Keeping Your Vehicle Maintained

We’ve all been driving down the highway at some point and heard a strange new noise coming from our vehicle. This sound makes the driver extremely nervous. Hopefully, the car is drivable and it is possible to make it home or to a local repair shop. If not, pulling over to the side of the road and calling for a tow truck may be the only option.  $100 for the tow is the initial cost before repair.  This normally pales in comparison to the actual repair costs.  Basic vehicle maintenance can greatly reduce these costs.

An oil change is probably the most essential service to perform. The rule of thumb has always been to get an oil change every 3 months or 3000 miles. With the use of synthetic and semi-synthetic oils, this timeframe can easily be doubled and safely stretched to 5000 or 6000 miles.  Smart shoppers can flip through coupon books and find deals for $20 oil changes. Tire rotation and balancing should also be performed yearly based on normal mileage of 12,000 miles per year.  Most repair centers will offer a complimentary balance check and tire rotation with the oil change. Either way, a balance will cost between $50 and $80 based on the retailer. Changing the air filter is also a yearly task.  A handy car owner can easily do this themselves. A new filter will usually cost between 10 and 20 dollars.

The numbers above will cost the drive about $150 in anualy repairs. Car owners should budget for these costs just as they pay for fuel and auto insurance. A driver can find savings by looking at those costs.  By keeping the oil changed regularly, tires balanced and properly inflated, and air filter clean, a driver can notice fuel mileage improvements of 1-3 miles per gallon.  On a normal fill-up, this can equate to one or two gallons of gas depending on the size of the fuel tank. Saving five dollars per fill-up can save a driver around $250 a year, more than paying for the basic maintenance.

Other maintenance such as changing the spark plugs, timing belt, and fluids should be performed as necessary.  This could be anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 miles depending on what your auto care professional suggests.  A basic inspection is normally done on a vehicle during the oil change, but it is recommended to have a detailed inspection every year.

Many of these basic maintenance procedures can be performed by a car owner. Nonetheless, there will be occasions where taking a vehicle to a repair shop is necessary. Choosing a place for auto repair in California can be tricky because of the number of options.  Ask friends, family, or co-workers for references.  They may be able to save you time and money by finding a reputable shop quickly.

Performing basic maintenance saves time and money when it comes to vehicle costs. It extends the life of your vehicle and improves fuel mileage. Sticking to a maintenance schedule can help to avoid major repair costs in the future.


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