10 Tips for Minimising Your Car Maintenance Costs

One of the largest purchases you’ll ever make in your life is your car. Thus, it’s only fitting that you take good care of your vehicle to extend its service life. 

While spending on proper car maintenance is a necessary investment to ensure a smooth, comfortable, and safe ride, there are a lot of things you can do to minimise the overall cost of your vehicle upkeep. Let’s explore these practical and smart tips for car owners.

Use the Correct Oil

Engine oils come in a lot of variants, such as conventional, synthetic, and high mileage. With different engines having different requirements, you should only use the manufacturer-recommended oil to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Investing in quality oil may seem slightly pricier, but it pays off in the long run by preventing unnecessary engine wear.

To identify your car's correct oil grade and type, refer to your owner's manual. Some manufacturers also put the recommended type and viscosity of the engine oil on the oil cap. 

Change Your Oil Regularly

Speaking of engine oils, it’s crucial to have regular oil changes to maintain your engine’s health and keep it properly lubricated. Over time, engine oil accumulates contaminants and loses its effectiveness. That’s why you need to remove the used oil and replace it with fresh, clean oil according to the recommended intervals specified by the manufacturer.

For mechanically inclined car owners or enthusiasts, changing your car's oil can be cost-effective and straightforward. That being said, most garages offer oil changes for free or for a minimal fee, along with their other car maintenance services.

Replace Your Coolant Periodically

The coolant or antifreeze plays a crucial role in regulating your engine's temperature. However, this liquid can become acidic over time, potentially damaging seals and engine components.

Before this happens, replace the coolant according to your car's maintenance schedule. This relatively inexpensive preventive measure can save you from costly repairs down the line.

Change or Clean Your Filters

Your car has both engine and cabin filters, which play a vital role in optimum performance and cooling. However, a clogged or dirty filter can cause the engine to work harder than necessary and reduce fuel efficiency. A dirty cabin filter may also recirculate harmful substances, like allergens and even fungi.

As such, regularly check and change disposable filters or properly clean your washable filters. It’s a simple yet effective way to maintain optimal engine and cabin air quality.

 Preserve Your Battery

If you’re not going to be driving your car for a while, it’s a good idea to disconnect the battery first to prevent it from dying completely. Make sure to store the battery in a cool, dry place; you can also buy boxes specifically made to store car batteries that are not in use. There are also battery maintainers, which charge your car battery if it drops to a certain level.

Obviously, no car battery lasts forever. However, you can save yourself the cost of frequent replacements through the use of smart battery preservation techniques.

 Maintain Proper Tyre Pressure

Proper tyre pressure is crucial for both safety and cost savings. Underinflated tyres increase fuel consumption and lead to premature wear or full-on blowout. Meanwhile, overinflated tires can cause a harsh ride quality and uneven tyre wear on the centre. Regularly check and maintain the recommended tyre pressure to improve fuel efficiency and extend the life of your car’s tyres.

Avoid Overloading Your Car

Are you aware that overloading your vehicle can put undue stress on the suspension and brakes? If you constantly use your car to lift heavy objects, it can lead to increased wear and reduced efficiency.

To prevent these things from happening, familiarise yourself with your car's maximum load capacity and distribute weight evenly when carrying heavy items. Also, avoid transporting too many passengers or heavy items.

Align and Balance Your Wheels

Proper wheel alignment and balancing are often overlooked aspects of car maintenance. However, misaligned wheels lead to uneven tire wear and decreased fuel efficiency.

Experts typically recommend that your wheels be aligned every 2 to 3 years. You can also have it done whenever you change your tyres or if you’re replacing suspension components such as shocks and coil springs. Remember that regular wheel alignment and balancing can help extend the life of your tyres and improve overall vehicle performance.

Take Care of Your Car in Simply Ways Every Day

There are small things you can do every day to ensure your car remains in tip-top shape. For instance, try to park in shaded spots to keep the car interior relatively cooler. The sun’s UV rays can wreak havoc on your car over time, like fading the upholstery or damaging weather stripping. Next, keep your car protected against the elements. Instead of parking outdoors, use a covered garage to protect your vehicle from the rain, sun, and snow. Finally, regularly clean your car inside and out. Doing so will ensure your comfort and safety, as well as prolong the life of your car seats, flooring, paint, accessories, and other components.   

Be a Responsible Driver

Responsible driving habits enhance safety and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to avoid aggressive driving practices like rapid acceleration and abrupt braking. These can lead to increased fuel consumption and unnecessary strain on your car's components.

Implementing these tips can go a long way in minimising the cost of car maintenance. Remember, a little proactive care now can save you a lot of money in the future. So, take charge of your car's maintenance and enjoy a more cost-effective and reliable ride.


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