Your car is one of your most expensive and important material possessions. If your city doesn’t have adequate public transportation, a car is essential to go to work, run errands, and more. But are you giving your car the attention it deserves?
Maintenance is a primary way to avoid expensive repairs. Even if you don’t have the funds to fix a broken-down vehicle, you’ll still have to pay your auto loan, insurance, and other expenses.
Keeping up with these bills while figuring out how to get back on the road is a major financial setback.
The good news is, you can often complete maintenance yourself with a few tools and YouTube videos! But if you do get to a point where you need major repairs and you don’t have the money for it, our car repair loans can get you back on the road quickly.
Here are just a few ways to maintain your car and avoid costly car repairs:
1. Keep Your Fluids at a Good Level
One of the best ways to avoid costly car repair services is to keep your fluids at optimal levels. Perhaps most important are your engine oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant.
Without these important fluids, the vital systems in your car could completely break down. Your brakes could seize up or stop working, your steering may go out, or your engine or transmission could completely malfunction.
However, you can find videos online that show you how to change these fluids yourself. Or, if you’re not too handy, you can get your fluids checked every time you get your oil changed.
Speaking of, you should be getting your oil changed every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. In some cases, you can go even longer between changes. Make sure you look at your owner’s manual to figure out how often you should be changing and topping off your fluids.
2. Treat Your Tires Well
Your tires are probably one of the most underserved parts of your car. You don’t think about them until one goes flat or, worse, pops. You should get your tires rotated and aligned regularly. Since it’s recommended you rotate them every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, you should have it done every time you get your oil changed.
Rotating your tires means taking tires and moving them into different positions (for example, moving the front left tire to the front right). This helps keep the wear on your tires even.
Alignment, on the other hand, makes sure your tires are straight, which helps you keep control of your vehicle. Your tires should be aligned annually, any time you’re in a wreck, or when you get new tires.
Also, you should make sure your tires have the right air pressure. This is especially important when the temperature changes. When it gets warm, your tire pressure may increase to a dangerous level as the air expands. The opposite happens when it gets cold. Checking your tire pressure at every oil change can extend the life of your tires.
Finally, make sure the tread on your tires is deep enough to maintain contact with the road and channel water. Bald tires will slip and slide on the road, which can lead to a wreck.
In addition, worn tires can pop. An easy way to check your tire tread depth is to take a penny and place it upside down in your shallowest tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head still, your tires are too worn and need replacing.
3. Check Your Hoses and Belts
The hoses under your hood keep fluids flowing to the important systems in your vehicle. Your belts drive different engine parts.
When any of these belts or hoses wear down, crack, or otherwise become damaged, it can spell very bad news for your car. For instance, if your transmission fluid line cracks, your transmission could seize up and need to be replaced. Transmission replacement can cost thousands.
Be sure to check your hoses and belts on a regular basis. When it gets cold outside, the rubber in the hoses and belts gets hard and is more likely to crack. Alternatively, have your mechanic check your belts and hoses whenever you get your oil changed.
4. Stay Up-to-Date with Your Battery and Filters
No matter what kind of battery you get, it will eventually die. You should start checking your battery life when it’s three years old. Many auto part shops will check your battery life for you at no cost. In addition to checking the charge in your battery, make sure the terminals stay corrosion-free. There are plenty of videos online that will show you how to clean any corrosion off your battery.
You should also make sure your air filters are kept in good shape. Your car has two main filters: the engine filter and the cabin filter. These filters keep the air coming into your engine and your cabin clean. If these filters become too dirty, dirt and debris can get into the engine, damaging your car.
5. Keep Up with Car Manufacturer’s Maintenance Timeline
The best way to avoid costly car repair services is to keep up with your car’s maintenance timeline. This will be located in your owner’s manual, or you can find it online. However, most cars will have a timeline similar to this:
Every 15,000 miles:
- Replace your oil
- Replace your oil, engine and in-cabin air filters
- Replace your wiper blades
Every 30,000 miles:
- Repeat 15,000-mile steps
- Replace fuel filter
- Replace power steering and transmission fluids
- Replace engine coolant
Every 45,000 miles:
- Repeat 15,000-mile steps
- Check spark plugs
- Replace brake fluids
- Inspect and replace brake pads, if necessary
Every 60,000 miles:
- Repeat 30,000-mile steps
- Replace timing belt
- Replace battery
While these maintenance steps can be expensive, especially all at once, they are still much cheaper than emergency repairs that you may need if you don’t conduct regular upkeep.
Even if you maintain your car perfectly, there’s always the chance that your vehicle will require costly repairs every now and again. If this is the case, you may need a short-term loan to cover repairs.
We can help you get the money you need within a day to repair your car. We’ll connect you with a variety of providers of car repair loans, and help you figure out how much these loans will cost. Fill out our online form today to get your short term loan.