It may seem like a good idea to care for your car regularly to minimize wear and tear and other costly repairs. This sounds cool and all but most car owners go overboard and spend thousands of dollars for unnecessary maintenance. In as much as some repairs are necessary and urgent, it is good to distinguish between the most urgent ones and those that just waste your money.
Following outdated car maintenance advice may be costing you a lot of money in the long run than you thought. It is important to conduct due diligence on what your car needs maintenance on. Here is a list of areas that should help you distinguish what you should or not spend your money.
1. The 3000-mile oil change myth
How often do you need to change your car oil? This has become a never-ending debate in the motor vehicle realm. Whether you change your motor oil to save on service fees or go to an oil-change dealership, most car experts agree that many people replace their oil more frequently than it is necessary.
The 3000 myth is the common belief by most car owners that all motor vehicles should replace motor oil at least every 3000 miles to maintain the car engine. This fallacy is mostly driven by the economics of oil-change businesses causing a surge in consumer demand. The businesses sell to customers the idea that changing engine oil after 3000 miles will cause the car other problems which or may not exists.
Car owners should endeavor to follow instructions as per the car manual rather than advice given by oil-change businesses. Your car manual may recommend oil change between 5000 miles to 10,000 miles if you are kind enough to follow it. It is not necessary to change your motor oil every 3000 miles because.
With modern developments in the quality of modern motor oil specifications, cars can stay without changing oil up to 6000 miles to schedule the next replacement. Conventional oils also known as mineral oils can last for over 5000 miles. Changing your oil every four months or on the 3000-mile myth is just a way for corporates to mint thousands of dollars from unsuspecting consumers.
2. About synthetic oil
Synthetic oil is quickly becoming the new normal with over 69% of the people opting for fully synthetic oil or blended synthetic oil compared to its conventional counterpart. In as much as synthetic oil outperforms conventional oils in many ways, it is still important for the consumer to follow user manuals and manufacturer recommendations based on their car model.
Modern cars may need a semi or full synthetic oil in most cases, but if you don’t follow your auto manufacturer’s recommendations, your car may experience enhanced engine wear and other problems. This will bring extra costs you didn’t expect in addition to the already expensive synthetic oil. Additionally, an older car may not be optimized by synthetic oil hence the need to save your bucks on conventional oil. Always ensure you use the right viscosity and grade that meets your car’s specific.
3. Accepting tune-ups
Tune-ups are a thing of the past going over 20 years back when older cars needed regular tune-ups every 20,000 miles. Modern cars are computerized which has made tune-ups obsolete. The onboard computers in modern cars are the brain that monitors your car’s performance and will let you know when your car is experiencing any problems. You should also declare your mechanic obsolescent if he schedules your car for a tune-up in the first instance. You should or let your mechanic perform a diagnosis checkup before going for the old-school tune-ups.
Changing oil filters or spark plugs are part of regular maintenance aspects that may be referred to as tune-ups and they are not necessary. Confirm with your car manual and consult widely before agreeing to tune-ups. Always remember, it is old cars that may require tune-ups to avoid spending money on such unnecessary costs.
4. Visiting the dealership for repairs
Taking your car to the dealership for every minor thing is not the answer to maintaining your car. In as much as is it good practice to stay vigilant and ensure your car is in good condition, some things are too minor to spend a couple of dollars on. Some basic things should be DIY and visiting the dealership should only be done to be certain and have peace of mind. Unless the dealership is where you bought the car and have an extended warranty, regular visits to the dealership for every single thing are just a call for paying for more than you really should in the first place.
There are many options to get your car done at a convenient rate for the same service. Don’t take your car straight to a dealership for repairs so fast. Conduct some due diligence about the nature and costs of such repairs from an independent mechanic. Getting such independent advice from a trusted mechanic will save you tons of cash.
5. Procuring extended warranties
Extended warranties are not technically about car repair and maintenance but due to the costs involved, they pose a co-relation. Service contracts and extended warranties are a complete waste of money and not worth focusing on them. The main reason you get an extended car warranty is because of the profits involved on the side of the dealership.
To confirm the importance of an extended warranty or service contract, don’t extend when the next becomes due just to see if there is anything you are missing out on. The other option is to use the factory warranty and see if it is useful or not. It should form the basis of you procuring an extended contract from the dealership for services you may never benefit from. In many instances, people spend way less on regular repairs than when they obtain a service contract.