One thing I don’t like about the “modern world” we live in, is that while we are able to talk to someone on the other side of the planet, most of us are completely useless when it comes to perform a simple task around the house.
Sure, you can change a light bulb, but if the new washing machine comes in, will you be able to plug it in or will you have to spend a fortune to have a handyman do it for you? The same goes for your car, and repair shops know it. Especially if you are a woman, they will try to make it look super complicated, so you just open your wallet, swipe your card and narrow the budget belt for the rest of the month. Well guess what, it is not as hard as you think.
The number one rule to owning a car is making maintenance on time, according to the owner’s manual. If you cannot find it, you can download it online easily. If it says an oil change is required every 10,000 miles or every year, whichever happens first, do not try to make it to 15,000 miles before you change your oil. It will only result in paying more later. Simple routine maintenance include checking the fluid levels, making sure you have enough water in your radiator (another expensive, useless repair if you forget to fill it up), checking the tyre pressure so your tyres last longer and you avoid accidents, and other easy things like changing the wipers to get better visibility when it rains.
Just last week, I went to buy a kit to brighten my headlights, which had gone yellow with time, so night visibility even in full beam was compromised. The kit cost £15 or so, and half an hour of polishing later, the lights were much brighter. A professional would have charged £80 easily to do it just a little better.
And believe me, even oil changes aren’t that difficult. You need to buy an oil filter, some oil, and once in a while (depending on the maintenance schedule), an air filter. Tutorials are available online to take you through every step, so just make sure you follow them to a T and you should be good to go. While the first time may be tricky, after a while you’ll do it in your sleep. You may even become the go to person in the neighborhood and make a little extra cash!
You can order parts at Taroni’s Motor Parts, and have them delivered at home to save yourself some time. Some tasks seem daunting, like changing a tyre, but you won’t regret having learned the day you end up by the side of the road with a flat on a bank holiday. A little time invested in learning can go a long way to save money over the years.