When buying a new car, you need to consider several things and these include car price, insurance, fuel efficiency and the cost of car maintenance, among others. Maintenance and repair on a new vehicle can cost around $1,186 per year. With this amount, it is important that you keep aside a particular amount of money for this expense and the more you save, the more prepared you will be. Always remember, though, that maintenance costs of cars do vary.
1. Most Common Maintenance Expenses
Knowing the items that you should check off your car maintenance list will free you from worrying about being charged unfairly. Here are some of those items:
- Oil Change
- Windshield Wiper Replacement
- New Battery
- Brake Pad Replacement
- Rotate/Replace Tires
Oil should be changed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Therefore, determining when you should do this maintenance routine, depends on how far and how much you drive. The cost of oil change is between $25 and $50.
When you see that your windshield wiper does not work as well as it should, it is time to have a replacement. An ideal timeline is to replace the wipers every 6 - 12 months or as soon as they start showing problems. You may be charged from $55 to $88.
Depending on a number of outside factors, your car’s battery should be replaced every 3 years or so. Contributing factors that easily drain your battery include; leaving your car not driven for a long period of time, subjecting the vehicle to extreme heat or cold weather and leaving the interior ligdhts on many times. Replacement batteries may cost you between $59.99 and $300, depending on the make and model of the vehicle and your location.
Replacing your car brake pad depends on how often you use your brake and whether you drive in the city or the rural areas. The cost of brake pad replacement is $241, also depending on your location, make/model and year.
If your tires reach a tread depth of 4/32 inches, these should be replaced. For a timeline, tire replacement should be done, every 6 years, regardless of the number of miles you have driven. The cost of replacing all 4 tires is from $525 - $725. Tire rotation should be every 5,000 or 8,000 miles and cost $35 to $45.
2. Cheapest Cars to Maintain
Cars have different makes and models and they have varying maintenance costs. Here are some that are cheapest to maintain:
- Toyota Corolla
- Honda Accord
- Honda CR-V
- Kia Soul
- Subaru Impreza
3. How to Reduce Car Maintenance Costs
High fuel prices and maintenance costs make it expensive to run and maintain a car. There are tips, if followed, which will help in lowering your maintenance costs, while keeping your precious vehicle in good shape and roadworthy.
- Do simple jobs yourself
- Cautious driving
If you can sweat out the small jobs, you will be greatly surprised at how much you can save on components and labor at the end of the year. Learn to understand or deal with changing the air filter, oil, bulbs, windscreen, fuses and wiper blades. In addition, you can rotate your tires on your own, at least 2 times a year.
When you drive with care, you can prolong the life of your brake pads, tires, etc. -- and save on fuel too. Withstand against the desire of doing something unwise, such as driving too fast or riding with the clutch, which is a practice of keeping the clutch partially disengaged, while waiting at the traffic light or while stopping by at the chemist etc. In addition, instead of slamming your foot down on the brake pedal, you could do it gently. Slamming the brake can make the mileage of your car double, wherein, it can be drastically reduced, by putting it down gently.
Other tips include regular checking of the tire pressure, keeping your engine air filter always clean, getting car tune-ups as and when required and changing oil and the oil filter regularly. Use only the best spares on your car. Additionally, on major repairs, research on service costs and discounts and get second opinion to ensure that you are served the best at fair prices.