5 Auto Maintenance Services That Offer a High ROI
Most car owners worry about auto maintenance costs. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep your expenses low, and you should always feel free to ask the technicians at your local car repair shop to help you prioritize fixes. But there are some auto maintenance services that will actually end up saving you money in the long run, since they’re relatively low cost and can prevent being handed a hefty bill down the road. If you take a look at the comparative pricing, you’ll see that maintenance prices are much, much lower than auto repair prices (for obvious reasons). So what aspects of maintenance will give you the most bang for your buck? Here are five auto maintenance services you should never skip:
It used to be that you were told to get an oil change every 3,000 miles. But with today’s high-performance synthetic oils, you might be able to change your oil as infrequently as every 7,000 miles (of course, that only applies if you’re driving a newer model of car). Check your owner’s manual, and be sure to follow the guidelines both for the type of oil and the changing schedule.
New Air Filters
Imagine the difference between taking a nice, deep breath of air and trying to breathe in with your mouth covered by a bag or a dirty sock. That’s essentially how the air filter in your engine works, too; when the filter gets clogged, it makes it hard for the engine to “breathe.” You’re likely to see decreased fuel efficiency, and your engine might even stall. You’ll probably want to change the air filter every 5,000 miles or so.
Hose and Belt Checks
There are numerous hoses and belts in your engine, and getting them looked over periodically can save you from needing engine repairs (notorious for being one of the most expensive types of auto repair in the U.S., along with transmission breakdowns). Hoses should be free of cracks, and their clamps should all be tight. Belts should show no signs of slipping or dry rot.
Brake Pad Replacements
Brake pads last anywhere between 30,000 and 70,000 miles depending on your maintenance habits, your car, your driving skills and your driving conditions. So how do you know when to replace them? If they’re less than 1/8 of an inch thick, you’re at risk of damaging your rotors (which will cost a lot more to repair than a simple brake pad change).
Many people neglect tire rotations because they don’t know just how affordable they are. Depending on where you purchased your tires, you may be able to get free lifetime rotations. And even if you pay full price, it’s likely to cost about $20. Rotating your tires can give you better traction and steering control, as well as making your tires last longer. Considering that you’re looking at a minimum of $500 for a full set of acceptable new tires, a tire rotation every 3,000 to 5,000 miles is a bargain you shouldn’t pass up.