How to save on car maintenance
Having your own car is something that requires a certain investment but also frequent spending on issues such as fuel, insurance or maintenance. In this last aspect, we have several saving possibilities that, applied intelligently, make this cost more bearable.
One of the key points to keep our vehicle in good condition is to keep its maintenance up to date. However, this task has a considerable cost and, depending on the work to be carried out, it can be an amount that is difficult to assume. Fortunately, we have some tricks with which to save on the maintenance of our vehicle, without putting our safety at risk or affecting the useful life of our car.
Keep maintenance up to date
The first advice we have to give you is to keep the maintenance of the vehicle up to date as strictly as possible. If you take a look at the owner’s manual, you will find the maintenance tables, which indicate the operations that you must carry out and according to what mileage intervals.
It is very important not to exceed these deadlines too much since if you do, the vehicle may deteriorate prematurely or not perform as well as it should. So there is nothing wrong with exceeding a certain maintenance operation by a few kilometers, but driving more than 1,000 kilometers with an oil that should have already been changed is not a good idea, nor is it an adequate saving measure.
time matters too
When talking about maintenance, it is common for us to look only at the kilometers part, but let us forget that time also has its influence on the different parts of our vehicle. We have proof in the oils, which must be changed once the mileage established by the manufacturer has been exceeded or every year. Something similar happens with the air filter, whose life is approximately 15,000 kilometers, or one year of life.
To keep everything under control, it doesn’t hurt to have a record of the different maintenance operations you carry out on the vehicle, noting the mileage of each part you change. Something that will help you bring your vehicle up to date, especially in case your car does not do too many kilometers at the end of the year. A measure that will save us money in future breakdowns and keep the car in better condition throughout its useful life.
The dealer is expendable
When it comes to maintaining our vehicle, there are still many drivers who think that it must be done at the official dealership of the brand. Although this was the case for a long time, today the user has full freedom to carry out the maintenance in the workshop that he wishes, even if the vehicle is under warranty.
The only requirement established by law for this guarantee to remain valid is that the workshop in which we carry out this maintenance does so in accordance with the standards established by the brand and that appear in the car’s book. Once the process is finished, the workshop itself will be in charge of sealing the maintenance book and the revision will have the same validity, for guarantee purposes, as if it is carried out in this official workshop. A solution that can save us a good amount of money, since the prices of revisions and maintenance in official dealers are usually much higher than in other types of workshops.
Beware of offers
It is common for many workshops to offer you complete maintenance packages, which include certain basic operations, such as changing oil, filters and a general review at a fixed price. These offers are not always the most convenient, especially in the simplest vehicles, in which carrying out these operations separately, or even doing them ourselves as we will see in the next section, can be cheaper.
A solution to avoid falling into this error is to ask for personalized quotes, which include only the operations that we need to do and see if there really is a difference in price with that complete proposal made by the workshop. And since we are talking about workshops, never take small and neighborhood workshops out of your evaluation. Many times they can offer us cheaper and more attractive quotes than the large garage chains.
Do it yourself
There are certain maintenance operations that do not require great knowledge in mechanics, nor complex machinery for their execution. So, if you’re a bit handy, it’s not a bad idea to take care of these most basic operations yourself and thus save a few euros in the process.
In this section, you can count on the help offered by spare parts comparators. We are talking about pages like the one offered by Daparto, where you only have to enter the data of the brand, model and version of your vehicle to access a complete list of all the spare parts available, instantly seeing the offer of brands and prices for each part. A very simple solution with which you can instantly have a look at the entire market, see the different prices and brands and choose the model that is most convenient for you. In addition, the Daparto database prevents us from making a mistake and buying a part that does not correspond to our model, thus avoiding returns and the inconvenience that this entails.
Adjust the spare parts to the use of the vehicle
Just as it doesn’t make much sense to spend thousands of euros on an ultra-powerful computer to surf the internet, it doesn’t make much sense to buy the most expensive parts in the world for a vehicle that hardly moves or the simplest ones for a high-mileage car. As we can see in any spare parts comparator, there is a very complete range of proposals for any part of our vehicle, ranging from economical and solvent options to others that are high cost and demanding.
So, if your car is not going to move much for whatever reason, you can always save a bit by buying mid-line parts and not top brands. A principle that we can apply, for example, to tires, to the chosen brand of oil or to filters, among other common elements of any maintenance. These mid-line products respond well under normal conditions of use and, if one day the vehicle rolls more intensely again, you can always go back to that premium line if you need to, although it is not essential either.