35 to $45. However, certain dealers or mechanics offer this service free of charge, when you get other services done on your vehicle.
4. Getting A New Battery
According to experts, you should replace the battery of your car once in three years. However, this depends on several external factors, like if your car hasn’t been used for some time now or if you live in an extremely cold or hot weather. Plus, leaving the interior lights of your car on at all times can also result in battery drainage.
Depending on your location, the model, and the make of your car, it can cost you around $60 to $200 in order to replace the battery of your car.
5. Replacing Your Brake Pads
When it comes to replacing your brake pads, you have to take certain factors into consideration. For instance, city drivers might need to replace their brake pads more often as compared to a driver who might live in a rural area or someone who drives mainly on freeways.
Moreover, you will start to notice certain signs that would indicate that you need to either repair or replace your brake pads. For instance, you might notice a screeching sound that your car makes whenever you apply the brakes. Also, the indicator light in your car might come on; this is a sign that you have to pay a visit to your local auto servicer.
Replacing your brake pads could cost you around $241. However, the cost also depends on the year and model of your car, where you live, and whether you need the replacement on both of the axles or just one.
How Can You Save Money On Your Car’s Maintenance
Indeed, car maintenance requires a decent amount of money that you should be saving for from the moment you purchase your vehicle. However, there are ways you can save some cash on these costly expenses.
It might seem easier to just take your vehicle to the dealer for its routine maintenance; however, this isn’t always the right economical decision. You can search around and find better rates when it comes to types of specific maintenance and always keep a lookout for any coupons.
Moreover, there is a whole list of car repair facilities that has been approved by AAA, so that you are able to work with ASE certified technicians whenever you get your car repaired or serviced.
Also, if you are someone who knows their way around cars, you can perform some of the maintenance by yourself, like changing the oil plus oil filter.
Take a look at this YouTube video that explains how you can avoid expensive car repairs by following simple maintenance protocols.
Then watch this YouTube video to know about some of the other types of car maintenance.
Car maintenance can become overwhelming, especially when you have to face some unexpected costs. However, if you keep a watchful eye on all of the crucial maintenance components, then you won’t have to worry about anything.
In the end, the best thing you can do is start saving up for your routine car maintenance and allot a specific budget for both regular maintenance and any emergency work.