Well, now you have the car. Hopefully you’ve negotiated a good deal. But buying a car is just the beginning. Now you must take care of it. If not, you end up spending much more than you have saved.
The best way to avoid major repair costs is to keep up with general vehicle maintenance. Early diagnosis of a problem is almost always less expensive than waiting until you can no longer ignore. For example, if you have to replace brake pads, do it as soon as possible. Do not wait until you hear a loud grinding noise and your car does not stop, you have probably ruined your rotors. And that’s costly.
Try to avoid excessive maintenance. Replace something just makes a noise can be very costly and wasteful. Follow the maintenance guide in your owner’s manual. This will keep your warranty valid and ensure that any excessive maintenance on the vehicle. Also, keep all records of maintenance and repair, including the date, mileage and the amount paid. This will help when you sell the car because it can shows a history of constant maintenance.
You must be even more picky about choosing a repair shop that you were when choosing where to buy your car. Ask for recommendations from friends and family. Look for a repair shop to have a high-quality work, and do not swindle you with additional charges, unnecessary repairs, poor quality parts, etc.
Often a dealership charges twice as much as the price of other repair shops. If the repair is covered under warranty, go to the dealership. Otherwise, you probably want to go elsewhere unless you cannot find a repair shop you trust.
In each repair work, get a second or even a third opinion. The price and repair suggestions could be very different.
It is suggested to do an oil change every 3,000 miles. However many manufacturers are suggesting to use synthetic oil and the intervals of oil changes are up to 7,500 miles or longer.
Just remember this: the oil for a car what water is to a horse. If you run out of oil, it dies. The engine will be destroyed. Dust, dirt, heat, cold and driving in the city accelerates the need for an oil change. You never need to change your oil before it reaches 3,000 miles, but never exceed 7.500 miles.
At 30,000 miles. Owner manual usually recommends the following:
• Replace the fuel filter.
• Replace the air filter.
• Change the spark plugs.
• Check fan belts, replace if worn.
• Check fluids (transmission fluid, oil, wiper fluid, coolant, etc.) and replace / replenish if necessary.
• Replace valve positive crankcase ventilation, which, if clogged, will cause the car to crash.
• Check battery, adding water if necessary, clean the cables and terminals.
At 50,000 miles, this should be another tuning with all the above procedures, in addition to checking the brakes and tires, and begin to check for rust.
At 100,000 miles, do all of the above, increasing the search for rust, have a mechanic check the alignment and check the engine compression and hoses.
Preparing for winter:
When winter approaches, if you live in a climate where it freezes, want to prepare the car for winter, including the following:
• Replace the coolant.
• Replace wipers, and make sure you have enough fluid for the windshield.
• Check the battery.
• Check the lights, heating and defroster.
• Check the brakes.
• Keep an ice scraper and emergency supplies such as flares, blankets and tools in the car.
• Do not let the gas tank get less than ¼ tank to prevent moisture from freezing in the fuel lines.
• Check your tires. If worn, replace them, and if they are-inflated, supply air. The ideal tire pressure must be specified on the tire itself.
Look for a uniform low wear, leaks and depth of tire. Under-inflated tires wear out faster and less uniform, creating problems in alignment and gas mileage. The treads on a tire in good condition should be more than 1/16 of an inch deep. A good test is to place a penny on the rim, and if at least part of Lincoln’s head is hidden, the tire is in good condition.
Keep it clean:
Salt, sand and other chemicals used on roads during the winter completely corrode your car. What is the solution? Wash – frequently. And do not forget the lower body frame. Even if your car has a finish that resists rust and corrosion, the lower frame is still vulnerable to the weather.