Car repair is a fact of life. We live in an age where you can’t get anywhere without a running set of wheels. One price we pay for that convenience is that car repair costs become a part of every family’s budget. Unless you’re a real gearhead and have a full-scale garage at your disposal, you’ll have to throw some cash into repairs from time to time, but here are some tips to help you keep down car repair costs.
Check and Change Your Oil
This is one of the biggest problems that’s also one of the simplest to solve. Every time you stop for gas, check your oil level. It’s as easy as finding the dipstick, wiping it off, reinserting it and then checking the level. You also have to get a periodic oil change. If you’re driving with bad oil, you’ll have all the parts of your engine rubbing together causing friction and heat. This will wear your engine down in no time. You’ll also have corrosion caused by the old oil that’s been sitting forever in the pan.
Learn to Shift Gears Smoothly
Drive a stick? If so, you’ll have to perfect the technique of shifting gears smoothly. This is an art form, but it’s something anybody can learn to do and it will save you lots of money on car repair. When you rev the engine, you’re putting more wear and tear on your clutch. Once the clutch goes out, you’ll have major bills for repairs. Each stick shift has a slightly different feel. Pay attention to yours and make sure the gears aren’t grinding and the engine’s not revving. If they are, take some time to practice and smooth it out.
Shift to Neutral at Red Lights
Very few drivers habitually do this, but shifting to neutral at red lights goes a long way in easing the pressure off your engine. It’s especially important if you drive everyday for work or take long road trips. When you’ve got your foot on the brake waiting at a light, it puts pressure on the engine which will wear it down more quickly over time.
Don’t Overload Your System
It’s generally a good idea to use heaters, air conditioners and defrosters only when you need them. Running the AC too high in the summer can cause your vehicle to overheat. Also, when you use these, your engine has to push harder and this puts pressure on it. It will also wear down your tires and cut down your fuel economy.
Replace Air Filters Regularly
Air filters get worn down and dirty, and this also puts undue strain on your engine. Most people get these changed every time their vehicle is serviced, but for most makes and models this just isn’t enough. Check your owner’s manual to see how often they recommend changing air filters and make sure you do it. This is an easy thing to work into your regular maintenance routine.
Learning how to drive and take care of your vehicle can greatly reduce car repair costs. You’ll need to take it in sometimes, but follow these 5 tips and you can save big on the expenses to keep your auto running.