Can I save money each year by skipping some preventative maintenance?

True or False: I can save money every year by not having my car serviced as often as the manufacturer recommends.

False.   While it is possible to over maintain your car, like getting your oil changed every 3,000 miles no matter what, most people probably don’t fall into that category.  In fact, about 40% of us are putting off required maintenance.  Our cars are very expensive investments.  They are the second largest purchase we make in our lives and require continuous cost to maintain.   According to AAA, the average car cost 5₵ a mile for regular maintenance.  While spending money on your car doesn’t seem like a necessity, it should be.  

According to the Car Care Council, in 2004 poorly maintained vehicles caused accidents that resulted in $2 billion worth of damage.  I’m sure that number hasn’t been going down each year since.  In addition to safety, the upfront investment of maintaining your car is cheaper in the long run, extends the life of your car, and as an added bonus – if you keep a good record of maintenance history you’ll increase the resale value of your car as well.  

I’m a data person myself, I’m sure someone reading this is as well. Let me you give you some numbers so you can decide for yourself.  For example, the most important maintenance you can perform on your car is an oil change. If you drive a newer car, you probably only need to do this somewhere between 5,000 and 7,500 miles.   If you do this twice a year it would probably cost about $160.  What if you skip an oil change or maybe all of them for a year (it was a busy year for you), what happens then?   Did you just save $160?  Or did you accidentally seize the engine in your beloved car and now you have to shell out $4,500 to replace it?  What about brakes?   You can hear them squeaking, but don’t have the time to go replace your brake pads.  So you wait, and wait, and wait, until finally you take your car in to have it inspected.   Bad news, instead of spending $160 on brake pads, you’ve worn the rotors and now your bill is closer to $400. 

Now that I have you on the edge of your seat, I want to give you the good news.  There are ways to save money on car maintenance!  The most important thing is to read your Owner’s manual and follow the recommended maintenance. A lot of it depends on where you live and how you drive and many of the suggested services are minor inspections that you can perform yourself.   Not sure how?  Don’t worry because there are plenty of resources out there to help you.   We think it’s so important, that New Age Auto Repair will be teaching a short class on how to do the basics this fall!