Simple Car Maintenance Tricks for Saving Money 

It’s no secret that owning a car can be expensive. Even after the down payment and monthly payments, you still have to pay for insurance, registration, gas, oil changes, and maintenance. In other words, owning a car adds up. 

Because of this, it’s important to save money anywhere you can. The last thing you want to do as a car owner is drop a few hundred or thousand dollars on repairs that could have been avoided with a little bit of TLC or foresight. 

Here’s a list of five easy ways to help limit your future vehicle costs. Implement these tips, and your wallet will thank you down the road.

Rotate Your Tires 

Rotating your tires is incredibly easy, and incredibly affordable. Most tire shops will rotate your tires for free, if you purchased your tires there, so be sure to check in with your go-to tire spot. Even if it’s not complimentary, rotations are usually extremely cheap, and they only take a few minutes (you can also rotate your tires at home, if you have multiple jacks). 

Ideally, you should rotate your tires every 10,000 miles. If you do this, it evenly distributes the wear and tear on your tires, which dramatically increases how long your tires will last. The longer they last, the longer you can go between pricy tire changes.  

Get Your Oil Changed on Time 

Getting your oil changed often feels like a nagging chore. It can feel trivial, and it often requires waiting in your car or in a waiting room for 45 minutes. It’s tempting to drive another thousand or two miles, or just throw another quart of oil in and keep going.

Don’t do that! Changing your oil on a regular schedule is critical to the long-term health of your car. You won’t notice the impact immediately, but changing your oil on time can be the difference between your car making it to 200,000 miles easily, and needing an engine rebuild at 120,000. It’s a very affordable way to invest in the future of your car. 

Check Your Fluids Regularly 

It’s easy to forget about things like brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant, but if you spring a leak and run low on any of them, you’re headed for an exorbitantly-priced repair. If you’re comfortable checking your own fluids, do so about once a month. If you’re not comfortable with this, just make sure that whoever changes your oil also checks in on all your fluids. 
You should also check your oil level on a regular basis. Catching an oil leak in the early stages can save you thousands of dollars. 

Get Your Belts Inspected 

Timing and serpentine belts usually have long lifespans, but they won’t last forever. If you check your vehicle’s manual, there will be a suggestion for when you should get your belts replaced (usually it’s every 40, 50, or 60,000 miles). Around that time, schedule an inspection, or ask your oil change mechanic to check out the belts.

Having your belts replaced is a relatively cheap repair. If you wait until they break, you’ll not only find yourself stranded on the road with a vehicle that won’t drive, but you risk damaging other components of the vehicle in the process. 

Check Your Tire Pressure 

Keeping track of your tire pressure sounds simple enough, but it’s surprising how easy it is to forget. Before you get in your car, take the 10 seconds required to perform a visual inspection on your tires. If the air pressure gets too low, stress will be put on certain parts of the vehicle, and you risk having a tire blow, which is costly. Checking your air pressure is the easiest thing you can do to help keep your vehicle going strong. 

None of these auto maintenance tricks are costly or time intensive, but all of them can keep your wallet a lot fatter in the future. 

About The Author

Brady Klopfer

Brady Klopfer is a freelance writer and editor from Los Angeles. You can read more of his work here