Cost-Effective Ways To Maintain Your Car

Car repairs contribute to a lot of financial stress in an average Indian household. Repairs on one’s vehicle are difficult to predict. And when the car owner also has to bear the cost of routine maintenance, the costs can quickly add up.

Here we elaborate on a couple of things you can do to keep your car maintenance and repair expenses to a minimum.

  1. Choose the car type carefully - The cost of maintenance of your vehicle largely depends on the type of car itself. For instance, cars that are locally assembled usually have lower cost of maintenance. On the other hand, luxury cars and imported vehicles have high repair/maintenance costs.
  2. Have knowledge about average repair costs - Several studies have found that car owners can get significant discounts on repair costs just by being knowledgeable of the average costs in the market. This way they will be able to bargain and bring down the quoted price. So, it is imperative that you do a good amount of research on car maintenance and the costs involved before you actually approach a service centre.
  3. Approach a trustworthy mechanic - It is useful to be acquainted with a good mechanic who does not indiscriminately charge high costs for repair/maintenance work. It is best to get feedback from family members or friends; you can even check online reviews for reputable garages.
  4. Find discounts on car repairs - When getting your tyres replaced or brakes checked, you can receive discounts by searching online for such benefits. Several dealerships have year-end discounts on car maintenance/repair which are usually clubbed with a car purchase. In case you are looking to buy a new car, take advantage of these discounts.
  5. Second opinion matters - Similar to the case of a major surgery, a second opinion can give a lot of reassurance before you undertake a major repair work on your vehicle. For instance, if you have been advised by a mechanic to replace the engine, you can always approach another authorised service centre for their feedback.
  6. Service your car as needed - It is important to keep your car in good shape but not all services are mandatory. The user manual of your vehicle will have a maintenance schedule that points out when the vehicle should undergo servicing.
  7. Be an informed customer - You should be able to understand the amount of repairs suggested by the mechanic. You can ask a lot of questions in this regard, and even go to another service centre if something doesn’t feel right. Extra attention to details will only be beneficial to the car and your finances.

The Significance Of Preventive Maintenance:

It is advisable to do regular preventive maintenance on your vehicle to save a lot of money in the future. However, this is usually a grey area for many car owners, particularly the new ones. Not everyone is clear on what preventive maintenance is, when it should be done, and how one can do it. Listed below are some preventive maintenance techniques using which you can keep your ride in top condition:

  • Read the owner’s manual - As indicated above, your vehicle maintenance schedule will be within the owner’s manual; so you should read it carefully. You may also find the manufacturer’s recommendations on the frequency of change in oil, timing belts, filters, and more. Remember, if you do not follow the recommendations from the car manufacturer, your warranty may be voided and you may incur heavy expenses for the repair of your vehicle.
  • Learn the basics of inspection of your vehicle - It helps a lot if you are able to handle small repair work on your car by yourself. Learn to check the air pressure in the tyres, listen for strange sounds from the inside, and check for anything else out of the ordinary. Monitoring your car’s fluids/oils, inspecting the battery, and checking the timing belts are crucial in ensuring that your vehicle is in good condition for longer. In case your windshield wipers are worn out, get them replaced - this is something that does not cost much and can be done easily by yourself. Monitoring the air filters and spark plugs are also tasks that should be done regularly.

There are certain things you can do yourself to maintain your car well. However, when you find bigger issues, it is best to consult a professional without too much of a delay.

Delaying the repair of obvious issues, leaks, or sounds will certainly increase your expenses down the line. Similarly, you should not delay in getting your car insurance renewed, as a break in insurance can amount to significant losses in the future.

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