How Does Procrastination Affect The Average Car Maintenance Costs
Do you panic when an engine warning flashes on your dashboard? Or do you ignore it in the hope that it will go away? Over 1 in 6 car owners placed themselves squarely in the latter category by admitting that their check engine light was currently on.
Common reasons for an illuminated warning light include a faulty sensor and a loose gas cap but it could indicate something far more severe, such as a misfire.
Its best never to ignore a warning light, as small issues have a habit of snowballing into big, more expensive issues. And dealing with car emergencies is something no one evers wants to do.
As we discovered, the longer that drivers waited to address a dashboard light, the more they paid in repairs over time. If you do encounter a warning light, take the safe route, and get it checked out by a certified technician to ensure your safety.
How Can I Reduce My Auto Repair Costs
The best way to keep your car repair costs low is to keep up with regular maintenance on your vehicle. That includes getting oil changes at regular intervals, rotating your car tires, keeping them properly inflated, and more. Check your owners manual to stay on top of your vehicles maintenance schedule. You can also reduce expenses for auto repairs by obtaining several quotes for non-emergency repairs and asking about discounts and coupons. That way, you can choose the quote that works best for you and your budget.
Consult Your Auto Mechanic For Regular Car Maintenance And To Know How Much Does Car Maintenance Cost
Repairing your own car can be costly, difficult to manage and can result in major damage if done by untrained hands. Also, you dont want to endanger yourself or others by driving a car that isnt in good shape, right?. It is best to contact a qualified auto mechanic for the regular maintenance of your vehicle. A printed maintenance schedule should be included with your cars owners manual, and you can check with your dealers service department to ensure scheduled maintenance is completed.
Your mechanic should be able to inspect and analyze your vehicle to fix any problems and prevent future problems. A professional mechanic can get your car back in shape in no time. Plus, theyre usually able to give you a rough idea of how much car maintenance costs.
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Rotate Or Replace Tires
Did you know that if your cars tires are too worn , it can increase your stopping distance in wet highway conditions by 87 feet? If your tire treads reach that depth, you should get them replaced.
If you need more of a timeline, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that you replace your tires every six years, no matter how many miles youve driven. Replacing all four tires can cost between $400 and $1,800, depending on the quality of tires you buy and the type of car you own.
Keeping your tires properly inflated can increase your tires’ lifespan by thousands of miles.
Tire rotation is another important maintenance item. It should be done every 5,000 to 8,000 miles and costs between $35 and $45, though some mechanics or dealers offer it for free when you have other services performed on your car. You should also keep in mind that you’ll need to perform tire balancing and alignment on your vehicle every so often to maximize the life of your tires.
The 10 Most Delayed Car Maintenance Tasks
Overall, Americans give themselves pretty high marks for how well they keep up with vehicle maintenance. In our survey of 1,200 car owners, 74.7% rated themselves good or excellent when asked how diligent they are about vehicle maintenance. Fewer than 4% rated themselves pretty bad or terrible at taking care of their vehicles. This was the breakdown:
But when we probed deeper, a whopping 91.8% of car owners admitted theyve put off a car care task longer than they should. In many cases, the delays were less than a week long, but a surprising number of drivers have gone 30 days or more with wheels out of alignment, slow leaks in their tires, whining brakes, and more.
The most commonly ignored problem was a cracked windshield, with 42.4% of car owners admitting that theyve waited 30 days or longer watching as spidery cracks slowly spread before repairing or replacing the glass.
About 1 in 3 drivers admitted postponing wheel alignments or oil changes for more than 30 days. More than a quarter of car owners admitted driving with bald or worn-out tires , disregarding the check engine light , or ignoring sluggish brakes for a month or longer.
Other items in the top 10 included overlooking a noise from the engine or wheels , a slow leak in a tire , an empty windshield fluid reservoir , or a broken headlight for a month or more.
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What Is The Total Cost To Buy Your Car
The price that you see advertised is the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price . But that is not usually the total amount that you pay when you buy it. Below weve listed some of the typical extras you might encounter.
- Freight Or Shipping : Also known as Destination and Delivery . If you buy one that isnt in a showroom, it will have to be shipped to you at an additional charge.
- : If a model is in high demand or short supply, the dealer will put a premium on the vehicle usually known as a market adjustment.
- ADM/ADP : Dealers generate a little extra profit from this.
- Admin Processing Fees : This charge usually appears when you apply for dealer financing.
- Dealer Financing : The dealer acts as the liaison between you and the lender. They dont have to give you the best rates. Negotiate with your lending institution before you go in to purchase. You may be able save a lot of money here.
- Taxes : You will have to pay federal and provincial taxes.
Remember that when you are buying a car, every line item on the pricing sheet is negotiable . If you dont know what an additional cost is, ask to have it explained to you.
Car Maintenance Checklist Schedule And Costs
So here it is a checklist of the major parts of your vehicle that need maintaining. Our car maintenance guide will also provide you with approximate costs and service timelines for these items, but again, youre going to see a lot of it depends and check your owners manual.
Nothing is cut-and-dried when it comes to your vehicle. Every car is different, meaning they all have their own specific needs. Birchwood Credit wants to give you the resources to help put you and your vehicle in a position to thrive. Its up to you to implement these changes, but with our checklist, well do everything we can to help you understand the ins-and-outs of general car maintenance.
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Reasons People Avoid The Mechanic
People gave us a variety of reasons why they let things slide.
The biggest factors were being too busy , being unable to afford it , thinking the problem was not urgent , the length of time the repair might take , anxiety around car-related issues , and distrust of mechanics .
Interestingly, anxiety and distrust of mechanics were slightly more of an issue for men than women:
- 18.4% of men said they delay car maintenance because of anxiety around automotive matters, compared with 16.9% of women.
- 14.3% of men said they distrust mechanics, compared with 11.8% of women.
Also, younger people feel more anxiety and distrust around automotive tasks than older people.
- 23.8% of people in their 20s said they have delayed repairs because of anxiety, compared with 8.9% of people in their 60s.
- 15.4% of car owners in their 20s said they distrust mechanics, compared with 12.7% of people in their 60s.
A 37-year-old man from Florida said:
My first car was a Mustang and every time I brought the thing in, they told me it would cost $700 to repair. It was odd. Every time, without fail, they found something wrong enough with the car to come up with a $700 bill. I havent really trusted mechanics since then.
A 50-year-old woman from Oregon told us a second opinion recently saved her from a big bill.
How Much Do Diesel Mechanics Make
While typical automotive mechanics make just under $47,000 a year and about $22.50 an hour, if youre a diesel technician you can expect to bring in a little bit more.
Thats because the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average pay for a diesel mechanic at $48,690 per year, which translates to about $23.41 per hour.
But just like with the average pay of a gasoline automotive mechanic there are tons of factors that go into how much a diesel mechanic makes.
The highest paying state for diesel mechanics is Alaska where they bring in a little over $62,000 a year. Meanwhile, in the lowest-paying state, West Virginia, diesel mechanics bring in just over $39,000 per year.
Once again, it also depends on what type of shop you work in since dealerships and private repair shops will pay different rates while providing different benefits.
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Why Should You Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
Whether its skipping an oil change or ignoring that mysterious warning light on the dashboard, many of us procrastinate when it comes to vehicle maintenance.
But as weve discovered, a little grease goes a long way. Saving a few bucks in the short term can actually cost drivers more in the long term.
Regular maintenance is just one way to protect your vehicle youll also want to shop around for the best car insurance. We make it fast and easy to buy low-cost car insurance coverage that meets your needs. Well help you understand state laws and find the best policy for you and your vehicle.
How To Become A Mechanic
Now that you know the answer to how much mechanics make, its up to you to decide if you want to become a professional mechanic. If you do, the first thing youll want to do is get some kind of experience in the field.
If you already know what youre doing, you can jump straight to ASE certifications that way you have something to highlight to prospective employers. However, if you dont there are plenty of schools that help get you the experience you need.
Schools like UTI specialize in automotive mechanics, and there are plenty of colleges that offer automotive programs to help you get a feel for the career.
Just know that you dont need an automotive degree to get a job as a mechanic, you really just need to know what youre doing.
While youre going to school, go ahead and start picking up tools and other things youll need for your toolbox.
Once you have the necessary experience, you can start sending applications out! If youre in an area with plenty of dealerships and other automotive shops, it shouldnt be too long before someone reaches out to you for an interview.
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How Much Does It Cost To Own A Car In General
The annual cost of car ownership for any given driver will depend on multiple factors, like where in the U.S. you live, how much you drive, and how old your car is. But the make and model of your car will play a large role in determining yearly costs.
AAAs 2019 Your Driving Costs study broke down the average annual costs associated with nine different types of vehicles, factoring in the costs of gas, maintenance, repairs, tires, car insurance, fees, car payments, and depreciation, in order to calculate the annual cost of ownership for different types of vehicles.
Their study included nine categories: small sedans, medium sedans, large sedans, small SUVS, medium SUVs, minivans, pickup trucks, hybrids, and electric cars.
Based on a driver with regular car payments who drives 15,000 miles a year and has whats referred to as full coverage car insurance meaning it includes comp and collision coverage here are the annual ownership costs for each type of vehicle:
|Type of car
How To Save Money When You Buy A Car
- Extend the term of financing to 5 years, and your monthly payment drops to $223
- Only park in driveways and find free parking elsewhere: $0
- Bundle car with home insurance can save 10-15% â $255
- New total monthly cost is $548.32
You can also save money buying an older car. Take the time to shop for more auto insurance quotes. You can even rent out your vehicle using Turo car rental or start driving for Uber or Lyft to make some money with your car.
Alternatively, all these costs may be even more. For instance, a big road trip will cost more in gas and parking. Think about how much it might cost you not to maintain your vehicle or be underinsured after an accident.
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Treat It Like A Car Payment To Yourself
If you bought a new or certified pre-owned car, it likely came with a warranty. Depending on the manufacturer, the warranty may last just about as long as your scheduled car payments. That means, just as youve finally paid off your car, youre going to be financially on the hook for larger repairs.
Since youve already adjusted your budget over the last three to five years to make the car payment, continue spending that money each month by shifting it from your checking account to your savings account. Let it sit there until you need it.
And if you miraculously dont wind up needing it all by the time you go to sell your car? Well, youve got a healthy little down payment set aside for your next set of wheels.
How Much To Budget For Car Maintenance
Life can throw a curveball once in a while. Or a nail in the road. And if you dont have a solid car maintenance budget, you could be scrounging for cash to pay for surprise repairs or even just to keep up with regular car maintenance.
According to the AAA, one-third of drivers in the United States cannot afford an unexpected car repair. Avoid the stress of going into debt by simply using a car maintenance budget.
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Lease Car Maintenance Cost
If youre looking to lease your next car, youll still need to have the car maintained in order to avoid damage charges from the leasing company.
Optional maintenance packages are available for most car lease deals which will cover routine maintenance and servicing, plus the cost of an MOT if your deal is longer than three years. With leasing, you dont need to pay for an MOT for the first three years as the vehicles are brand new.
The cost of any maintenance package will usually be included within the monthly payment for the car, although you can often choose to pay it separately. As an example, a Ford Focus agreement with maintenance would cost around £13 more per month* than a deal which doesnt include it. In this instance, maintenance works out slightly cheaper than the average cost of work carried out without this package.
Remember: The additional cost of a maintenance package will differ depending on the make and model of the car, plus the terms of your contract .
Because lease cars are brand-new and covered by the manufacturers warranty, you wont have to worry about forking out for unexpected repairs or breakdowns either. Using the maintenance pricing table above, this could mean you save around £159 each year on unexpected repair work if you decide to lease.
*Prices based on Moneyshake deals with three months initial rental, a 36-month term and 8,000 miles per year. Accurate as of July 2020
What Is The Average Cost For Maintenance
Base your estimate of regular car maintenance costs on the manufacturers recommended schedule oil changes, brakes, rotors, fluid levels, etc. Dont forget to factoring paying more for such things engine or air conditioning repairs.
Remember, your driving habits will also influence your car expenses. Are you hard on your brakes or are you an aggressive driver? Youll put more wear and tear on your brakes.
How Much Does It Cost To Own A New Car After One Year
One factor in the total cost of ownership that people overlook is depreciation, so let’s start there. Edmunds data shows a range of depreciation for vehicles between 6% and 45% of MSRP after the first year of ownership. On average, though, new cars lose 23.5% of their MSRP after a year. In addition to each vehicle’s depreciation, these components factor into the annual cost of ownership:
- Taxes and fees
- Federal tax credit, if applicable
- Financing costs
Different Types Of Car Scratches
Before we get into the costs, we need to mention the types of car scratches as they will be crucial to determining the fixing price.
- Clear-coat scratches and scuffs: The simplest scratches for fixing. They are only surface scratches that you can easily repair yourself.
- Paint layer scratches: These scratches will damage the paint, so they will cost more since youll need to re-paint the area.
- Deep paint scratches: Scratches that reveal the metal sections of your vehicle that can easily rust and cause more damage.
The smaller the scratch, the lower the cost of repair, so clear-coat scratches and scuffs will be the cheapest, while deep paint scratches will be the most expensive.
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