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Tips for Car Maintenance That Can Help You Avoid Expensive Repairs

If you have a brand-new car off the lot, there’s a good chance that you aren’t worried about it breaking down. Everything should be in tip-top shape, and the car’s systems and components are likely covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Thus, if a certain car part fails soon after you buy your car, providing that you’ve properly maintained the auto, a dealership will probably fix the issue for free.

However, eventually, your vehicle is going to age and its manufacturer warranty will expire. That means things could begin breaking down one right after another, and you’ll be on the hook for the cost of the repairs. For example, most local mechanics charge between $2,500 and $4,000 to replace airbags. That’s a lot of money to come up with on the fly after a minor fender-bender.  

Moreover, hot weather like that found in Florida and the Caribbean islands can make vehicles more prone to overheating. If your car’s head gasket blows from extreme heat, for instance, you’ll be looking somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 for professional repair. Unexpected auto repairs can wreak havoc on a person’s budget quickly, but there are ways to avoid expensive fixes. To begin with, you should consider investing in added vehicle protection, like an extended warranty for cars over 100k miles.

Save Yourself Some Cash with a Car Warranty

Before you can begin saving money with an extended warranty, you must first cover the initial cost of the policy. There is no fixed price for these products, and how much you’ll pay will vary. Factors that often influence the fees include which warranty provider a person chooses, the deductible amount they select, how much mileage is on their car, and the vehicle’s make and model. However, to give you an idea of what you could be spending, one study shows that an average car warranty costs between $360 and $720 annually.

Most of these guarantees are set up on deductible systems. Therefore, the policyholders of those plans must pay their particular deductibles at the time of service. For instance, if the amount is $100, that is what you’ll be charged by the mechanic when you take your vehicle in for repair. Then, the warranty company will pay for the rest of the bill. Of course, there are other ways to avoid expensive auto repairs too. 

auto repair

Change the Oil as Recommended

Regular oil changes won’t stop every breakdown from occurring, but they can prevent some issues from developing. Hence, if you’re all about keeping high-dollar repairs costs at bay, check your owner’s manual to find out how often to replace your vehicle’s oil and oil filter. In the past, the majority of manufacturers called for oil changes at 3,000-mile intervals, but now, companies typically say these tasks can be completed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. 

Then again, various brands recommend oil changes at 10,000 miles or more, so you’re going to need to flip through the owner’s manual to see where your manufacturer stands on the issue. Clean oil can flow through the engine, oil pump, and more with ease. It helps parts remain moving freely and prevents them from ceasing. This is one maintenance tip you’re definitely not going to want to skip, as it may be just what the doctor ordered to help you avoid car repairs with hefty price tags.

Some auto experts also recommend switching to thicker engine oil during the summer months or in hot weather, since rising temperatures could cause the oil to run thinner. This could be worthwhile advice for Florida drivers who want to keep their cars in good shape. 

Check and Top Off Fluids

Oil isn’t the only thing flowing beneath your vehicle’s hood. Instead, there are other fluids that cool, lubricate, and keep systems functioning correctly. Therefore, you’re going to need to check and top them off to ensure things remain in tip-top shape. Your owner’s manual can come in handy here.

You can also talk to car enthusiasts online in forums about vehicles and vehicle maintenance. Or how about contacting your local auto parts store? Agents there should have the information that you seek. 

Aside from oil, fluids that must be checked include:

  • Transmission fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Coolant or antifreeze
  • Power steering fluid
  • Windshield washer fluid

Keeping your car’s fluids at the appropriate levels also ensures that you can drive comfortably and safely even in hot Caribbean weather.

Examine the Air Pressure Within Tires

If your car begins riding rough, the problem could be something as simple as a low tire. A vehicle may also pull to the left or right if the air pressure in a wheel is off. Hence, you need to check the air in your tires at least once a month. Then, if one or more of them is low, be sure to inflate them to the appropriate PSI. That number should be located on the tire’s sidewall, or you might also be able to find it on a placard posted around the driver’s door. 

This simple action can help you avoid expensive auto repairs because if rough riding persists, various parts can break or fail and need fixes. So, check and inflate tires when needed, and hopefully, costly repairs will stay away.

Some Final Thoughts

With the help of these tips, it should be possible for you to avoid expensive car repairs. Aside from auto expert websites and car owner forums, your owner’s manual should be a useful resource in keeping your car in top shape to avoid expensive visits to the mechanic. 

 

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