It’s safe to say owning a vehicle can be expensive. Between gas, oil changes, tires, maintenance, and insurance, you can expect to have a good portion of your budget go toward car upkeep. In fact, AAA says the average cost of car ownership is about $10,000 per year. There are ways, however, to cut back on costs with proper vehicle maintenance and savvy budgeting. Here are our top car maintenance tips that will help save you money down the road.
Get your car washed and buy touch-up paint
This is not just a vanity suggestion – regularly cleaning and waxing your car protects your paint by preventing rust and residue that can damage the finish to your vehicle. This is especially important during harsh winters and if you park your car outside. Touch-up paint can seal chips and cracks before they become a bigger problem as well.
Don’t ignore your tires
Under-inflated tires will wear them down more quickly and negatively impact your gas mileage. Plus, low pressure tires can affect braking and make steering less responsive. This is not only dangerous for your car, but also for you. Thankfully, most gas stations have free or low cost air pumps you can use.
Shop around for mechanics
Sure, finding a mechanic is easy – but finding one with honest prices can be a challenge. Don’t just go for the convenient option, read reviews and ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. When you do find the right mechanic, research rates ahead of the appointment. Websites like RepairPal can give you an idea of what you should expect to pay for a particular repair, and connect you to certified mechanics in your local area.
Order parts online
Need to replace a part of your vehicle but the estimated price from the repair shop is too high for your liking? Your best bet would be to look online for parts. You’ll likely find better deals that way, even with shipping fees.
Consider repairing what you can at home
Many repairs and maintenance tasks can be done right in your driveway. Even if you’re not an experienced mechanic, you can likely change out spark plugs, oil, filters, and more with a quick Google search or YouTube video. You can also try tapping into your network to see if you have a friend or family member who can help. This way you can save on expensive labor fees!
Looking for a new or pre-owned vehicle? Our auto loans have great low rates, so you can have a new ride AND lower monthly payments! Visit a First Financial branch or contact the Loan Department to speak with a representative today!
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