When you’re in the midst of used car shopping, there’s lots of things to consider. However, one item that sometimes used car shoppers overlook are maintenance costs — how much is this vehicle going to cost you over the long term? After all, the last thing a car buyer wants is to bring home a used car or truck that is going to drain their bank account dry with lots of issues.
Luckily there are a few low to no cost ways that car owners can help their vehicle run great and stay out of the shop. By following these suggestions — and doing the proper homework when used car shopping — car buyers can look forward to happy years with their used vehicle.
Read The Owner’s Manual
Yes, believe it or not you should actually take the time to read the owner’s manual of your used car. The manual can tell owners important information, such as routine maintenance information or dash lights that may come on that are telling you there’s a problem. If the manual did not come with the car, contact a local dealership or look online for a copy.
Regularly Check The Oil
All car owners know about the importance of oil changes, however, most just automatically assume everything will be fine between changes — why would they need to check their oil on a regular basis? The reason is because if your car runs out of oil, your engine will be toast and before you know it, you’ll be used car shopping all over again.
Taking the time to simply using a dipstick to check the engine oil level can save you from potential hassles.
Keep An Eye On Fluids
As mentioned previously, reading your car’s owner’s manual will tell you what the regular maintenance schedule is for your vehicle. That includes not only oil that we already talked about, but all the other fluids that makes your car run — coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, battery fluid, and even windshield wiper fluid. All of these fluids can be easily checked by the owner with some guidance from the owner’s manual and a little know-how.
Pay Attention To Tire Pressure
If your tires are in bad shape, your car is not going anywhere. Plus not having tires that are properly inflated can make for a less than comfortable ride, as well as a safety concern. Your vehicle’s tire pressure can easily be checked on a regular basis using a tire air pressure gauge that can be picked up any auto parts store. The gauge measures the pounds per square inch (PSI) of each tire, and you can find out what the correct PSI of each of your tires should be through a sticker on the driver’s side door or in the owner’s manual. Is your PSI off? Free air is available at most gas stations and just takes a few minutes to fix.
Replace Your Air Filter
If you think about it, a lot of the time you’re in the car your windows are closed, so having a good working air filter is important for making sure you and your passengers are breathing nice, clean air. Plus studies have shown having a clogged air filter can cause issues for your engine and even lower fuel efficiency. With a little bit of research, car owners can easily replace their own air filters.