Maintenance costs make up a very large part of the total cost of operating a car. It’s up to you to sell your car and take public transportation or to learn how to save on its maintenance. Note that the habit of counting money will come in handy in other areas. Find out if and how you can save money on maintenance in this article.
Go to the service with your spare parts
The very first item on the list is an independent purchase of spare parts. Don’t leave it to the servicemen – you will save on overpayment above the price in the car store, or the “service fee” for the purchase. No matter how it is called and under what pretext, they will take money for it. When you buy on your own, you can not only avoid overpayment but also choose the most favorable options in terms of price or take advantage of various promotions and discounts. Analyze the various motorist forums. There you can find answers to many questions including where to buy cheaper parts, what does dte mean in a car, etc.
The second point: analogs instead of the original. Buying not original parts, but their analogs made by famous manufacturers and of the same quality can bring significant savings. It especially concerns the most popular consumables, because automakers do not make the same filters, pads, and plugs, and order them from well-known suppliers. For instance, an oil filter in a package with a car brand logo maybe twice as expensive as the one in the original box of the filter manufacturer. So, the information about analogs and the interchangeability of components will be very useful for those who want to save a budget.
Be a mechanic for yourself
Perform simple maintenance tasks with your own hands. Usually, it is not difficult to change oil, filters, brake pads, as well as light bulbs in lighting equipment. The same in most cases concerns spark plugs, though on some engines it is really difficult to reach them, and then you really cannot do without a trip to masters.
Savings due to tires
Timely “re-shoe” in seasonal rubber. You should not procrastinate the moment of tires’ change, especially on summer tires, as winter ones wear out very quickly while driving on asphalt. Swap the wheels at the seasonal change. This will ensure their even wear and you will not have to buy new tires or a whole set due to premature wear of one or two wheels. Watch for tire pressure and proper balancing to prevent accelerated tread wear.
By the way, tires are just the consumables on which you can try to save money. Today the choice of tires is huge. But you should not rush to extremes, choosing the cheapest rubber. It may turn out that all the initial savings will be gone because of the lower durability of inexpensive tires. It is better to choose the average price.
Another way to save money on tires is to choose the maximum high-profile dimension from the list recommended for your car. Such rubber, as a rule, is noticeably cheaper than the low-profile.
Battery as a means of saving
Another component, on which you can try to save money is the battery. The choice of them is also extremely large, including the price. That said, it is not necessarily the case that a more expensive battery will prove to be better. Very often moderately priced batteries have excellent characteristics. By the way, you can also save on small things. For example, you may change windshield wipers only with rubbers, not with whole brushes.
And with what you should not be greedy in any case, it is quality of filters and oils. Such an economy will inevitably turn out to be detrimental. Always change them in time – according to the manual. And when operating in hard conditions (driving in traffic jams also belongs to them) reduce their change interval. It is necessary to change the engine oil at least once a year, even if the mileage during this time is minimal, as it oxidizes in a nonfunctioning engine. It is also dangerous to procrastinate with the replacement of timing belts – it can lead to large expenditures for repairs.
As boring as it may sound, the best way to save money on fuel is to teach yourself to drive in a calm manner. Sharp starts and braking and frequent overtaking empty your wallet. Keep the engine speed within 2,5-3 thousand rpm. Keep the distance to the person in front, so that you would not have to slow down unnecessarily in response to his maneuvers. Use cruise control on the highway more often – all these are quite obvious recommendations, which are nevertheless very effective.
But there are some special recommendations. You should not be too zealous in warming up the engine at idling speed – in this case, the cylinders will be fed with the over-enriched mixture for a long time. It is much more reasonable and economical to warm up the engine in motion at low speeds. Before the trip, you should make sure that the pressure in tires corresponds to the norm because underinflated tires considerably increase fuel consumption. This advice is especially urgent in winter, as tire pressure will vary due to temperature changes. Finally, check the trunk: every extra kilogram in terms of kilometers is wasted money.