Reduce auto repair costs with these 7 maintenance steps
Between regular payments, insurance, and gasoline money, your car already takes a significant chunk of your paycheck each month. Where you can help, it’s important to keep costs under control.
Deciding to forgo all regular maintenance on your car, an auto repair job has the potential to hurt your finances even more. That said, here are some important repairs that you should make into your regular car maintenance routine to keep your auto repair costs from skyrocketing.
Keeping track of your scheduled maintenance also prevents your warranty from being null and void.
Oil changes are essential to protect your engine and extend the life of your vehicle. There are two main reasons why oil changes are important. First, they provide the lubrication your engine needs to run properly. Without the right amount of clean oil, the moving parts of your engine will be subjected to additional heat and accelerated wear. Second, no matter what you do, the oil will eventually get dirty, breaking down into sludge that can block oil galleries and passages, eventually destroying your engine. Remember, it costs more to repair an engine than to perform routine oil changes!
An inspection of the brakes does not mean that they are replaced. It’s a proactive service that makes sure everything is running smoothly. Of course, this is above all a safety precaution that checks that your brakes are cleaned, lubricated and free from abnormalities, such as seizures or strange noises. These inspections should be performed every 8,000 to 11,000 kilometers depending on use. The longest waiting period for a brake inspection is six months. Don’t take any chances!
Every 5,000 miles or so, your tires should be rotated to even out their tread wear and extend their life. With that number in mind, it makes sense to rotate them while you have your brakes inspected. The front tires wear unevenly and faster than the rear tires, so rotating them allows the tires to wear more evenly and replace them at the same time. It also prevents the premature replacement of two tires when there is a possibility that the same brand / tread is no longer available – having different tread patterns between the tires is not recommended and can be dangerous. Without good traction, you may not be able to stop the car safely and quickly. Check your insurance policy to see if your provider requires you to perform regular tire rotations. Failure to do so may completely invalidate your policy and prevent you from filing an accident claim.
There is no single answer to the life of a car battery. Much depends on the weather conditions you live in, not to mention how and how you use your car. If you don’t have your battery checked regularly, you may end up stranded on the side of the road at some point. Your battery should be checked at age three, then annually thereafter. This also helps to ensure that the cable connections are clean and work as expected.
Air conditioning inspections
An air conditioning inspection ensures that your comfort is maintained while you are on the road. It also affects your safety as air conditioning is needed to defrost your windshield when needed. In addition, chemicals used in the air conditioning system, such as refrigerant, are bad for the environment. Corrosion or stone chips can damage or crack your condenser or refrigerant line. It is better to catch them early, which saves you a lot of money and stress.
Fuel line inspections
Whenever you have your car serviced, you should have the fuel and emissions hoses inspected, and also be sure to have the injectors checked annually. Expect to replace the fuel filters at about 16,000 miles and the fuel pump at 160,000. Your fuel tank should have a life of about 10 years. A leaking fuel line is a potential fire hazard, and it will cost you at the pump as well. If you notice a strong smell of gasoline, have your vehicle towed to the dealership for inspection.
Vehicle body inspections
A vehicle body inspection lets you know if your car is safe to drive. Insurers may ask you to do this regularly. If you are purchasing a used car, it is recommended that you have the vehicle inspected for any damage, rust or wear. Every time you bring your car – new or old – for regular maintenance, it should also undergo a full vehicle body inspection. This is usually a visual inspection done by mechanics to make sure your car is still safe to drive. It can also save you from costly accidents.
Staying on the road shouldn’t come before staying safe, let alone protecting those around you. Good regular vehicle maintenance can save other ways as well, including money and stress. If you don’t neglect your car, it won’t neglect you! For assistance with the regular maintenance of your vehicle, Ottawa Honda will be happy to help you.