It may seem that skipping some routine car maintenance is a great way to save money when you’re strapped for cash, but the truth is, not maintaining your car is a surefire way to increase the amount of money you actually spend on a car. vehicle. Just as drivers can reduce their risk of accidents through defensive driving, Florida residents would also be wise to prevent costly repairs.
The Importance of Car Care
First of all, not doing car maintenance can significantly reduce its lifespan, sometimes by up to 50,000 miles. Plus, the huge bills you incur to replace unmaintained parts will make you wish you had taken better care of your car. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some common maintenance procedures and how expensive it can be to miss them.
Taking your car for an oil change every three to six months can sometimes seem like a waste of money, but the truth is, changing the oil to the manufacturer’s specifications is an important part of standard car maintenance. Without good, clean oil, friction in the engine can actually start to erode engine parts. For a quick cost comparison, an oil change costs around $100 a year, but replacing a worn out engine will cost $4,000. Depending on how old your car is, replacing the engine could cost more than the actual car is worth.
Rotating tires regularly—generally every 6,000 miles—ensures even tire wear, and helps maintain tread so tires last longer. Keeping tires inflated is an important practice in good car maintenance as it improves safety, protects the car and provides the driver with better gas mileage. Finally, adjusting the tire alignment once a year will ensure that your steering and suspension are at proper specifications. Failing to properly care for your tires will cause them to wear out more quickly and can cost you a lot of extra gas money.
The clincher is that most of these car maintenance requirements are free if you go to the shop where you bought the tire for the job, but you will be spending a few hundred dollars or more to replace the tire completely.
Because timing belts are not very visible or replaced frequently, maintenance schedules are often neglected. However, failing to replace the belt in the recommended number of miles can be one of the most costly mistakes you make when it comes to your car. You can tell if your belt is broken because the engine will cut out, and your car will slow to a stop. If you’re lucky, you’ll just get a new tow and belt, but if you try to start the car again, or if a broken belt causes damage when it breaks, you can spend new money on engine parts, a cost of about two grand. A new belt, on the other hand, costs around $600.
It’s easy to neglect the annual brake check. After all, the car is still stopped right? But failure to monitor disc and shoe bearing wear can lead to collateral damage and result in more expensive repairs. Also, imagine how much damage would occur if your brakes failed while you were driving. In general, replacing bearings and shoes will cost over $150, but other replacements, such as rotors, will range from $300 to $600.
Spark Plugs and Filters
While you’re likely to damage your car by failing to replace a filter or two, keeping the filter up-to-date helps keep your engine clean and will give you better luck when it comes time to pass auto maintenance and emissions tests. So if you want to pass that test on the first run and avoid the necessary repairs, replace those filters and spark plugs regularly.