Learn How to Avoid Breakdowns by doing Regular Car Maintainance
We usually like to fix problems as they arise. With cars, though, sometimes fixing the problem before it occurs is the best course of action. Regular car maintenance will keep you on the road for prices that are a lot cheaper than trying to fix the problem after it becomes one.
If you’re anything like me then you take that little sticker that the guy puts on your windshield after an oil change as a suggestion. I mean, you don’t really have to get your oil changed at that mileage or on that date, right? Or do you?
How much can you go over that suggested date or mileage amount? Are an extra hundred miles going to be detrimental to your car? An extra thousand miles? Or, what if you drive it for another month beyond that date? Is your car going to stop you in the middle of the road?
Well, unfortunately, it could.
I found this out the hard way when, in the middle of a snowstorm, I came out of a store and started my car and…nothing. It wouldn’t even turn over. A jump wouldn’t help me because I had completely disregarded that little sticker after my last oil change and I had ruined my engine.
My oversight cost me around $3,000. Or, it would have anyway, if I’d actually had the $3,000 to spend. Since I didn’t, I had to carpool for the next six months and then ended up buying a clunker at a cheaper $2500. All in all, it would have been cheaper to have had my oil changed.
According to Tom Wilson, the writer for MSN Autos, today’s cars require “about as much maintenance as a toaster.” However, if your car stops working when you need it the most, you’re going to be a little more inconvenienced than just not having a piece of toast for breakfast.
Regular car maintenance is just as important as getting problems fixed as they come up. In fact, regular maintenance can keep problems from arising in the first place. When you’re on the go it’s important to make sure that your fluid levels are where they are supposed to be, that your brake pads aren’t too worn and that your tire pressures are good.
Ignoring any of these things can have small consequences, such as making your car less fuel efficient, or dire consequences like blowing your engine.
If you’re anything like me then you’ve spent time trying to find the lowest auto insurance so that you can save money on your car. We shouldn’t overlook other expenses, though, that can go along with neglecting our car maintenance. Getting your transmission serviced can cost around $50. Getting a new transmission, on the other hand, can cost you thousands of dollars.
So what are some things that you should pay attention to on a regular basis?
* Air filter: They’ll usually check this when you have your oil changed, but ask to make sure. Edmunds.com suggests that you get it changed every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whatever comes first.
* Oil change: Oil should be changed about every 5,000 miles as the rule of thumb. However, it can also depend on the type of car that you’re driving, too. Check your owner’s manual if you’re unsure.
* Spark plugs: You’ll usually want to at least check them every 30,000 miles but they might actually last for 60,000 miles or more. Just to be safe, AutohausAZ recommends taking them out and checking them at 30,000.
* Coolant: Check this at least every two years but it’s possible that they will last for as long as four years. Antifreeze test strips can be purchased that will let you know if it’s time to change.
* Brakes: Brakes usually last for around 30,000 for the front brakes and around 60,000 miles for the back ones. If they start making scraping noises before that, though, then you’ll want to take them in immediately.
We’re all busy and it’s incredibly hard to remember when things are supposed to be done-especially when we already have so much on our plates. Just remember that the little sticker the guy put on your windshield the last time does actually mean something. And it’s a lot cheaper and lots less hassle to deal with something before it’s a problem than when it actually becomes one, especially where our cars are concerned!
About the Author
Melissa Cameron is a freelance blogger that spends her free time trying to save her family money by using the internet for the comparison of online car insurance rates. She’s written hundreds of articles that help moms all over the country save money on everything from family vacations to gardening tools. She has two pre-schoolers, a husband, and several cats that have taken up residence on her back porch.