Thursday, 5 July 2012

Auto Fixes that will save You Money in the Long Run (Part 2 of 2)

In the second half of our two-part review of simple repairs and maintenance that you can perform on your car to save on costly bills in the future, we’ll look at a few more procedures which, though relatively easy and painless, could translate into significant savings months or even years down the road. While it’s still important to err on the side of caution when you believe that your car might have a problem which only professionals can handle properly and safely, some other fixes are easier and cheaper than you might previously have been led to believe. Follow a few of these quick tips, and you might end up thanking yourself in the long run.

1. You don’t need to go to a garage to replace your air filter. Instead, you can buy them yourself and replace them relatively easily, saving money that would otherwise have gone towards labour and mark-up on garage-bought air filters. Many discount auto parts stores have sales on parts like air filters, so you may even have the opportunity to lighten your financial load further, but in any case these stores are a good place to start. Once a replacement filter has been acquired, you should be able to find detailed instructions on how to proceed with the actual replacement process in your car’s user manual; by following these steps and replacing the filter on a regular basis (most experts recommend that this be done every 30,000km), you should be able to save on costly fees rather than having to shell out money to have someone else complete what should be a simple and straightforward task.

2. Be diligent about checking your car’s fuel filter. As easy home maintenance goes, this procedure can be among the most valuable where preventative car is concerned; a dirty, gritty or clogged fuel filter can cause serious damage to your car’s internal systems fairly quickly, so staying on top of fuel filter changes should be a no-brainer for anyone looking to cheaply and effectively extend the life of their automobile. Filter changes should be carried out every two years or as instructed by the manufacturer of your car (information of this nature should be easy to find, either within the car’s user manual or on the manufacturer’s website), so make sure to stay on top of this as time passes.

3. Changing a tire isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds. Similarly, being prepared for a flat tire isn’t as hard as one might expect; the trick is to regularly check on the state of your car’s spare tire, making sure at the same time that all necessary replacement tools (jack, wrenches and so on) are in their rightful places. Once you’ve learned how to properly change a tire, either from a qualified expert or at a car maintenance class (many of which are offered in most urban communities), you should be well on your way to roadside independence; being able to change a tire yourself will mean that roadside assistance experts won’t have to do it for you, charging you steep fees in the process.