5 Ways to Save Big on Vehicle Maintenance Costs
We’ve all been there before: you take your car to the shop for routine maintenance and then you get a huge bill back.
Yes, many vehicles can be pretty expensive to maintain over the years, but with some strategies, tips, and priorities on when to skimp or spend, you’ll be able to lower your vehicle maintenance costs.
1. Save on Oil Changes
You can spend a fortune on oil changes alone if you aren’t careful. Most shops and dealers will tell you to bring your car in every 3,000 miles or 3 months – whichever comes first. Of course, this kind of oil change frequency provides great business for the shops, but it isn’t always necessary.
While older cars generally benefit from frequent oil changes, most newer models can go anywhere from 7,500 to 10,000 miles and still be fine. If you want to check your own oil at home, simply pull out the oil dipstick and verify whether you have proper oil levels. Aside from having the right oil levels, your oil should be a healthy brown in color. If it’s burnt or completely black, then you’re well overdue for an oil change. If you want to save on vehicle maintenance costs even further, get your oil changed at local gas stations or mechanics instead of dealerships or high-priced auto body shops.
2. Easy Replacements
A quick glance at any vehicle repair receipt will tell you that half of the cost at least is going to labor. However, you can save serious money by replacing relatively cheap items like air filters, windshield wipers, and brake pads. All you have to do is look up the installation methods for your particular car. These can usually be found in your owner’s manual or through online forums run by other vehicle owners. After you know what to do, simply buy the parts you need and do it yourself.
3. Skip the Dealer
Car dealerships are very aggressive when it comes to upselling you on maintenance services. Keep in mind that many of their “scheduled” services can be redundant, especially if you’re already keeping track of your vehicle’s health. Generally, these services constitute a bulk of their profit, but for many owners, dealerships are a convenient source for many repairs. This is understandable since a lot of vehicle owners rely on dealers for their expertise in servicing their specific make and model. However, if you do your own research on your car’s maintenance needs, you can always go to a trusted mechanic who will usually charge lower vehicle maintenance costs.
4. Protect Your Tires
Costs on replacement tires can add up pretty fast. You can save quite a bit of money on tires by keeping them properly inflated, which allows for a healthier wear pattern and ultimately keeps you safe. Also, make sure that you’re regularly rotating your tires. This helps them last longer, saving you money. You should rotate your tires about as frequently as you get an oil change, if possible.
5. Install a DIY Car Lip Kit
Auto body detailing is another expense that will add up pretty quickly if you aren’t careful. Scrapes and dings on your bumpers and sideskirts will lower the value of your vehicle, and can cost you in detailing work if you want to get it all smoothed out.
This one is an easy fix. Simply install a high-quality car lip kit that will protect your bumpers and sideskirts from all sorts of scrapes and dings. There is no need to invest in body work if you don’t need it. Lip kits like our signature styles are affordable and can be easily installed.
The 5 tips we went over are easy to implement and will save you a ton on vehicle maintenance costs. As long as you take it easy on your car and follow a regular maintenance schedule, you shouldn’t have any serious problems. If you happen to encounter a bigger issue down the line, you’ll have saved up enough money to have it fixed without the stress!