Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

How to save $$ on car maintenance

Saturday, November 30, 2019
how to save money on car maintenance

I have a friend who budgets 1K per year on car maintenance and accepts that's the way it is for him.. That means he's spending three bucks a day keeping his car on the road.

Not to mention petrol and gas costs!

There's plenty you can do to keep your car in tip-top condition and on the road. Most of it is normal maintenance to prevent issues from cropping up which will ultimately cost you a lot of money.

And they range from the most basic concepts such as keeping tires properly inflated through to more involved oil changes.

Change the car oil by yourself, saving the servicing cost

Changing oil regularly is a good practice and almost the bread and butter of car maintenance. Oil that is left too long in an engine simply stops doing its job and the engine will suffer wear and tear - meaning it runs less efficiently - costing you more on fuel per mile traveled.

Be wary of the industry standard 'change your oil every 3000 miles'. This may have been standard practice 30 years ago but motor oils have advanced strongly in recent times (refer synthetic oils) so much so it's more important that you follow the advice of the car manufacturer rather than what the dudes at Jiffy Lube may have once touted.

The point we are making does not change your oil too regularly - do it when the vehicle should be serviced.

You can change the oil your self, or have your mechanic do it for you. I learned how to do it from a friend. It's fairly straightforward once you know what you are doing. If you do it yourself you'll save on the mechanic's fee and you'll only need to pay for the car oil and the replacement filter.

The relationship with your mechanic can be the difference in hundreds of dollars

Our local mechanic is called Craig. He's an industry veteran and knows that his customers are of course the key to his business. He's a top bloke and is really part of his community. He gets my family's repeated business because he's showed he's more than a mechanic as he's part of the community.

He helped me find a suitable car when we had our first child.

He chopped up some firewood with a well maintained chainsaw and lent me his ute to get it home.

Once my wife went to pay his bill (with two young ones in tow) and she realized had lost her debit card between there and the supermarket. Craig went and looked for the card himself!!

The point I'm making is having a working relationship with your local mechanic is a great way to ensure you are getting the best service for your car, not getting charged unfair prices. Supporting the local guy in your community can only be a good thing as well!

Quick tips on maintaining your car:

  • Keep the tyres properly inflated. The less amount of tyre coming into contact with the road surface means the more efficiently your car travels and thus the less fuel consumed. It's also safer as the tyres will perform as they are intended to do.
  • Keep your battery charged, maintain it by cleaning any rust or corrosion that has formed at the connecting points and keep it topped up with distilled water. This will extend the battery life thus saving you a small fortune. 
  • Top up radiator fluid by yourself with radiator flush. When the car is cold, open the radiator head, add the whole bottle, replace the cap. If you're adding antifreeze, it's the same method. 
  • If you blow a fuse (say the cigarette lighter's one) - you can actually do this yourself. You usually just need some nose pliers and the correct fuse - your vehicle's user manual will show you where the fuses are kept and what kind to change. 
  • If your battery dies, there's no need to get your car towed to the mechanic, you can change it yourself. Most car parts stores will stock the right battery you need - talk to the local rep before you make your selection. You save on the battery price too as the mechanic won't be clipping the proverbial ticket. Changing the battery is fairly easy - you usually just need a spanner to do to the clamps. It's a simple matter of taking them off from the battery contacts (negative first), swapping out the old with the fresh battery, reattach the clamps (negative last) and then test the engine. Please recycle your battery! 
  • If you're really keen on saving some cash - don't put the car through a car wash, wash it yourself
  • Or you could forget all about having a car, take the bus, walk everywhere, ride a bike and pretend you're saving the planet! 
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