Ongoing maintenance costs are just part of being a car owner. While you should certainly budget at least some money every year to prepare yourself for auto repairs, you should also try and be more proactive about taking care of your car so that the replacement or repair of parts is not necessary. Here are three specific things you can do yourself on a regular basis that may help you keep your auto maintenance costs down.
Rotate Your Tires
When you drive down the road, your tires naturally accumulate wear and tear but it is the side of the tire facing out towards the road that tends to accumulate more. In order to maximize the life of your tires, it is a good idea to occasionally rotate them so that this wear and tear evens out on both sides. Failing to do so will cause just one side of the tire to deteriorate until the tire is not driveable any longer, leading to a costly replacement. If you can handle changing a flat tire on the side of the road, you can use the same tools to quickly switch your tires around.
Start Changing Your Own Oil
An oil change is one of the most common regular car maintenance tasks. If you're still paying an auto mechanic to take care of this for you, it's a relatively straightforward process. You'll need an oil pan from any auto parts store to get started and the guide that came with your car likely has instructions if you are unsure of what to do. Worst case scenario, pay to have your oil changed professionally one last time and just ask if you can watch the process. Most auto mechanics should be happy to help educate a customer on how to do a relatively simple maintenance task like this. Regular oil changes will protect your engine and keep it running without the need for costly repairs for years to come.
While you're under the hood, don't forget to take a look at your coolant system. The car's cooling system should be flushed once a year. A 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water will help keep corrosion from building up inside the system. The same tools you used for the oil change can be used to drain the existing coolant and put some new coolant in.
By teaching yourself to take care of simple car maintenance tasks like oil changes and tire rotation, you can keep your annual maintenance bills down. Regular care will also help you avoid costly repairs in the future. If you are unsure about how to tackle any of tasks mentioned here, your local auto repair shop, like Collins Service Center, likely has someone who can give you general advice and help you purchase the tools you need.