Top 30 Tips to Reduce Car Maintenance Costs

Owning a car is always a happy and joyful experience. But the expense which comes right after that will lighten your pockets. Though I’m not an auto guru or a person who is very mechanically inclined, I’ve found few tricks to reduce the maintenance cost. You can also try out these simple tricks and slash your car maintenance costs.

Here, I have focused on 4 main areas:

  • Driving Style
  • Accessories
  • Insurance
  • Care Tips

Driving Style

  1. Never start your car with A/C switched on. This puts the engine on overload
  2. In order to avoid excess fuel consumption, always remember to turn the engine off while parked or waiting
  3. Give your car a warm up during the winter, it is recommended to start your car slowly after 30 seconds. A cold rev will damage engine’s tight parts quickly and your car will end up at a nearby service station.
  4. Put an easy stop to your car rather than hard braking. This can extend the life of your brake as well as get the appropriate mileage. Hard braking can sometimes lead to accidents that may take your life
  5. Engine revs should be always kept low while accelerating and don’t change into a higher gear quickly. Better use of gears can always save up your fuel costs
  6. Driving unnecessarily at higher RPMs causes the engine to heat up and damage certain soft components of your car and you
  7. Never drive your car with an almost empty tank, as the fuel pump would suck in air and damages the catalytic converter
  8. Never engage clutch for long as it would damage your clutch plates, use neutral instead of using the clutch on signals.
  9. Always use the parking brake, it evens out the load and helps transmission components to last longer
  10. Resting your hand on gear stick with a certain amount of force will damage your gearbox, so avoid it

Accessories

  1. Car door guards/ Scratch protector: It helps to protect your car from the dings and dents from other cars parking near yours
  2. Bumper protector: It helps to prevent your car from unnecessary bumper damage
  3. Mud flaps: Use mud flaps to block dust as it would help you to prevent your car from rusting and getting dirty
  4. Floor Mat: Use floor mats to protect your car’s floor from dirt, wear, and salt corrosion. They are easy to clean too
  5. Car Cover: Using a car cover would help to protect your car from color fading and rusting/ corrosion due to different weather conditions
  6. Parking sensors: You can avoid minor to major scratches, dents, etc by installing parking sensors, they assist you to park easily with confidence

Car Insurance

  1. Choose the right policy cover: At the time of your car purchase whether you choose third party insurance or comprehensive insurance (which covers unforeseen events like fire, terrorist activity, explosion, burglary, theft etc.) or zero depreciation car insurance, make sure that you read through the policies so that you don’t have a pay additional charge for those services which you don’t need and it covers all the important aspects
  2. Know when to/ when not to claim: Carefully consider whether you’re involved in a minor collision or major accident. If you can afford, it’s better to pay off from your pockets. Once your claims are over and then a major accident happens, you won’t be able to claim for it as there is a claim limit in a year
  3. Review your policy annually: Instead of simply renewing your policy, it’s always good to check with other insurance providers yearly, as in most cases they will be able to provide the same service at a better price
  4. Modification should not nullify insurance: While customizing the car, make sure that the changes made do not nullify the car insurance
  5. No Claim Bonus (NCB): It is the insurer’s reward to a policyholder for not making any claim. If you haven’t made a single claim during the term of the policy, you can make use of the bonus amount by claiming NCB. At the time of renewal, this amount will be subtracted from the premium payable and the policyholder need to pay only the balance amount

Car Care Tips

  1. Engine oil check: Always keep the oil level up to maximum mark on the dipstick. The right level of oil in your engine, the longer the oil takes to degrade, providing better lubrication for the engine and help it last longer
  2. Care your tyre: Check the tyre pressure and condition of your tyres every 2 or 3 weeks. Maintaining proper pressure will extend tyre life and your car safety. A portable tyre inflator can be of great use. Rotating your car tyres is another option to extend your tyre life. This ensures that each tyre of your car wears evenly and lasts longer
  3. Protect the battery: Avoid unnecessary battery killing activities like charging your phone, headlights on when parked etc. Neutralise battery acid periodically. Ensure the battery terminal is tight and free of dirt. This will increase your car battery life
  4. Protect the cooling system: Keep the liquid in your radiator and topped up to the maximum
  5. Keep your car clean: Clean your car with good quality cleaning products on a regular basis and apply silicon-based car wax outside the surface at least once in 6 weeks. This protects your car against colour fading and rusting
  6. Replace the air filter: Clogged air filters cause harm to your car, so remember to check and change the air filters every 6 months or as recommended. This improves the acceleration of your car and fuel efficiency and maintains the performance of the transmission
  7. Never skip timely servicing: Do give a periodic check to your car. Proper maintenance ensures mechanic check and replacement of different worn out parts which increases the efficiency of the car
  8. Pay attention to the warning signs and noises: Never ignore warning signs which indicates that something isn’t right as ignoring them may put you in more trouble
  9. Always clean your windshield wipers: Cleaning your car’s wiper regularly would help to keep your car glass scratch free

Know your car and give it proper care. If you know your car, you can fix minor issues on your own (Do It Yourself style) rather than going to the service center all the time, this would help you to minimize your expense double. Avoid bad driving practices that lead to costly repairs or replacements. Happy motoring!

Racheal J is a serial coffee drinker, fish and chips eater. Although she doesn’t consider herself as a wanderlust, she loves exploring the world around with her 4×4 and guitar when she is not blogging.