You don’t need to watch the Big Three automakers beg Congress for bailout money to know that the auto industry is in bad shape. For most of us, buying a new car is just not in the cards right now, no matter how badly we might need it. It means we have to take extra good care of what we’ve already got.
Lauren Fix, an auto expert and professional race car driver, brings you five easy ways to maintain your old ride:
1. Change your coolant and oil. By just doing this when as often as it says so in the manual, you could save over $4000.
2. Change the hoses. A broken hose can eventually destroy your engine.
3. Change your break fluid. Dirty fluid can break down a transmission, which will cost thousands to replace.
4. Check sparkplugs annually and replace every 1-2 years.
5. Take care of the exterior. Especially during winter with the salts on the road, take the extra steps to keep your exterior from corroding. This will save you money if you plan on trading your car in.
Ignoring your car’s needs will cost you in the long run, Fix says. Even if it’s a simple ‘check engine’ light that keeps blinking, it is better to take care of a problem as soon as it surfaces or else you face compounded costs of repair down the road.