Payday Loan Avoider: How Often Should You Service Your Car
No one ever wants a payday loan. The payment terms are terrible, the interest is unparalleled in its height, and you can end up in a dreaded cycle of debt.
Every part of a car is expensive, and you probably need it to get to work. This combination means you have the potential for a financial emergency at pretty much all times. But there’s a way you can lower your odds of a breakdown significantly: proper maintenance.
Maintenance can also be expensive, so you can’t afford to be taking your car to the car salon every week, but proper maintenance is essential to lowering your odds of costly repairs. That’s why we spoke to the experts to find out how often you should perform maintenance on your automobile. Here’s what they said.
Shift into (reading the) manual.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were some sort of manual that told you how often you needed to perform maintenance on your car? Well good news: there is! Jill Trotta (@RepairPal_Jill), director of the automotive group at RepairPal (@RepairPal), gave us the auto info: “Regarding car maintenance, the best, most reliable source for the care of your vehicle is your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This schedule was put in place by the vehicle manufacturer and is the guide for properly taking care of your car. You can find this information in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.”
And where should you go to get that maintenance done? Trotta has an answer for that too:
“The best way to save money on caring for your car is to keep it properly maintained and inspected by a quality automotive shop. Having your vehicle repaired right, the first time, by a qualified professional with current training and the right tools and equipment is key to having a safe vehicle and will save you money.”
“When repairing your vehicle the rule of thumb “Cheap isn’t good, and Good isn’t cheap” applies. Check out the RepairPal FairPrice Estimator for a fair price for your next repair. Good shops will charge you a fair price for the repair. This isn’t likely to be your lowest price, but it will be the most reliable way to repair your vehicle. RepairPal Certified shops have been vetted on training, tools and equipment, and customer service. These are the best shops around and will provide you with a quality auto repair experience.”
But what if you lost your manual or just don’t trust it? Well our experts can still help you out.
Everything you could know about tires.
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: cars need tires. A car without tires is just an expensive sculpture at best and a dangerous spark machine at worst. That’s why we were so thankful that Kevin Burke, VP of marketing for SimpleTire.com (@SimpleTire) was kind enough to give us an extensive maintenance guide for those rubber circles we all know and love:
“When it comes to checking your tires for air pressure, it is always better to be proactive than reactive. Checking tires should become a common occurrence for every driver. Every time you fill up on gas, it’s a good idea to visually check each tire for deflation; if tires look to be losing air, take it to an air pump to check the exact pressure. On top of that, checking tire pressure at an air pump once a month to make sure each tire is at a uniform pressure is a good idea. Lastly, a good time to check tire pressure is before a long trip.
“You should regularly check your tires for uneven or quick wear in the tread. Check the mileage driven every month against the expected tread life on the tires. A tread depth monitor or ‘penny test‘ are the best ways to monitor thread wear; be sure the inside and outside treads are wearing evenly on every tire. If the tread is wearing unevenly, consider rotating the tires or an alignment. Also, be sure to rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or so, depending on your driving habits. Rotating every other oil change is a means of remembering.
“You should consider purchasing new tires in a few cases. If a tire’s tread depth is worn below 4/32″, if one tire is damaged beyond repair, or if your tire is older than five years and starts to show weathering and cracking; it is time for new tires. You can check if the tires are worn below by using the penny test. If one tire is damaged consider replacing both tires on the axle for uniform wear, and install new tires on the front of the vehicle; rotating older tires to the rear. Lastly, if your tires are older than five years; look to replacing them quickly. Old tires are susceptible to weather rotting because the oils in the tire rubber are drying out. Most tire warranties expire around five years also, so be sure to know if your tire is covered for defects at this age as well.”
But tires aren’t the only part of the car that requires maintenance.
And all the rest.
Lee Senderov, VP and general manager for YourMechanic (@YourMechanic) North America, steered us towards an informative graphic her company released. They spoke to hundreds of mechanics to find out some vital maintenance advice.
Among some of the highlights:
You should change your air filter once a year because “dust can accumulate in the filter and negatively impact gas mileage and engine performance.”
Brake pads should be changed around 25,000 to 75,000 miles, since they “continually wear down and become less effective with use,” while “new brake pads restore braking power and consistency.” They also advise flushing your brake fluid every few years as it “maintains brake performance and prevents brake lines corroding or rusting.”
And that isn’t the only fluid you need to keep an eye on. Steering fluid should be changed every 24,000 miles since “older vehicles with hydraulic power steering systems use pressurized power-steering fluid to aid in steering wheel maneuvering.”
Keep these car servicing tips in mind and you’ll be able to minimize the amount you spend on your vehicle, so you can focus more on getting to your good credit destination.
|Kevin Burke (@SimpleTire) is VP of Marketing & eCommerce for SimpleTire.com. Kevin is an experienced entrepreneur having started and sold businesses, as well as being a member of tech startups. He’s also had the opportunity to work closely with premier brands such as Disney, P&G, eHarmony, Meridian Health, Boiron, EA, Aol and others. Kevin holds a BS in Business Marketing & Information Systems from the University of Delaware.|
|Lee Senderov (@YourMechanic) is the VP and General Manager of North America at YourMechanic . In this role, she leads revenue and marketing initiatives including sales, digital marketing, public relations and business development. Prior to her role at YourMechanic, Senderov held marketing and sales positions across diverse industries including shopping, gaming, and consumer-packaged goods. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Brandeis University.|
|Jill Trotta (@RepairPal_Jill) is an automotive professional with over 25 years of professional experience. ASE Certified technician and consultant. She is currently working on the Automotive Professional Team at RepairPal. They do the hard work of identifying technically qualified, customer friendly auto shops and presenting them to consumers. They are working to develop transparency in the Automotive Industry. They also have a very accurate automotive repair price estimator that is available to shops and consumers.|
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