Running a car can be expensive, and a sizeable chunk of the costs come in the form of maintenance. In most cases, motorists can limit the amount they spend in the long run through a few simple changes of habit. Let’s consider them.
Learn to Brake
If you brake too sharply, then you’ll decrease the lifespan of your brakes. All of that energy has to go somewhere, and in the real world, bringing a car to a halt will cause a little bit of deterioration every time you push the pedal. By limiting your speed, and braking gradually and early, you’ll limit the damage.
Learn to Change Gear
Similarly, there’s a right and a wrong way to change gear. If you keep your foot rested on the clutch, then you might find that it’s slightly depressed throughout the drive. This is bad for it, and will surely cause more severe wear-and-tear. Clutch control isn’t something that we tend to worry about after we’ve passed the test – but if you’re in the habit of leaving your foot on the pedal, it might be time to pay attention to it.
Do Small Jobs Yourself
Many of the jobs done by a mechanic don’t actually require a mechanic’s specialised skillset. You can do them yourself with the help of the right tools and the right guidance (the latter of which can often be found online). Learn to change the oil, the bulbs, the air filters and the fuses. You should also learn to change your tyres yourself – investing in a trolley jack will help you to do this with minimal fuss.
If you aren’t driving your car, then it won’t deteriorate at the same rate. This will also reduce the amount of money you spend on petrol, and limit your environmental footprint. As such, it’s a little bit of an easy win. If your commute is a long one, then this is really worthwhile. Alternatively, you might look into taking public transport – or even walking to work.
Get familiar with your manual
Do you remember that little booklet that’s been sitting in your glove compartment? It’s actually worth a read, since it’s filled with insights you might not get elsewhere. For example, you might learn how long your brake pads should ideally last, and when fluids will need to be replaced.
Do a pre-MOT
In the UK, every vehicle that’s driven on public roads is legally required to undergo an annual MOT test. This ensures that everything is functioning as it should. However, if you don’t manage to pass first time, then you might incur additional costs. By looking in advance to see whether there are any issues that you might fix yourself, you might be able to save considerably.