Vehicle maintenance isn’t just for trained mechanics. Sometimes, you can’t afford to keep your car maintained the way you would probably like. However, don’t fret because there are vehicle maintenance tips just for you. If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, you can perform all of these simple vehicle maintenance tasks yourself. It could save you a big bill the next time you visit the garage.
Here are some vehicle maintenance tips you can start to lower your maintenance bills.
Vehicle Maintenance Tips: DIY Tips to Keep Maintenance Bills Low
So what is harder than finding the car of your dreams? Well, the maintenance of course. However, it doesn’t have to be such a hassle. Below are some vehicle maintenance tips that you can do for yourself.
1) Change your battery
It may sound like a daunting task but it’s actually fairly straightforward. If you go to a garage for this they’re likely to charge you a premium. While batteries can sometimes last 4 or 5 years, you’ll probably be looking to swap it out at around the 3-year mark if you want to avoid any issues. This is because batteries can become unreliable after this point.
2) Use a higher octane fuel for greater vehicle maintenance
Over time, carbon deposits can accumulate in the engine. This is perfectly normal, but it can raise the engine’s octane rating. This means it takes more energy to burn fuel. Switching to a higher octane fuel should give you better performance and mileage, saving you money at the gas station.
Higher octane fuel will also usually contain additives that help clean out your carburetor (the device that mixes air and fuel in your engine). This is done so you can save money getting this inspected by a professional. Some cars require you to use a high octane fuel regardless of age, so make sure you know beforehand.
3) Rotate your tires for more vehicle maintenance
Because of things like weight distribution and front or rear-wheel drive, the rate at which your tyres wear down can vary considerably. By rotating the tires, you can spread this uneven wear across all four tyres. This will ensure you get the most use out of your tires, but also give you a chance to properly inspect the brake pads as well!
You’ll need to make a note of whether your car is:
- rear-wheel drive
- all-wheel drive
Also, check out the direction of the tread on your tyres, as this will determine the direction in which you rotate your tires. You can save money on professional labor and tire replacements by doing this yourself.
4) Change your brake pads
If you’re starting to hear some grating or squealing noises when the brakes are engaged it could be time to change your brake pads. Failing to replace these could damage the discs, which are expensive to replace. It can also cause a serious and even more expensive accident. You’ll want to make sure you replace these on both sides at the same time to ensure you have an even braking force. This is a case of spending money to save money!
5) Change your oil to aid vehicle maintenance
Engines are full of small moving parts, so it’s essential that these are all kept well-lubricated to minimize wear and tear caused by friction and heat. Engine oil does a good job of keeping things running smoothly. However, over time, this starts to break down and becomes much less effective.
Luckily, this is one of the easiest things to fix by yourself – and it could save you a lot of money!
You will still have to decide on:
- whether you want to use synthetic or regular oil
- the quality of the oil filter that you’re going to use
Synthetic oil is the more expensive option – but for good reason. Not only does it last longer, but it also contains fewer impurities, which makes it better for your engine. If you’ve gone for synthetic oil, don’t try to cut costs and buy a cheap oil filter as this will reduce its usable life.
6) Vehicle maintenance tip for your air – Use your air conditioning
Use it or lose it!
It’s as simple as that. Winter may be fast approaching but if you want to keep your air-conditioner fully functioning, then you need to have it operating at least once a week. Even in the coldest setting, this can help prevent any mechanical issues from developing. This will keep the gas pressure at an optimum level and give it the exercise it needs
7) Check your spark plugs (only on petrol engines)
Spark plugs are one of the most important parts of your engine. One or more faulty spark plugs could cause your engine to misfire, so it’s important to know how and when to replace them.
You will usually only need to replace these every 30,000 miles and you can often replace them yourself. The color of the electrode and the sparks can often tell you the cause of the issue, whether it is ‘normal’ wear and tear or whether you should visit a mechanic to check for a more serious underlying issue.
8) Check your tire pressure
It may seem fairly obvious, but you should regularly check your tire pressure.
If your tires are under-inflated, they will exhibit excessive wear on the inner and outer edges of the tread. It also leaves you more susceptible to punctures! Not only will you need to splurge on new tires sooner, but you’ll also be creating extra resistance when driving as a greater surface area is in contact with the road. This means you’ll also be using more fuel.
9) Change your air filters
If your air filter is clogged up it could be damaging your engine. The restricted airflow can lead to dust, dirt and other contaminants getting into your engine and damaging the engine pistons and cylinder walls. Over time, this can lead to reduced fuel economy and acceleration.
Air filters are pretty cheap and incredibly easy to replace. They should generally be changed every 30,000 miles, but you can check the condition of your air filter fairly simply. Your handbook will tell you where it is located under the bonnet.
10) Take care when driving for better maintenance
Sometimes you may tend to get a little overzealous with the acceleration or slamming hard on the brakes. Everybody is probably a bit guilty of this. Over time this can have a significant impact on the health of the car. In order to help the upkeep on your vehicle, try driving safer. You may be in a rush at times, which can lead to overzealous driving. However, try to remember that the safer you drive, the better off your vehicle can be in the long run, saving you hundreds.
Vehicle Maintenance Tips: In Conclusion
The overall message is actually quite simple. By driving more smoothly, being careful when accelerating, braking, turning and riding over bumps, you can be kinder on your car AND your wallet! And, simply do the regular maintenance. Don’t cheap out on stuff. Don’t cut corners. Just give your car exactly what it needs…
Are you ready to implement some of these tips today?
AUTHOR LaTia Longuemire
My name is LaTia Longuemire. I enjoy writing, singing, and cooking in my spare time. My passion is helping others. At this stage in my lifetime, I'm primarily focused on my children. They are everything that keeps my world spinning.