11 ways to lower car maintenance cost….

Smartchoice Editorial
February 03, 2020

When you buy a home, your car is a second-major procurement most people do. But the costs don’t stop when you drive off the car showroom. Owning and operating a vehicle also accounts for the second-largest household expense, according to the Bureau of Statistics; continuing upkeep costs roughly accounts for minimum thousands of rupees per year.

This means that a certain cost is incurred, for each mile driven. Want to know in advance what kind of outlay to expect? Before you purchase a new vehicle, run your options the out-of-pocket costs like fuel, maintenance, financing ( if bought from a bank or other loan providing agency)and insurance and depreciation of a car for the first five years you own it, allowing you to compare vehicles beyond the initially paid price of the car.

Once the car is parked at your home, however, there are a variety of strategies that can help you save thousands of rupees per month and hundreds of thousands over its life. The tips which help in saving money mainly falls into three main areas: fuel costs, insurance, and repairs/maintenance.

Some of the Pro-Tips are mentioned below

1. Stop idling the car, when not moving

If you’re parked or idling which means if you are stuck in the traffic as it happens normally during rush/peak hours rather than waiting with your engine running turn the engine off. Keeping the car start can cause a loss of one-fourth or half a tank of petrol. While if we compare that by restarting our vehicle when it is time to move would take only 10seconds of fuel in contrast. As per the research done by Argonne National Laboratory, in winters or early morning you don’t need to keep your car start for a very long time to make it warm most of the car manufacturers recommend that rather than idling the car driving slowly for the first few seconds after starting it, the car will get warmer sooner than just idling it.

2.Embrace the heat

Try setting the air conditioning for a higher temperature or, if you’re courageous, go without it. Running the air conditioning can reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25%, according to America’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, When you drive with open windows for the time being before your switch on AC to let the hot humid air out of the car by putting the window down when driving at low speeds and use A/C at high speeds, leads to saving of a lot of fuel which ultimately results in saving money.

3. Get the right motor oil

Using something lower quality other than the motor oil will lower your car mileage by about 1%-2% because of increased friction in the engine. Certain motor oils prevent engine degradation more mileage and also saves on the fuel and its consumption. Check your oil level regularly because the potential damage to an engine, if you are too low on oil, can be expensive possibly even terminal.

4. Keep your tires inflated

Always make sure you’ve got proper pressure in your tires it can improve your car/fuel mileage. Please do not go by the maximum pressure level of the car. It is recommended that buy a tire gauge and check your pressure about once a month, as tires lose an average of about two pounds of pressure per month.

5. Spend smarter

To save even more when you’re at the pump and getting your car fuel, make sure when you start your job sign up for a credit card that offers cashback on fuel purchases. Alfalah Ultra-cash back card is one such card that offers you 7% cashback every time you pay at the fuel station with a fee of around 3500 per-anum which is reversible with a certain amount spent. Savings: If you fuel worth rupees 5000 Rupees a month you get to save Rupees 350, which is a good way to save, through this card you can also save at grocery marts and other places as preferred.

6. Save on Insurance

You can save on insurance by properly shopping/browsing which means searching the market, shopping around can yield big savings, a study has found out. When you buy a car new or used or you need to renew your car insurance, get annual quotes from at least four companies that have low complaint ratios or good reviews and at the same time check their ratings as if it’s a, A+, A++, this would help you in making your decision easier and give you more clarity as to which provider to opt for. Smartchoice.pk offers one such platform to compare all the provider services and to check their coverage and premiums by just adding a few details into the portal and you would get a quick response to your query.

7.DIY (Do It Yourself!)

We all know very well that time is money and sometimes even more precious than money. The hands-on do-it-yourself maintenance may not be your forte and something that you might not want to do. However, if it’s something simple that can help you save money, there are multiple resources available online one of them is youtube.com, with straightforward guides that you can use time and time again? So a little bit of using your skill and working with your hands even though it means you need to get them dirty can help you save a lot of money as these small things that are needed to ensure your car maintenance can be expensive and also can be a constant expense

8. Take some preventative measures

Rubber mats and seat covers can protect the fabric inside the vehicle particularly if you travel with children and pets. Sometimes it less fashionable to have car seat covers as it may affect the overall look and style of the car, but putting car seat covers would definitely keep your car resale value intact.

9.Fluids

Another very important thing to remember is to check water and fluid levels to ensure that if the weather is hot the coolants or the fluids are there where they need to be, if not kept tab on it may lead to engine damage .s if left unchecked can cause bigger loss, for instance, your engine may cease etc. so before embarking on any long journey or any road trip make a point to check on your fluid levels.

10.Wiper Blades

These are often overlooked but are quite important for your safety. You don’t appreciate them until you need them. As you know sometimes weather can be unpredictable, being prepared with basic utilities in your car can help you easily manage the unexpected.

11. Check your brakes and Belts

Some simple steps effectively ensure that you don’t have any issues with your engine and it’s performing to its optimum level and there are no issues with the engine, this is important for safety issues of your car and engine. A simple cracked belt that breaks while you’re on the highway can delay your holiday for hours.

 

Car Maintenance Tips and Myths Explained

They are easy to check but at the same time from the safety perspective important to be checked. And to top off the car maintenance guide, we wanted to bust a couple of car maintenance myths before you hit the ground running. Sometimes vehicle maintenance is made out to be much worse than it is. Let us clear a couple of things up for you before you go:

Mechanics just want to rip you off, Correction. BAD mechanics just want to rip you off. They’re out there, and some will try to squeeze a little extra cash out of you, but there are also some great, extremely helpful professionals out there.

These mechanics’ number one obligation is to keep you safe and that you are obeying and following the law. If they find something that seems off with your car, they inform you and make it their responsibility that you don’t drive the car that may impact your safety, for instance, if you have a flat tire, that doesn’t necessarily mean to purchase a new tire, rather it can be fixed(patched) and used again if the leak isn’t too big and repairable, but if the hole is too large or the rubber of the tire ifs unevenly split throughout the action forward would be to replace it to avoid any safety issues that may arise.

To avoid any unforeseen mishaps or troubles that may occur due to the health of the car. Here’s a hot tip: if you feel that your tire is leaking air, do not drive on it. At that point, a simple patch might be the answer, but by driving on a flat tire, you risk damaging the rim. That’s when you’ll have to switch it out.

All four tires should be replaced at the same time. As long as you purchase a tire that is the same model and size as the rest, you’re in the clear. Don’t waste your money buying four new tires when one gets a little dinged up, also if you don’t want to or don’t have the budget to get all four’s replaced at the same time at least get a pair replaced at the same time to avoid unbalanced and uneven car suspensions.

Independent repair shops are cheaper than dealerships. While this can be true in some situations, it’s certainly not a fact. Any repair shops can be expensive and any repair shop can be cheap. You’ll find that if you shop around, everyone will give you a different price. Some repair shops more than a dealership, some less than them. Working with the dealerships, you rest assured that you are working with professionals who understand the ins-and-outs of your vehicle.

They often work on similar cars and are likely to understand its needs faster and more accurately than someone who isn’t as familiar, also they can be held accountable for their repairs and replacement if things don’t turn up as they are promised or committed. Plus, if you are going to the showroom you purchased your vehicle from, you may have a warranty to take advantage of.

 Premium fuel/ HI-Octane fuel is better than regular petrol, it’s simply not true The premium or the Hi-octane title is simply the fuels octane rating, which checks and measures the level of knocking around that takes place in your engine while combustion. Some vehicles, typically high-end luxury cars, require higher octane fuel/petrol to offset the how much the engine moves around. Check out your owner’s manual or ask the expert. If it says you don’t need to use high octane petrol, there isn’t much benefit to purchasing premium fuel that is comparatively more expensive than regular fuel and may affect your monthly budget greatly. Keeping this maintenance guide in your pocket

You’re All Set

We sincerely hope that the guidelines provide in the guide would have helped you in putting a few things in perspective. We all know vehicle maintenance is all work and no play but at the same time, constant costs and unexpected expenditures can be frustrating too. But if you follow some of the tips and keep tabs on the important maintenance you just learned about in our guide, you should have a solid handle on it. Your vehicle’s in good hands. So to sum up, shop around, do your research and make any repairs as soon as possible, remember that for younger cars, manufacturer-approved services and repairs can help hold more value in the vehicle.

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