By Evan Vitale
Mechanical problems with your car can not only be costly, but can also cause a huge inconvenience.
At one time or another, we’ve all been there. Our car wouldn’t start; we had it towed only to wait nervously by the phone for the mechanical to call with a repair quote. Can we afford it?
Here are some tips that will help keep your car in good running shape and hopefully prevent you from having to face an expensive bill from the repair garage:
- If you have a new (or newer car), always follow the recommended maintenance schedule. Keep a record and schedule your next service in advance. There’s no need to pay for a particular service until it’s needed.
- For regular routine maintenance, some will take their car to the “quickie oil change” business than to the dealer. That might be less expensive, but check to see if it voids any prior manufacturer or dealer warranties on your auto.
- If you run into a serious problem with your vehicle, it’s always better to take it to the dealer’s repair shop. They sell and specialize in your auto type and your car may be under a warranty. In most cases, a warranty means your car needs to be repaired by a certified mechanic.
- Only purchase tires if they come with a warranty and keep a record in your glove box.
- Newer cars should always have their oil changed every 3,000 miles. Older cars may not need it that often.
- If you think your car has a problem, fix it now. Don’t wait until you are stranded.
Here are some quick, easy and inexpensive things you can do yourself:
- Check your fluid levels: coolant, oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid.
- Check your tire pressure and inflate to proper levels. Your car will ride smoother and you’ll gain better gas mileage.
- Make sure your windshield wiper blades are working and in good shape. If they aren’t moving water and snow from your windshield properly, buy new blades and replace them yourself.
- Check your headlights, brake lights, tail lights and turn signal lights. In some cases, you may be able to replace these yourself.
These simple steps will help you take better care of your auto investment and keep you on the road longer and avoid costly mechanical bills.