Taking care of your car is the key to keeping it on the road for a long time. However, like most car owners, you probably have car maintenance cost concerns. After all, these expenses can add up quickly and hurt your wallet. To plan accordingly, it’s helpful to figure out how much vehicle maintenance is likely to cost before your car ends up in the shop.
Understanding Car Maintenance Cost Factors
To begin to manage your costs, you need to figure out what kind of services your car will need regularly. These maintenance items include all vehicle parts, from the engine to the drivetrain.
Expect to pay semi-regularly for oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid flushes. Keep a consistent maintenance schedule to prevent too much wear and tear on your vehicle. Also, make sure you plan for more significant maintenance issues, including replacing brake pads and rotors, tires, fuses, and more. These happen less often but are still very important.
After you purchase your vehicle (or better yet, before you make the purchase!), do some research into the typical maintenance your vehicle may need. Read reviews from other drivers and look for recommendations from the manufacturer. Your car’s age, make, and model can also help you get a better idea of what kind of costs you’ll be facing.
The Age of Your Car
To figure out how much your car maintenance cost could be, start by looking at its age and current condition. A brand-new car will have fewer expenses during the first few years of ownership. You can plan on oil changes but will likely have to wait a while before you need to replace major components.
Planning car maintenance costs gets more complicated if you have an older car. Vehicles with more mileage usually need more frequent maintenance, including replacements for items such as wheel bearings and hoses. While not unexpected, these replacements can become costly. For drivers who have vehicles with previous owners, try to get the maintenance history of the car so you know what’s been taken care of and what you should plan for.
The Make and Model
Your car maintenance cost will also depend on the make and model of your car. All car service costs are not equal. Many high-end vehicles require special parts and fluids that will raise the price of your maintenance services. According to PolicyGenius, brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Cadillac have some of the highest maintenance costs over the course of a decade. We recommend checking out RepairPal’s Car Overview for more information specific to your make and model.
How Can Vehicle Owners Manage Car Maintenance Cost?
You can’t avoid maintenance, but you can stay on top of it. First, check your vehicle manual. Often, you will find a recommended maintenance schedule that gives you mileage thresholds for when larger components should be replaced. Using this schedule, you can plan for a service and prepare for that specific car maintenance cost before it hits.
Hear that dinging sound? See that flashing light on your dash? We sometimes ignore these sensors, but they’re important reminders for overdue maintenance, like oil changes or tire maintenance. Quickly addressing these protects your car and can help prevent a breakdown in the long run.
Figuring out your car maintenance cost will empower you to keep your car in the best shape possible.
That being said, even the most well-maintained vehicles could have a mechanical or electrical breakdown, leaving you with an expensive repair bill. See how a vehicle protection plan from autopom! combined with good maintenance can help your financial future.