Auto repair can be scary if you haven’t had a proper education on keeping expenses down while making a car last. Here are a couple of simple tips on how you can make vehicle ownership safer, more reliable, more enjoyable…and affordable!
Cars break – that’s a fact. It’s true people who regularly maintain their vehicles spend much less than people who typically only see their mechanic when they are broken down. Most modern cars are made to last about 200,000+ miles – or 20 years – when properly maintained. Of course there are some models that will last less and some that will last much longer. But a car that is poorly maintained in its early days is likely to cost the owner thousands of dollars more than a similar car that’s had all of its routine maintenance done on schedule.
That routine maintenance includes things like changing the oil every 5000 miles, flushing and replacing the fluids at the mileage the manufacturer recommends. The longer you put these things off beyond the due date, the more likely you will have premature failure on those systems.
The same holds true when it’s time to fix your car. When your car is giving you signs that something is wrong, the longer you wait to get it checked out by a mechanic, the more likely the repairs are going to cost more money. Here is a common example: You see a small drip of something on the ground but it doesn’t concern you because it’s just a small amount. What you don’t know is that only a small amount is actually hitting the ground, even though you have a pretty severe fluid leak (most skid plates hold a lot of fluid!).
Even though only a little is hitting the ground, all the rest is blowing back as you are driving and sticking to the engine, hoses, and other components in the undercarriage. When belts and hoses are wet with oil, they start to degrade/fail/leak, which will cost more money to replace those parts. All fluids serve a vital function; without the fluid, the components fail. Same is true of those new sounds you hear – it starts small and can grow quickly.
The durability of our modern cars sometimes tricks us into thinking that those small things can wait a little longer. The truth is that you are wise to jump on any issues with your car as soon as possible. There really isn’t any reason to wait because most shops like ours will always give you a free visual inspection. By having your mechanic check out issues right away, he can advise you if it is something that can wait or if it is something that you need to handle immediately.
This is where having a relationship with a shop you trust comes in handy. Our interest is in the long-term relationship with you, where we know you’ll be back again & again and you’ll send your friends.
Maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure that your vehicle expenses do not get out of control. Even though most people know this to be true, many tend to put their maintenance services on hold. Routine upkeep will keep the vehicle reliable and safe, which is our most important maintenance concern.
It is important to understand the recommended service intervals that your specific car needs. Along with the normal oil changes every 5,000 miles, you need fluid flushes that are usually performed at higher mileage intervals depending on driving habits and climate. For example, a vehicle driven in the Minnesota cold will need to be maintained sooner due to what the manufacturer refers to as ‘severe conditions’. The major items that need to be addressed during these intervals are the transmission fluid, engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, gear oil (for drive axles), hoses, belts, engine air filter & cabin(for a/c & heat) air filter.
We have found the best way to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings is to get a full picture of the problem, and only then move forward with a solution that is best for you. We will take the time to educate you on the facts allowing you to make good decisions for safety, reliability, and cost optimization.
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