- Consider car ownership costs beyond the initial purchase price.
- The average maintenance cost of a five-year-old car is different from the cost of maintaining a 10-year-old car.
- Check fluids regularly and replace filters as necessary.
- Replace cabin air filter annually and check hoses and belts for signs of wear.
- Check tire pressure and tread depth monthly to stay safe on the road.
It’s essential to consider car ownership costs beyond the initial purchase price. Can you afford the persistent upkeep and repairs for as long as you own it? Research has shown significant differences in annual maintenance between 5-year-old cars and 10-year-old vehicles. The average maintenance cost of a five-year-old car is $208. On the other hand, a 10-year-old has an average maintenance cost of $406. These figures demonstrate how vehicle maintenance grows increasingly costly over time.
Owning a car comes with many responsibilities; one of the most important is regular maintenance. It’s often easier and sometimes more cost-effective to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic. But there are some basic maintenance tasks that you can take on yourself. If you’re feeling ambitious and want to save money, here are some tips for servicing your car at home.
Check Fluids Regularly
This is probably the easiest and most important thing you can do to keep your car running smoothly. You should check your oil level at least once a month using the dipstick in the engine bay. You should also check that fluids like coolant, brake, transmission, and power steering are topped up as necessary.
Changing the Oil
To facilitate changing the oil in a car, you should use suitable equipment designed for the purpose. This includes an oil catch container and a funnel. You should also consider buying a reliable airbag jack to help you work on the underside of your car. This pneumatic air jack uses compressed air to lift a vehicle to your preferred height.
Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions about where each fluid type is stored in the engine bay. If there is a leak, then you should address it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could end up causing major damage to your engine and other components.
Wiper and Brakes
Additionally, check the levels of your windshield wiper fluid if necessary. This can help ensure your visibility isn’t affected when driving in inclement weather. Be sure to have your brakes inspected regularly as well. This is important for maintaining the safety of yourself and other drivers on the road. Be sure to follow manufacturer specifications for how often you should inspect your brakes for maximum safety.
Replace air filters regularly to keep your engine breathing well. Replacing fuel filters is more difficult but still feasible. Make sure you purchase the correct size filter for your car model and follow all safety precautions while handling gasoline or diesel fuel. The good news is that these filters are relatively inexpensive. You can pick them up at any auto parts store or online retailer for around $20 each.
For cars with cabin air filters (most newer models have them), changing these once per year is recommended as part of routine maintenance. Again, ensure you get the correct size filter for your vehicle model before attempting this job alone. It’s usually relatively simple to replace, but it could cause problems later if installed incorrectly.
Hoses and Belts
Finally, check your hoses and belts for signs of wear or damage. If you notice any fraying, cracking, or other irregularity, it’s best to replace the part as soon as possible to prevent a more serious issue from developing. Smaller components like these are usually inexpensive, so replacing them won’t break the bank.
Check Tire Pressure & Tread Depth
Underinflated tires will wear out faster and decrease fuel efficiency. Overinflated tires can cause an uncomfortable ride and increase the risk of blowouts due to excessive heat buildup in the tire walls from friction. So, you need to check your tire pressure and adjust accordingly. Additionally, you should regularly inspect your tires for uneven wear or shallow tread depth. If either is present, replacing the tires with new ones may be time.
To stay safe on the road, check tire pressure at least once a month using an accurate air pressure gauge. You can also check with a local gas station or tire shop with an air pump available (be sure to bring along quarters). Visually inspect tread depth monthly as well; if it looks low, then it’s time to replace those tires.
With patience, research, and basic mechanical skills, anyone can handle routine car maintenance tasks at home instead of always taking their vehicle to a professional mechanic! The tips in the article will help ensure your car continues running smoothly even after years of driving enjoyment! Sure, there might be some hiccups along the way. But with perseverance, you’ll eventually be able to tackle any DIY task confidently without worrying about breaking something irreplaceably expensive.