You are a professional multi-tasker and you are constantly trying to do it all flawlessly. You don’t have time for your car to break down or to be stuck on the side of the highway with a flat tire. You have places to go and items to check off of your ever-growing to-do list.
You also don’t want to waste money getting every little repair done at the dealership or feel like an auto mechanic is ripping you off. To save money on auto maintenance and repairs, you need to do a little due diligence and be willing to roll up your sleeves to do a few simple tasks on your own.
DIY When You Can
When you look at the full breakdown of a bill for auto maintenance, most of the cost is for labor. A do-it-yourself approach can save you a lot of money on auto repairs and maintenance.
The trick is to learn the basics about all of the necessary maintenance needs of your vehicle so that you can accurately assess which one you can tackle and which ones are better left to the experts. For instance, changing the air filter is a pretty simple task that you can learn quickly from a YouTube video, but changing your oil requires more tools and equipment as well as an approved place for oil disposal. In that case, it’s well worth spending a little extra to have a professional change your oil because what you’d save in money with a DIY, you’ll more than spend in time. Other easy DIY maintenance tasks include changing bulbs and replacing windshield wipers. Check your fluid levels regularly so you have a concrete idea of when you’re due for a fluid service.
Keep the Tires in Check
You won’t get far without reliable tires. And when you are forced to replace your tires in a pinch after a roadside flat, you are usually in too much of a rush to be able to shop around and find the best price for what you need, which often leaves you with a high bill for that new tire.
Instead, be proactive about tire maintenance. To start, review your vehicle manual and make sure you are using the recommended type of tires. A small sedan will run better on different tires than a full-size pickup, so it pays to know the exact specifications that your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends.
It is also crucial to visually inspect your tire tread monthly using the coin test to see how much tread your tires have left. Periodically check your tire pressure to ensure that your tires are inflated to the recommended level. While many newer vehicles like the 2017 Chevy Colorado come standard with a tire pressure monitoring system, it is also helpful to know how to check this the old-fashioned way, using a standard tire pressure gauge. Often, the monitoring system may not alert you to a slight under-inflation. This can help your tires wear more evenly as well as boost your Colorado’s already superior fuel economy.
Get Routine Tuneups
Just like you need your annual well woman exam, your vehicle needs a routine inspection as well to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. Consult your vehicle manufacturer for the recommended frequency of auto tuneups and set a recurring reminder in your digital calendar so you don’t have any excuse to forget about it. Tuneups are critical to spotting small issues and remedying them before they turn into catastrophic problems.
Being diligent as well as being willing to challenge yourself to do some maintenance on your own will not only ensure longevity for your car, it will significantly cut costs.