You can’t survive without your car, but there are some days that you wish it weren’t so expensive. When you factor in auto loans, insurance, gas and maintenance, you realize that your vehicle is costing you a ton of money. Would skipping something like maintenance be easier on your budget?
The Costs of Car Maintenance and Repairs
Car maintenance and repairs can do a number on your budget. Take a look at the car repair costs of each state to see what you can expect to pay when you bring your vehicle into the shop. If you don’t want to get sticker shock the next time that you get a tune-up, set this estimate aside in your annual budget.
You should also be ready for the unexpected. Emergency car repairs are going to cost a lot more than your usual check-up. Make sure that you have an emergency fund so that you can handle problems like flat tires, a stalling engine or a cracked windshield right away.
If you don’t have enough savings right now, consider applying for a line of credit. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a flexible way to borrow and you’re hoping to have a safety net to fall back on during an emergency. Applying for a line of credit is fast and easy. You can do everything online. Soon after, you’ll get notified about whether your application has been approved or not.
Saving on Maintenance Costs
If you want to trim your car costs, you shouldn’t skip the maintenance. Ignoring basic maintenance tasks will push your car to break down or malfunction faster, leading to more check-ups, repairs and part replacements. It could affect the lifespan of your car — which means you’ll have to save up for an upgrade way sooner than you’d like.
For instance, you should air up your tires every time they look a little deflated. Most gas stations let you use the air filling machine for free. Skipping this simple fix will make your tires wear out faster and overheat on the road. This can lead to air leaks, blowouts and dangerous accidents. Also make sure you plan for your car maintenance needs down the road.
Preparing for Winter
The harsh winter weather can take a toll on your car. If you don’t take some precautions before the snow falls, you could deal with some nasty repairs in the near future. To keep your car in good condition throughout the winter, you should do the following:
- Switch to winter tires.
- Make an emergency winter car kit to get out of snow patches. Include a box of kitty litter to help your tires gain traction on slippery surfaces.
- Replace your windshield wiper blades. You don’t need a mechanic to do this.
Instead of skipping maintenance, you can sometimes skip the mechanic. Try to do some of the simple tasks on your own. Here are some of the tasks that are simple and safe enough to do in your own garage:
- Replace your air filter
- Change your coolant
- Change your oil
Maintenance is an investment that tends to pay off. It’s better to pay for these small services now, then cover major repairs in the future.