Friday, January 13, 2012

Preventative Maintenance - The Key to Big Savings On Auto Repair!

The New Year has begun. Time to think about those new year's resolutions! If you're ike most people, new year's resolutions start out with the right idea in mind. The biggest problem is that many people try to implement either too many or set goals that simply cannot be reached either without help or that are unreasonable.

After many failed New Year's resolutions myself, I decided to take a look at what things I ACTUALLY have enough self dicipline to implement. One thing I really want to work on this year is "saving money". Each year when tax time arrives I see the books and each year I realize that there are many ways to save money that are both easy to do AND cost effective to implement! (There's no point in spending a million dollars to save a half million!)

One way to put some extra dollars in your pocket is through implementing a "preventative maintenance" program. Preventative maintenance means simply that. Prevent problems before they happen. In almost any circumstance, preventing a problem from happening is less expensive than fixing the problem once it HAS happened.

One place to implement a great preventative maintenance program is with your vehicle! Let's face it. Auto repairs are expensive. But, with vehicles, there are MANY ways to help prevent problems from happening that are WAY less expensive than the problems themselves.

Start with standard maintenance items like oil changes, lubrication, and brakes. These items are inexpensive to do, but, will save hundreds and even thousands of dollars in repairs if left undone! Let's take a look at the actual cost of doing some of these items.

Changing brake pads is a great one to start with. First of all, the brake pad manufacturer's actually provide you with a warning when this needs to be done! That's what all that "squeaking" is about! When you hear your brakes start to squeak, it means that the pads have worn down sufficiently to require replacement. The manufacturer installs "squeakers", small metal pieces that come in contact with your rotors and cause them to "squeak" thereby letting you know they are worn. A great idea when you think about it! Problem is....most people don't pay attention to this "squeaking" when it happens.

Make this a priority on your vehicle "preventative maintenance" program and here's what it can save you...... Replacing the brake pads on your vehicle will run you approximately $30 per wheel to accomplish. Purchase brake pads with a lifetime warranty and the cost is reduced to $20 per wheel the next time you do it! How does this save you money? Letting your brakes go until the "squeaking" stops....and it will......will cause the brake "rotors" to become damaged. Once they are damaged, they need to be replaced. Add $20 labor to each wheel AND the cost of the rotors (anywhere from $20 to $120 each depending on your vehicle)!!! Now there's a "chunk of change" that you COULD still have in your pocket had you done your preventative maintenance!

Next, let's take a look at changing your oil. Depending on your vehicle and the type of oil used, oil changes usually run anywhere from $20 to $40 depending on your vehicle and that includes the oil! Oil should be changed around every 3000 miles or every 3 months, whichever comes first.

Oil is the key ingredient in keeping your car, truck, suv or what have you running smoothly. Few things in your vehicle's motor are as important as oil! And, the bad things is, the things that happen when you DON'T change your oil are numerous AND far exceed the cost of a simple oil change! The worst of these being a blown engine! Yup, spending the "small change" for an oil change every 3 months COULD potentially save you the cost of a new motor, which, in some older vehicles, may exceed the cost of the vehicle itself! Also, when you change the oil, it's a good idea to lubricate the rest of the vehicle at the same time. Most oil change services include this lubrication. However, if you're a do-it-yourself'er, don't forget to lube the rest of the car while you're at it!

So, is everyone hearing the point I'm getting at here? I know these things are a pain. We're all busy and squeazing in an oil change or brake job into our busy schedules is hard. I don't mean that sarcastically, I mean it literally. If you're like most of us, we don't have enough time in the day as it is! But, working these things into our busy schedules CAN and WILL save money in the long run.

I have only touched base on two little items that will help save you money in 2012 and the list goes on and on. We will continue to give you ideas on money saving tips in the future! Please feel free to comment back with ideas of your own! After all, the idea here IS to help each other out!

Happy 2012 and we'll talk to you soon!

Larry and Dee Blackman
LDJ Auto Body and Mechanical

1 comment:

  1. Preventative maintenance is always important, but there will always be some repairs that need to be covered under an auto warranty. Just be sure to get the little stuff taken care of regularly so that a bigger problem doesn't arise!


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Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you! -Larry and Dee Blackman, LDJ Auto Body, Gibsonton, FL.