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Financial Focus: Why Skipping Routine Vehicle Maintenance Costs You a Ton of Money

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Thursday, May 12, 2016

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There’s a reason why automobile manufacturers press the importance of regular maintenance. And that reason is that routine vehicle maintenance is pivotal to the life of your car. Skip your regular maintenance appointments and the chances of major damage occurring skyrocket.

Yet many people are tempted to skip out on this maintenance, largely for financial reasons. When money is tight, it can be difficult to put what you do have into your car, especially when it’s running fine. Yet doing so, or even just putting off the maintenance until later, is really just causing you to lose more money down the road.

Below we look at exactly how regular vehicle maintenance saves you a ton of money in the long run. We also briefly discuss how to find a reputable auto repair shop that will give you your money’s worth.

Importance of Car Maintenance

The importance of car maintenance cannot be overstated. For one, it helps your car run more smoothly, reducing the chances of damage. On the same note, a well-maintained car drives and handles much better, reducing the risk of accident. And even if you avoid major damage or an accident, failing to maintain your car severely reduces its lifespan.

Indeed, performing routine vehicle maintenance can add years to your car’s life. Most experts agree that performing maintenance as recommended by your auto manufacturer can boost a car’s life from 150,000 miles to 200,000 miles or more.

Problems Caused by Lack of Maintenance

If you know anything about cars, you know problems can occur out of nowhere, at the drop of a hat. And the chances of a problem occurring is much higher if you fail to regularly maintain your car.

The most important type of car maintenance is changing the oil. Depending on the specifics of your car, this should be done every 3 months or so. If you take your car into a mechanic, your yearly oil change total will be about $150. Fail to change your oil and you greatly increase the risk of engine failure. The cost to replace a failed engine? At least $4,000 for most vehicles.

Taking care of your tires is almost just as important as changing your oil. It’s recommended you rotate your tires every 7,500 miles. The tires are switched from front to rear to help spread wear and lengthen their life. Tire rotation costs about $50 each time while a tire replacement can cost upwards of $750.

The brakes are another area of your car that requires regular maintenance. In addition to prolonging their life, an annual brake check keeps you safe. During an annual check, your mechanic will let you know if you need to replace your brake pads. Doing this before you really need to can prevent costly brake rotor or brake drum replacement. You can save up to $500 by scheduling an annual brake checkup.

Your car’s plugs and filters are another couple of parts that needs to be maintained on a routine basis. Maintenance of these parts is especially important if you live in a city or state that requires you to pass an emissions test.

Regularly maintained/changed plugs and filters greatly improve the health of your engine. And a healthy engine means you’re more likely to pass your emissions test, saving a ton of money that would otherwise be spent on getting your engine up to compliance.

Find a Reputable Auto Repair Shop

A reputable auto repair shop, like Milestone Liberty located online at MilestoneLiberty.com, can be surprisingly hard to find. The fact is that there are a whole lot of lackluster repairs shops out there to weed through.

So how do you find a reputable and reliable auto repair shop? That starts with seeking referrals from friends and family. Use recommendations from people close to you to narrow down your search results.

The next step is doing some research on each candidate online. Check out their website and their rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Their website should list all their certifications and affiliations. A trustworthy mechanic should be registered with a couple of trade associations, most importantly the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Routine car maintenance is an area of personal finance many people overlook. Yet taking your car in for regular maintenance can do great things for your bottom line. Be sure to change your oil, rotate your tires, inspect your brakes, and change your plugs and filters on a regular basis to keep your car – and your bank account – in great health.

Daniel Berry has been a mechanic ever since leaving school and gaining an apprenticeship. He loves motorsports, classic cars and has recently discovered he enjoys writing about cars too.

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