Most people have hobbies that they enjoy or they have interests that really spark their desires. For you, it’s all about your car. Since the day you passed your driving test, you’ve had your eyes set on a particular make and model. Now that it’s yours, you’re in heaven. However, since you spent the money to buy it, you’re really trying to save on maintenance. What are five frugal tips for keeping your car in the best condition?
Preventative Measures Are Best
Chances are, you’ve heard this phrase before. When you are able to prevent problems from happening in the first place, you don’t have to deal with the ramifications of them. Be sure to take your car for regular oil changes and to get it inspected when required to do so by law. You should also give your car time to warm up on winter days, and don’t let minor issues turn into major problems. If you maintain your car properly, you’re likely to have less problems.
Use Free Services
When people buy cars, they are often quick to get out of the dealership and onto the road without really listening to what their package entails. Some dealerships, for example, will offer free oil changes or other services for a year or longer. No reason exists to skip out on these services. Even if the dealership is a little bit of a ride, the gas to get there will likely cost less than having the services done by a local mechanic. Also, consider hand washing your car at home for a significant savings over a car wash service. If you are willing to put forth the effort, significant long term savings can be had, and with the right equipment and supplies, you can deliver as good if not better a wash than your local gas station car wash.
Carefully Read Your Service Contract and Warranty
If you just purchased a new vehicle, you should really not be experiencing problems with it right away. Even if the car is a few years out, this does not necessarily mean it should have problems. Before you call up any mechanic or make any appointments to get your car fixed, you need to look into the service contract and warranty. What about an extended service contract? Should you get one? Well, figure out how much it costs. For example, $10 a month is likely better than having to spend thousands of dollars at one time for one repair.
Repair Instead of Replace
In the event that something breaks in your vehicle, you might be tempted to immediately replace it. Yes, in some cases, this move is the right one to make, but you don’t want to do so unnecessarily. A tire with a nail in it can be fixed, and you won’t have to purchase a new one. If your car stereo or GPS unit stops working, you can go to a factory car navigation repair shop instead of getting an entirely new piece. These actions will definitely help to save you money.
Of course, the mechanical parts of your car are extremely important to keep it in good shape, but you also want to ensure that it looks nice. Make this an effort from the time you get your car. Being careless and tossing cups of coffee on the floor could leave you with stains on the rug, and failing to watch your car for months and months can just make for a more expensive job later. Pay attention to both the inside and outside of the vehicle.
Buying the car of your dreams is absolutely exciting. Don’t let it turn sour by failing to properly maintain your vehicle during the years of its life.