Most vehicle owners dread taking their cars in for repairs. Large-scale automotive repairs typically don’t come cheap, and the more pressing the issue, the larger the price-tag. While there’s no denying that auto repairs can put a sizable dent in your wallet, there are numerous steps you can take to soften the financial blow. Although certain automotive issues are completely outside of the owner’s control, many of them can be minimized, if not avoided entirely, by taking a proactive approach. So, if you’re tired of shelling out exorbitant sums every time your vehicle starts acting up, put the following tips to good use.
Using Your Manufacturer’s Warranty
Most new vehicles come with a manufacturer’s warranty. The exact terms and conditions vary, but these warranties typically cover damage that occurs as the result of errors on the manufacturer’s end. So, if your car suffers mechanical damage or functionality mishaps as a result of negligence on your part, your warranty is unlikely to cover the cost of repairs. Additionally, manufacturer warranties tend to cover a variety of vehicle components. For example, if a certain part breaks down before your warranty expires, you may be eligible for a free replacement. While it varies from company to company, many manufacturer warranties last for three years or 36,000 miles – whichever comes first. Anyone who desires coverage beyond this point should consider investing in an extended warranty. Extended auto warranties aren’t for everyone, depending on how much use you get out of your vehicle and how long you intend to keep it, this type of warranty may prove a worthwhile investment.
Unfortunately, many vehicle owners fail to take advantage of manufacturer warranties, even when they have every reason to do so. In fact, a fair number of us have cars that are covered under active warranties but don’t even realize it. The next time your vehicle begins exhibiting problems, confirm whether or not its manufacturer warranty is still in effect before taking it in for repairs.
Prioritize Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance should be a priority for every car owner. While no one relishes spending money on automotive maintenance, shelling out a little bit of cash in the short term can ultimately save you a fortune in the long run. Ergo, the next time your vehicle experiences a problem, no matter how minor it may seem, have the issue diagnosed by a seasoned professional. Costly repairs often begin as minor problems, and the sooner such issues are addressed, the less of a financial impact they’re likely to have.
Preventative maintenance also extends to expensive repairs. Even if a certain repair stands to cost you a princely sum, neither you nor your vehicle will be well-served by putting it on the backburner. The longer a large-scale repair goes unaddressed, the harder it will be on your personal finances. Furthermore, continuing to drive a vehicle in need of serious repairs is both unsafe and irresponsible. Other motorists shouldn’t be put at risk by your bad decisions.
Regularly Change and Top Off Essential Fluids
In order for your vehicle to operate at peak efficiency, you’ll need to keep a watchful eye on its essential fluids. In addition to having your oil changed as often as the manufacturer recommends, you’ll need to top off your brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and coolant on a regular basis. So, the next time you go in for an oil change, make sure these fluids receive the necessary attention. Furthermore, take care to replace your car battery as needed. Conventional wisdom says to get a new battery every three years, but various outside factors may require you to replace your battery on a more frequent basis.
It’s not hard to see why so many of us revile trips to the mechanic. Depending on the scope of the problem, you may unexpectedly find yourself on the hook for several thousand dollars. Unfortunately, car troubles are inescapable adult responsibility. No matter how dependable your vehicle has proven itself throughout the years, there’s no way around the occasional repair. However, this isn’t to say that you should simply resign yourself to exorbitantly pricey repair bills. Anyone looking to lessen the financial strain of auto maintenance should regularly take the previously discussed measures.