A car can last anyone a long time if you take the time to properly maintain it. Unfortunately, as a mobile car mechanic, I see too many people overlook common car maintenance because they forgot or wanted to save money in the short term. No one wants to spend their money on routine car maintenance, but doing so will save your wallet in the long run. Here are the five most overlooked car repairs and maintenance jobs that will save you money if you take the time to do them.
Change the oil
It seems really obvious but so many people do not get their oil changed. An oil change is one of the easiest things you can do for your car, is one of the most overlooked car repairs, and it is the biggest piece of maintenance that will increase the longevity of your car. In 2017 a Toyota Tundra hit one million miles. When the engineers took the car apart they said one of the biggest factors in the longevity of the car was regular oil changes and minor tune-ups. I recommend changing your oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
Change your brake pads
Do not hesitate to change your breaks when your mechanic recommends it. Buying a new set of brake pads is inexpensive and the brake pads will last a long time once installed. On the flip side, using worn-out brake pads can damage your car’s rotor and cylinder and replacing those could cost you thousands of dollars. On Average brake pads should be replaced every 40,000 to 50,000 miles.
Don’t forget about the coolant
It is important to refill your car with coolant. Coolant mixed properly with water will keep your car from overheating as well as properly lubricate your vehicle. You want the mixture of coolant and water to be an even 50/50. If you just put water in your car instead of refilling the coolant you can rust your engine or cause your cylinder to crack and freeze on a cold night. I recommend changing the coolant every 30,000 miles.
Exercise your battery
This piece of advice is for people who don’t drive their car often or will not run their car for an extended period of time. Not running your car for an extended period of time will kill your battery to the point that it might not even charge when you try and jump it. The fix for this is simple, once a month just let your car run for 30 min. This will give the battery a good workout and keep it from dying on you. I recommend installing a battery disconnect switch which is a great way to shut off the battery when it is not in use. They are affordable ranging from $10 to $30.
Change the fluids
Get a fluid change every five years. This means changing transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid. If you do not change your fluids they can become acidic and start eating away at your brakes and steering unit.
Taking the time to properly maintain your car can be a hassle, but doing these minor tweaks and tune-ups will pay off in the long run. Doing this easy maintenance will ensure your car last longer and will save you a lot of money in repair cost.
Matt Farnham is a mobile mechanic and owner of Auto Repair 2 You. Auto Repair 2 You specializes in preventative maintenance options that keep your car healthy.