It can be easy to ignore small issues with your car when that car continues to function, even if you know the repair will be inexpensive. After all, sometime soon you’re going to make time and set that appointment, right? However, there are a few car repairs that people delay out of lack of urgency, only to discover the small repair evolve into a more expensive and frustrating fix. When you know that cheap car maintenance is within your reach, make sure you do it!
Here are some of the hidden costs you might incur when putting off common car problems.
Brake pads wear down gradually, so it can be tempting to get all you can out of them. However, besides the obvious danger of driving without sufficiently functioning brakes, wearing completely through your brake pads can eventually impact your wallet, too. Worn brake pads can eventually damage calipers, rotors, and drums, which can easily be 300% more expensive than the preventative replacement of brake pads.
We’ve all been told how important oil changes are. It’s true! Regular oil changes based on the recommended service for your particular vehicle is one of those inexpensive maintenance moves that keeps your engine in top condition. Delaying oil changes a tad might not be a source of catastrophic failure, but it may cause your engine to wear out quicker.
Forgetting to change your oil for too long will eventually cause extensive engine damage, necessitating car repairs that can cost more than $1000 even when an oil change usually costs less than $50. Ouch.
Air and Fuel Filters
Air filters and fuel filters get clogged quicker than we want, and filters lose effectiveness as they get more and more full of pollutants. However, because the filters protect the delicate parts of an engine from extra particulates that can reduce engine performance and impact mileage, replacing them is considered a long-term maintenance cost.
Getting these filters changed promptly is key to avoiding expensive repairs. For instance, replacing spark plugs that have been ruined by lack of airflow can cost 200% more than just replacing said air filter in the first place.
Timing belts are a good example of an item to get checked whenever your older car is in our Blue Springs service center for auto maintenance. Once timing belts are damaged, the potential for catastrophic failure rises quickly. If it’s been between 60,000 and 80,000 miles since your last timing belt change, ask about replacing them the next time you schedule service.
Timing belt replacement represents a bigger price, but it will cost up to 400% more to replace after it has actually snapped, making that investment well worth it.
Maintaining Fluid Levels
This isn’t even technically a repair, but maintaining the fluid levels in your car can have a major impact. While most fluids can get a bit low without a problem, replenishing your fluid levels will help you notice if you have a leak. Other fluid levels (like brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant) are also important to maintain to avoid destroying the systems that these fluids assist.
The lack of transmission fluid due to a leak, for example, can damage your transmission permanently, yielding an extremely expensive repair like a transmission rebuild (which can cost more than $2500) for a very basic transmission fluid flush that rarely costs in the neighborhood of $100 or $200.
Schedule Auto Maintenance in Blue Springs
Keeping up with your car’s basic maintenance and small repairs requires a small amount of cash and a real commitment to the maintenance schedule suggested by your mechanic. However, having to buy a car a year or two before you intended to—well, that’s a huge expense, especially considering the average American car owner spends $8000 per year to own and operate a vehicle. To lower that number, set aside the money for these small repairs before they balloon into dangerous situations and the need for new transmissions or engines.
For quality auto repairs and car maintenance in Kansas City and Blue Springs, MO, visit the NAPA Service Center at McCarthy Pre-Owned Supercenter. We offer routine maintenance for all vehicle makes and models, so you can breathe a sigh of relief each time you start that engine. Contact us at (816) 256-2632 or schedule your auto service appointment online to secure your ideal time. We’ll patch you up, no problem.