Amongst all the running costs of owning a car, none is more reluctantly paid than the repair and maintenance costs. Like everything, they age with time and deteriorate, if they’re not damaged by accidents, bad weather, or other ill fortunes. However, rather than simply hoping damage and deterioration don’t happen, it pays to be prepared for it. Here are a few ways to cut the costs of car maintenance and repair.
Invest in better cars
There are more trips to the garage caused by the damage that accumulates over time than those caused by accidents, fender benders, and bad parking jobs. However, accidents do still happen and by reducing them, you can reduce how much you spend on the repairs resulting from them. Cars are getting safer than ever before so it’s wise to make safety features such as parking assist a priority when shopping the market. Otherwise, try looking at the reliability of the car. Are there are any parts which are known to need replacements often? The more reliable a car, the less it deteriorates over time, meaning fewer trips to the mechanic.
Do more yourself
If you’re not a fully trained technician, you shouldn’t assume you can fix absolutely everything that goes wrong with the car. However, there are some fairly standard fixes and replacements you can make yourself as shown at How Stuff Works. From changing the spark plugs to replacing worn brake pads, doing a little more DIY means you only pay for the costs of the replacement parts, rather than the service charges added at the garage.
Go with those in the know
However, you’re still going to need a mechanic from time to time. When a fix is beyond you, your best bet is to go as early as possible, so the issue doesn’t get worse and potentially affect the other systems in the car. What’s more, you should ensure you take your vehicle to those who specialize in that particular kind of auto. With RVs, you can take them to RV specialists like Elite Automotive. Many mechanics will specifically list the makes and kinds of vehicles that they’re particularly familiar with. This means they’re more likely to make any repairs and replacements to manufacturer standards, which means a lower chance of needing to replace their replacements any time soon.
Budget for it
Every car owner should have a car running cost budget. This needs to cover your repair and maintenance costs. A good way to figure it out is look at how much you spent last year and the year previous on repair and maintenance and build up that much in savings. Or you can look at online reports of the car’s reliability and what parts are likely to need the be replaced in the near future. This stops you from dipping into your credit and paying interest and credit fees on top of the repair costs.
You might not be able to stop your car from needing repair and maintenance, but you can make sure it doesn’t cost you as much as it can. Keep the tips above in mind and become a much more mindful (and financially secure) car owner.