One of the toughest decisions to make as the owner of an older vehicle is choosing whether to pay for an expensive maintenance or repair or choosing instead to purchase a newer vehicle.
At Desert Car Care McQueen, we emphasize maintenance over repairs. Yes, there is a difference. A big difference. Maintenance is something required to keep your car running well and to prevent having to pay an excessive repair bill. Changing the oil per by following the frequencies outlined in your owner’s manual is an example of a relatively inexpensive maintenance task. However, failure to change the oil as recommended can result in having to replace the entire engine of your vehicle – a very costly repair that could have been prevented with relatively inexpensive maintenance.
Mike Tibbetts, service manager at Desert Car Care McQueen, advises owners to follow the maintenance guidelines outlined by the manufacturer of the vehicle. By following the schedule religiously, you can extend the life of your car. Maintenance plans are set up to prevent anything from breaking. The average cost of maintenance, according to AAA’s 2015 report, is $792 annually.
By spending a small amount of money every time the manufacturer recommends an oil change, the odds of the engine breaking drops significantly. In other words, the more of the $792 that is used toward preventative maintenance, the less of the $2,599 in annual repairs you will have to spend.
Here are some examples of typical car maintenance costs:
- Consistent oil changes
- Tire rotations, air pressure checks
- Replace timing belt
- Annual brake checkup
- Replacing the PCV regularly
- Changing spark plugs and filters
Vehicle repairs are services that are required when something on your vehicle either stops working or is not working properly and either disables your vehicle completely or makes it unsafe to drive. Some examples of repairs are:
- A/C — Heat
If you spend about $1,000 for regular maintenance each year, it will save you from spending $8,000 or more in repairs. Excerpts from an article on Bankrate.com illustrates how costly it can be to skip routine maintenance. Here are some other examples:
Regular maintenance: $120
One year of oil changes
Cost of skipping: $4,000
Cost of engine replacement
Rotating tires — switching the tire position from front to rear and vice versa — helps them wear equally. A tire rotation should generally be done every 7,500 miles, or as often as the car manufacturer recommends.
Regular maintenance: $50
Tire rotation every 7,500 miles
Cost of skipping: $350 – $700
Cost of tire replacement
Brake disc pads and shoes eventually wear down. Checking your brakes annually allows you to spot wear before it’s too late. By contrast, neglecting regular brake work could eventually lead to more costly rotor or disc replacements.
Regular maintenance: $150 to $375
Replacing brake pads or shoes
Cost of skipping: $300 to $600
Replacing rotors or drums
Changing plugs, filters
The best way to improve the odds of passing an emissions test is to maintain your vehicle. A well-maintained engine is usually a clean engine. Such basic maintenance includes changing the spark plugs and filters.
Regular maintenance: $100+
Cost of changing plugs, filters
Cost of skipping: $335 to $700+
Cost of getting car to compliance
Our technicians at Desert Car Care McQueen are ready to help keep your vehicle in top working order. Book an appointment today.