“Take care of your car and it’ll take care of you.”
Routine car maintenance like fluid changes and tune-ups can keep your vehicle running smoother, longer. Another huge payoff is that as your car gets older, proper maintenance can help avoid big repair bills and keep more money in your pocket.
Here are some ways that routine car maintenance can save you money in the long run:
Improve gas mileage
One of the most common costs to owning a car is gas. And with the price of gas constantly fluctuating, a good way to save money is to refuel less often. In addition to these driving tips, here are several routine maintenance checks and services that can help achieve maximum fuel efficiency:
- Check your tire pressure — Under-inflated tires need more fuel to keep your car moving.
- Keep your alignment straight — Wheels that aren’t aligned can require more power to move the car forward.
- Change your air filter — A dirty filter restricts oxygen flow, which can reduce fuel efficiency and gas mileage.
- Replace fuel injectors — Dirty or clogged fuel injectors can reduce how much fuel gets sprayed into the cylinders to create power.
Find problems before they get expensive
The key to preventative maintenance is clear: Prevent major damage to your car. When you take your car in for routine service, most garages will perform their own free vehicle inspection to look for existing problems or soon-to-be problems. By catching potential issues early, you can avoid long-term damage and large repair bills.
For example, during a routine oil change, a technician might notice your radiator hose is leaking. Coolant from your radiator helps prevent the engine from overheating, so a leaky hose could lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage. However, if you get your oil changed on schedule (typically $40-$50), you can detect and replace that leaky hose before it causes expensive repairs.
Extend the life of your vehicle
Most drivers want their vehicle to run as long as possible. If your current car breaks down due to improper maintenance, you may have to finance a new or used vehicle. In addition to a down payment and other upfront costs, your monthly loan payments may include interest charges and insurance premiums that are higher than what you currently pay.
When you keep your car running longer, you can avoid all of these costs — especially if you had a loan and paid it off. And if you anticipate having to replace your current vehicle in the future, you can start budgeting and saving money ahead of time to lessen the impact on your finances.
Other positives to routine car maintenance
Keeping more money in your pocket isn’t the only payoff. Here are some other positives to maintaining your car properly:
- Increase passenger safety — Reduce the risk of mechanical failures that can lead to accidents or other issues on the road.
- Save time and stress — Avoid loss of personal time and stress caused by coordinating repairs, finding substitute transportation and missing opportunities with work and family.
Save money today and down the road
Over the long haul, the cost of preventative maintenance can be far less than expensive repair bills. If you know your way around a car, these 6 easy and money-saving car maintenance tips can help trim some of those costs. If you run into some issues that require a professional, here are some ways to save on car repairs.