Keeping your car in great shape is crucial, and whatever maintenance expenses you’ll have to shoulder will be worth it in the long run because auto repairs can be more costly. There are however, several things you can do to keep your maintenance costs low so you can keep your ride in top form without overspending.
1. Replace brake fluid once a year
The chemical composition of brake fluid makes it prone to attracting moisture, which causes vehicular components to corrode and eventually fail. To prevent having to spend on repair and replacement of parts, replace your fluid and bleed system at least once a year. Brake fluid is cheap, and even cheaper if you buy it online with a discount coupon from Micksgarage.
2. Protect your car’s interiors by parking in the shade whenever possible.
If you have no choice but to park outside, make sure you use a window deflector screen or dashboard cover. You can also apply a special UV protectant to keep the car’s interiors from drying out.
3. Take care of your wheel bearings
Replacing spindles and hubs is more expensive than checking to see how your wheel bearings are faring. Make sure you not only inspect but also clean and repack your car’s bearings using wheel bearing grease. Replace the bearings as necessary—bearings and grease are definitely more affordable than hub repair.
4. Change your coolant annually
To keep your car’s cooling system in shape, make sure you flush it and change your coolant once a year. Auto experts suggest mixing one part of distilled water with one part of coolant to prevent components from corroding. The mix will also prevent deposit build-ups.
Lubricate driveline parts and other moving parts such as u-joints, ball joints and door latches regularly.
6. Change out oils
Change out differential and transmission oils according to service intervals and according to the manufacturer’s recommended viscosity and oil type.
Protect your car’s exterior finish by washing it regularly. Apply quality wax to protect the car’s coat at least twice a year.
8. Examine your tire treads and check tire pressure on a monthly basis.
Keep in mind that your car’s wheels should be properly aligned and your tires need to be correctly inflated. In addition, have your tires balanced and rotated regularly. Rotating them will keep your tires in shape (giving you better mileage) and make them last longer to save you money in the long run.
9. Keep your battery cables and terminals clean of dirt and corrosion.
Inspect hoses for leaks, cracks and other damage and replace as necessary.
11. Change your air, PCV, and fuel filters
Change them to prevent grit and dust from getting inside the engine. Refer to the service manual for the manufacturer’s specifications.
12. Check and change the oil regularly.
To make your engine last years, decades even, make sure you do regular oil-level checks (at least once a month) and oil filter changes. If you start noticing warning signals such as rough idling and stalling, get your car checked as soon as possible—remember that spending on minor repair costs now will definitely save you from a major expense later on.