Whether it’s your first car, or your fifth, I’m sure you want to take good care of it, either to keep it running longer, or have a better resale value. Let’s face it: the current state of the economy is not presenting a good picture, and with this in mind, it is all the more important to find the best ways to get the maximum value for your vehicle.
Repairs and replacements are costs that are necessary to keep your car in top shape. However, there are several tips that you can follow to save instead of spending more and more. If you are practical and willing, with a few simple tricks in mind, you will able to save more bucks and lengthen your car’s value.
Use the right parts
When I say you can save money by buying the right parts, it does not necessarily mean that you should only buy the parts that are the cheapest. You should be wise in deciding when it is better to buy parts straight from your car manufacturer’s dealers, and when it is more advisable to buy replacement parts from OEM, or aftermarket parts sellers. As a rough guide, if the original parts and the replacement parts cost almost the same, perhaps it is better to buy the original. However, if the price difference is big, and the OEM and OES parts are being sold by reliable sources, and at the same time, they are non-critical components, then buying those parts should be preferred. For example, most parts under the chassis, like small bearings, tie rods, rack ends, etc. can be easily replaced by cheaper alternatives without posing much risks. If you do choose to buy the original for the more critical parts, you can still get discounts if you shop from reliable online sources who cut middlemen costs to make parts more affordable.
Treat your car with occasional carwash service
Before you raise your eyebrows in doubt, yes, I know that washing your car by yourself seems like the better way to save money. However, if you don’t know the proper way to clean your car, you might end up causing unwanted damage. Sure, it can appear like a simple task: just get the cleaning instruments, a generous splashing of water, and you’re good. But is you’re not careful, your vehicle’s paint and finish might be damaged by simply using the wrong type of detergent, or brushing too hard. Over time, they may even develop into micro-abrasions and even scratches.
I suggest you go to a carwash once in a while, and really observe the process. Admit, most car owners wouldn’t be able to clean their cars with the same quality as do the professional carwashers. An occasional trip should not hurt your wallet too much, especially when the result will be a spic-and-span car that would last longer. Also, once you master the art of carwashing by observing, you can then buy the right instruments, use them over and over again, and save even more money.
Don’t skip the Oil Change
Changing oil is probably the most common car maintenance practice there is, and every car owner should be familiar with it. As basic tips for saving money on oil change, you should be smart in choosing where is the best place to change the oil, and which oil is inexpensive, but with good quality.
Get involved and not just leave your car to some garage or independent service station who might skimp on the use of quality materials and products. Beware as well of some service stations who try to delay the time prompting you to give a “tip” for speedier mechanic service. You can also have your oil changed in the dealerships, but it would be more costly. But of course, you would be assured of the better quality and other advantages.
Pay attention to your AC compressor
If you are the type who ignores minor problems manifested by your air conditioning system, you just might encounter big problems eventually. Most AC compressors ultimately fail because of age, and when this happens, repair would not cost cheap. Normally, you would have to replace several parts, like the expansion valve, evaporating coil, condensing oil, etc. So, you should have a reliable source where you can buy discounted, yet quality parts.
Another option is to find a certified and trusted mechanic who can rebuild the compressor for you. There may not be plenty of shops offering this service, but if you are able to find one, they can take your compressor and rebuild it using working parts from other compressors.
These are just some of the ways to save money, while at the same time, take care of your car to keep its value high. If you remember these tips, whether there is recession or not, you and your car would surely benefit from them for life.
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