Did you know that neglected vehicles are costing Americans approximately $2 billion every year? That?s a lot of money that could, instead, be going toward everything from mortgages to paying off student loans.
While owning a car ? new or used ? is often a sound investment, it does involve consistent maintenance in order to keep your investment sound. Otherwise, you may end up spending thousands of dollars unnecessarily on something that could be avoided with a $50 repair, had you caught it on time.
While some issues are unpredictable and to some extent, unavoidable, many more maintenance issues are applicable to most or all car owners. To get you started, here are four key maintenance checks you need to be doing with your car over the years.
1. Brake Fluid
Have you noticed lately that when you put your foot on the break as you go around corners, that your car lets out awful squeaking noises? Often, this can be a sign that your car is getting low on brake fluid. Getting this regularly checked, and refilled when necessary, is very important since it could be the difference between being able to prevent an accident or not.
2. The Timing Belt
On average, your timing belt needs to be changed between 50,000 and 70,000 miles. This is the part of the engine that synchronizes rotation, allowing the engine?s valves to open and close at the correct times. If the belt is not replaced in time, it can potentially cause extensive damage and essentially destroy your engine ? which will be a much more costly repair than simply replacing a single part.
3. Tire Retreading
Tires are an important but often neglected part of the car. To keep your tires lasting longer, you should have your tires rotated every 7,500 miles or so. Generally speaking, a tire?s tread will wear out after about four years with average wear and tear. At this point you can either replace the tire, or opt for tire retreading, in which case the rubber tread is replaced on the existing tire. This option is often popular since it produces less waste, and the cost to retread is only 20% that of manufacturing a tire from scratch. Contrary to popular belief, used tires can be a money saver and just as safe as new tires.
Hate when your car gets all scratched up? So do we. Waxing your car not only helps the paint to look brand new, but it will also help to spare your vehicle from more minor wear and tear (unfortunately, though, wax is no match for a sideswiping vehicle in the parking lot!).
Let us know; will you be retreading your tires, or replacing your timing belt? The time is now to maintain your vehicle for years to come!