Prevention is in your best interest. If you’re proactive about your car’s condition, you’ll prevent most of the mechanical problems that could break your bank. Sound like a solid strategy to you? If so, read ahead and learn how to avoid expensive car repairs. #2 might save you thousands…
1. Listen (really listen!) to your car.
Most car breakdowns aren’t a sudden event. They’re preceded by signs and symptoms that something is going wrong. That could be a coughing engine or dim dashboard light.
If you notice something unusual, don’t keep that information to yourself. Visit your auto shop and tell them about it. Worst case scenario, it’s nothing. Best case scenario, you’ll catch the problem before it gets expensive to fix.
2. Check your coolant reservoir.
Engine repairs are the worst. You could be out $1,000-5,000 depending on how severe it is. That’s not my idea of fun. If you want to prevent a steep repair bill, check your antifreeze regularly.
Not sure how? Look inside your owner’s manual. There’s a diagram that labels all the car parts. Alternatively, ask a service advisor (PPA) at your auto shop to show you how. They’d be glad to!
No matter how you do it, keep a close eye on your coolant. If the reservoir is close to empty, fill it up and go to an auto shop. There might be a leak somewhere. Act fast to prevent overheating. Note: this is especially important in summer!
3. Look out for leaks.
Leaks usually aren’t expensive. As long as you notice the leak within a certain amount of time, that’ll be an easy job. But what if you don’t notice a leak for several weeks or months?
That’s totally different. For example, a transmission leaks are often caused by a broken seal… no big deal! But if that problem goes unnoticed for a long time, it can damage your transmission. That’ll cost $3,000, ma’am (or sir).
I don’t believe in leaving things to chance. Get in the habit of consciously looking underneath your car. If you do that everyday for a week, you’ll probably just see dry pavement. But when a leak does happen, you’ll be more likely to catch it.
4. Follow the maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
Every make and model has a recommended maintenance schedule. It’s different for every car. This schedule wasn’t invented out of thin air. It’s the result of testing by car manufacturers.
To see what I mean, flip to the back of your owner’s manual. There’s a breakdown of services that are recommended at certain mileages. If you follow those suggestions, your car will live a long and healthy life.
Want to reduce the cost burden? Here’s a thought. Look up what services are coming due a few thousand miles beforehand. This should buy you a few months to budget for those investments. There’s no denying it. Owning and operating a car costs money! Get comfy with that fact.
Want to show your friends how to avoid expensive car repairs so they can save money, too? Share this article on social media. They will appreciate the advice.