Vehicle service can, oftentimes, be quite troublesome for the vehicle owner. Especially if they don’t have a good understanding of what kind of work a car service involves. That is to say, they might find it too expensive or too complex. In any case, unless your vehicle is under warranty, you will have to pay a reasonable amount — to say the least — to have your car well maintained. In this article we have gathered some tips on how to save a few bucks on car service.
8 tips to help you save on car service
1. Drive with care
The wear and tear of your vehicle highly depends on how you are driving it. To be specific, vehicle parts like tires, brakes and engine motors are uniquely affected by driving behaviors, such as fast accelerations, excessive speeding, hard braking and high RPM (rotations per minute). Try, as much as you can, to drive smoothly and with care; so those parts of your vehicle don’t wear rapidly. Except maintenance reasons, it’s even more important not to drive aggressively, for safety reasons; and, of course, to obey the driving laws.
2. Service your car on time
Try and be as punctual as possible with the service schedule of your vehicle. Although it may seem as an unwarranted expense to some, appropriately taking care of your vehicle as often as needed, you ensure that all of its parts are in good condition. Which, in turn, means the possibility of a serious breakdown due to bad maintenance is dramatically reduced. There are cases, however, when a technical problem might emerge out of nowhere. If you feel there is something wrong with your vehicle or if you see the check engine light (MIL) on, you should get your vehicle to a garage, as soon as possible.
3. Get some fixed-price car service deal
These are becoming more and more popular. All you have to do is pay a monthly flat fee to the repair shop of your choice and have them repair any kind of damage without any extra cost. It’s a useful method, especially if you are diligent about keeping your car in pristine condition. Not to mention, it works really well in tandem with this next tip.
4. Learn how to perform certain maintenance tasks by yourself
Even though you may not have the slightest idea about car servicing, don’t worry; it’s not rocket science. You can, fairly easily, learn how to do some basic maintenance, all by yourself. A good starting point is the owner’s manual for your vehicle. It contains guidelines on what work needs to be done on your vehicle and when. It will also show the exact location of certain parts, such as oil and oil filters, fuel filters or air filters, that you can maintain by yourself. Other things you can easily do for yourself, in order to save a buck or two on car service is, change your headlights and fog lights and check out your tires for alignment and inflation pressure. For the latter It’s important that they have the correct pressure and are well aligned.
5. Compare prices
Servicing your vehicle at the official dealership may be a reliable solution, in terms of service and parts quality. But it can be quite expensive, as well. If your vehicle’s warranty has expired, then perhaps it’s high time you considered taking it somewhere else. Make sure to speak with different repair shops and get quotes for different prices and service packages. Notwithstanding that, you also need to ask around and check online reviews, to see if they are reliable. It would be a shame to shift to a local garage to save on car service, and end up paying more because of bad car service. Wouldn’t it?
6. Get a quotation from the garage
When you’ve found a reliable and trustworthy garage to bring your car, ask for a detailed breakdown and costing of all the work that needs to be done. That way, you’ll have the chance to see and understand how and why they arrived at the total cost. Just make sure they’ve included all parts, costing and VAT. And make sure it’s a quotation, not an estimate. A quotation is a promise that the work will be completed at that price. An estimate can change at any point in time, especially if the repair shop finds there are more issues present than anticipated.
7. Consider buying used parts
If your vehicle has some parts malfunctioning and getting brand new ones is too expensive for you, have a look around your local market — or online — for used parts. Although they are not always a great solution, wearing out quite fast at unknown lifespans, there are certain types of parts that wear out of order very rarely. Also, their second hand price is much lower than a new one, so you will save a bit more there.
8. Make sure you use clean fuel
Bad fuel is surely responsible for bad mileage. But, it may also be responsible for your injection filter being baked, your fuel tank, pump and filter being replaced and your engine performing poorly. Not to mention your catalytic converter, and all sorts of pollutants coming out of your exhaust. So, making sure you use good, clean fuel not only saves you a ton of money in maintenance; it also gives you some peace of mind, avoiding road-check tickets and fines.
All in all…
At some point, normal wear and tear will, no doubt, have you pay more than usual to maintain your vehicle in good condition. But, don’t give it a second thought. Even that will be nowhere near the price tags of rebuilding your motor or having to bear unforeseen downtime and lost work hours. Remember; the more often you have your vehicle checked and maintained, the more you will actually be able to save on car service.