Whether you choose to drive an older car to save money or you're holding on to it for nostalgic reasons, it's essential to keep your car in good running condition with routine maintenance and pay attention to how your car performs. If you don't know much about cars, it may be worth the effort to find a trustworthy mechanic that can handle your car's routine maintenance as well as repairs.
Tips for maintaining an older car
Driving an older vehicle may mean you'll pay for more frequent repairs, but there are some things you can do to keep your car in good mechanical condition.
Specific maintenance tasks such as replacing your car's air filter, changing out the windshield wipers, and replacing the battery, can help you avoid more extensive problems. Routine maintenance is based on your car's mileage or performed at specific timed intervals.
For example, if your car's serpentine belt breaks, it could cause more expensive repairs. Your owner's manual may recommend replacing your serpentine belt every 60,000 miles or five years, even it is functioning correctly and shows no signs of deterioration.
Your mechanic may recommend having your vehicle's fluids checked and topped off with each oil change. They may check your car's belts and hoses and inspect your tires, as well. Check your owner's manual to learn more about your car's routine maintenance schedule.
Be prepared for unexpected repairs
Even when performing your car's recommended maintenance, you may experience unexpected repairs. As cars age, certain parts and systems may require repair or replacement. Ignoring minor issues like a squeaking belt or loose hose in an attempt to save money may create a need for more expensive repairs, so it's essential to have a relationship with a mechanic that can help you identify problems. At the same time, these issues are still accessible and less costly to fix.
How to avoid costly vehicle repairs
Even if you follow your car's manufacturer guidelines for routine maintenance, you may still face unexpected and expensive repairs. While there's no 100% effective way to avoid costly vehicle repairs, there are some things you can do to decrease the chances that your car will break down.
Keep your tires inflated properly
Properly inflated tires will help minimize unnecessary wear and tear on your tires while preserving gas mileage. Low tire pressure can lead to a blowout that may leave you stranded or even cause an accident.
As outside temperatures change, your car's tires may lose a few pounds of pressure. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, be sure to check your tire pressure as the seasons' change. You can find the recommended tire pressure on a sticker inside your driver's door, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). If you aren't comfortable adding air, talk with your mechanic and ask them to make sure your tires get adequately inflated each time you get your oil changed.
Address unusual noises immediately
If your brakes are grinding, you hear a chirping noise coming from your engine, or your car is suddenly louder than it should be, make an appointment to see your mechanic immediately. Catching a problem at the onset can help you minimize repair costs. Plus, you may be able to avoid the hassle and expense of having your vehicle towed.
Take care of your fuel pump
Many drivers wait until the last possible moment to get gas and fill their car's tank just halfway. Running your vehicle when the tank is near empty is tough on the fuel pump. A new one costs an average of $456 to $717, so keeping your gas tank at least half full at all times is an inexpensive way to preserve your pump's efficiency.
If possible, fill your gas tank and then commit to topping it off when your tank is half empty. Many major gas station chains have programs to help drivers save fuel. Apps like Gas Buddy can also help you identify the least expensive gasoline in your area.
Vehicle service coverage can help you pay for expensive auto repairs
Taking good care of your car is the first step to minimizing your risk of an expensive breakdown. Even if you take great care of your vehicle, you may still face unexpected repair bills. High repair costs are one of the main reasons people choose to part ways with their older car, but with Ridesure, you may be able to keep driving your car and get help paying surprise repair bills.
Ridesure helps people cover the costs of car repairs so you can get on with your life. There's no need to charge repairs to your credit card and pay high-interest rates or forgo necessary maintenance in the hopes that your car keeps running. Help ease the financial burden of fixing your vehicle by getting it covered with Ridesure. Get a free quote today.