When money is tight, many people put off or completely neglect auto maintenance. They think they are saving money, but actually they are setting themselves up for risk. Most drivers simply do not have the emergency funds to cover large auto bills. Therefore, drivers should be proactive about paying for regular auto maintenance to minimize the risk of a large expense.
A recent study from AAA indicates that the average cost of auto repairs is between $500 and $600. Unfortunately, more than half a grand is enough to break the bank for many drivers and families who simply do not have the funds to cover this unplanned bill. When auto maintenance is neglected, the result is expensive repairs, often several in succession.
If someone avoids car maintenance to save money, it's a good bet they don't have the cash for repairs. This forces them to borrow money at interest, ultimately paying many times over what it would have cost to prevent the breakdown in the first place. Therefore, there is a tendency for unexpected auto bills to create a financial hole that is difficult to dig out of.
By controlling costs with regular service visits, you can minimize the risk of an unpredictable breakdown that will cost more in the long run. Some expensive and dangerous events such as engine troubles or tire damage can result from a poorly maintained vehicle. Not only do these situations put your safety at risk, but they are unnecessary costs that can be avoided by following basic auto maintenance tips.
Basic tips such as routine tire rotations and oil changes will keep your car running smoothly and avoid catastrophic and expensive issues such as engine trouble or a tire blowout. Some expensive repairs are eventually unavoidable, such as replacing a catalytic converter. However, ignoring these repairs will only spiral into more expensive costs down the road.
Other important routine procedures include replacements for the timing belt, spark plugs or brake pads. As a one-time fix, these replacements can add up to hundreds of dollars. However, factoring these repairs into the average yearly maintenance costs will be more manageable over time. Consult a professional or your vehicle manufacturer to learn exactly which types of maintenance are needed at each step.
Auto credit cards offer coupons and discounts to make regular maintenance accessible for all drivers. Often, these deals extend free or reduced prices for maintenance procedures at certain milestones or mileage. Many of these deals are available across national chains and for different companies so you can shop around to get the best service deals.
Auto credit cards also may offer promotional interest terms with a competitive APR. Promotional terms can make it easier to manage and pay off expenses resulting from auto repairs. Auto credit cards can also help reduce the possibility of heading into the debt spiral a costly auto repair creates.