The average monthly payment of a brand new car in America is $507, and if you can’t spare that much money every month, driving a batter for the time being makes more sense.
But here’s a bummer. Driving an old car can be stressful, as it tends to break down more frequently than a brand new one. Also, the maintenance cost increases as the car gets older because several parts need to be replaced, refurbished or rebuilt. And that costs a lot of money.
Does your car eat last?
You are paying off a mortgage or a student loan, and amidst other everyday expenses, you are probably left with little-to-no cash at the end of the month to pay for your car’s maintenance.
If you are living paycheck to paycheck and driving a Toyota, Honda, Hyundai or any other modest car, you are already on the right track. All you need to know is how to reduce the maintenance cost so that you can save up for your brand new car while taking care of other inevitable expenses.
Let’s dive right into it.
Getting it serviced
If you want your car to last, never skimp on its routine maintenance, which includes oil & filter change. If you get your car serviced on time, you can avoid a lot of mechanical troubles and potentially save hundreds of dollars down the road.
The labor cost of an oil change for a mid-size sedan can go up to $50. However, you can avoid the labor cost by changing the oil and filter by yourself. If you can lift your car on the jack stand, the rest of the job can be done easily. You will find a lot of videos on the Internet on how to unscrew the drain plug and the oil filter using a wrench.
Make sure to collect the used engine oil in a drain pan and dispose of it responsibly.
Buying auto parts
Your old car will need replacement parts down the road. And this is where your old ride starts to cost you a small fortune. You have several options when it comes to buying parts for your car.
- Buy OEM parts
- Buy Aftermarket parts
- Buy Refurbished parts
OEM parts are the most expensive, but they are reliable and last longer. Refurbished parts, on the other hand, are dirt cheap but you cannot rely on them. Since they are not brand new, you never know how much life is left on them.
This is where aftermarket parts offer the best of both worlds. They are cheaper than OEMs and more reliable than refurbished parts – a perfect fit for your needs.
Buying aftermarket auto parts from an online retailer is more cost-effective as these stores offer the best discounts and deals.
Your old car isn’t meant for racing. It doesn’t have high-performance parts, and nor does it make the kind of torque to pin you to the seat. So, please don’t push your car to its limits, as doing so will only damage the engine and suspensions.
Follow the speed limit, avoid hard-braking, use clutch only when needed, shift gears gently and go slow over speed bumps. These simple driving habits can prevent major breakdowns.
Don’t worry about the aesthetics
Driving an old car can be embarrassing. The chipped paintwork, worn-out leather seats and lack-luster interior trims – your car may not be impressive, but it can still run errands.
Your car can run pretty well without these aesthetic touch-ups. Therefore, instead of spending $$$ on regular polishing, you can save that money up for your new car.