Cars, Motorbikes, boats and other motorised toys while great to own can cost a small fortune to repair and maintain. How can we reduce the cost of ownership of these little money pits? I have been servicing and maintaining my own vehicles since I was a teenager. Today I am going to share some tips help you to save money on car repairs and maintenance.
Learn More About Your Vehicle
Pull that dusty owners manual out of the back of the glovebox and give it a good read. The owners manual will cover the basics required for caring for your vehicle. Checking Tire pressures, checking fluid levels, what warning lights mean, how to jack up your car to change a tire and the like. The manual may also have the recommended service schedule. If your vehicle is a few years old you may be able to purchase a workshop manual that will go into great detail including complex maintenance procedures and part numbers. Youtube and enthusiast forums are also a great source of knowledge! You will be able to better understand what your mechanic is telling you and make better informed decisions.
Do It Yourself
Even if you are not very mechanically minded there are lots of little jobs that you can do yourself to save some coin. Replacing light bulbs, windscreen wiper blades, fluid top ups, air filters, oil changes, spark plugs and the like. With very minimal investment in tools you can perform a lot of basic maintenance procedures yourself.
Find A Good Mechanic
Ask your friends and family if they know a good mechanic they would recommend. Check online reviews to see what other customers think about the service and price. Check for certifications and authorised partners. Take your vehicle to a mechanic that has a lot of experience with your particular make and model especially if it is imported, rare or unique.
Be aware that new vehicles with warranties may require that regular servicing is carried out by an authorised dealer. Some maintenance and repairs require expensive diagnostic and specialist tools and it may work out cheaper to get a mechanic to perform the task than purchasing the tools required.
Get Cheap Parts
By cheap parts I mean quality parts at a good price. Contact a couple different suppliers and do a price comparison. Consider quality after market parts and check online to see if you can get a better price. Stick to quality name brands.
“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Keeping your vehicles well maintained with help prevent costly damage down the track. Maintenance will also ensure your car is as safe and reliable as possible.
Save On Labour Charges
If you are getting some work done on your car combine multiple jobs together and replace parts that are taken off as part of the process. Getting a timing belt replaced? consider doing the water pump, ancillary belts, tensioners, oil seals at the same time to avoid the additional labour to replace these parts down the road. If you need to get your gearbox removed replace the clutch at the same time. Ask your mechanic if there is anything else worth replacing during the job to save labour later on.
Get an OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics) scanner. The majority of cars have a OBD connector under the dash and for a few dollars you can get a scanner that can read and display information about your vehicle. Common issue with vehicles cause the Engine Check light to come on usually due to a faulty sensor. If you plug in an OBD scanner it will indicate the issue and help you to troubleshoot the problem and replace the faulty component.
With some simple tools and basic education you can learn how to save money on car repairs and maintenance. I would love to hear about your experiences with maintaining vehicles. Send me an email or comment below.