How to Save Money on Car Repairs

How to Save Money on Car Repairs

When you buy a car, repairs are inevitable at some point. The older your car gets, the more repairs you will be responsible for. However, when you buy a used car, this can be a worrisome prospect. You never know exactly what you are getting into when you buy a used car. There are a few things you can do to ensure that the car you buy is in as good of condition as possible. Plus, if you do need to perform repairs, there are things you can do to keep the costs minimal. Here are a few things you can do to help save yourself some money on the car repairs you will inevitably face.

Perform All Scheduled Maintenance

When you get a car, the first thing you should do is to read through the owner’s manual. Once you get a feel for when you should perform the maintenance, set up a schedule. You want to mark down when each task should be done, and then stick to it. By preventing problems, you reduce what you will have to spend on repairs.

Ask People You Trust

If you ask around for a good mechanic from people you trust, then you are more likely to get a good mechanic who is not going to gouge you in terms of prices. Find a good mechanic and turn to them with all of your repairs. This will save you money by knowing that you can have some you trust working on your vehicle. Plus, if you always go to the same mechanic, they will be more likely to notice problems early, saving you money by not letting problems get worse.

Talk to Your Mechanic About Duplicate Problems

When you are already looking at getting something fixed up with your car, talk with your mechanic about any other problems that may need addressing in that same area. For example, if you need to have the tire taken off to get to a part under the engine, you may want your mechanic to look at the brakes at the same time. That way, you do not pay double to have the same steps done. While you would be paying more now, it would still be saving you money. That is because you are going to pay for the labor of removing the tire now, and again in the future, should you choose to wait for the second repair.

Buy the Parts Yourself and Bring Them to Your Mechanic

One of the best ways of cutting down on how much you pay for repairs is to buy the parts yourself. You can often get them for a steep discount when you buy them online. Then, you simply bring the part to your mechanic and have them install it. That way, you are not paying their markup or the price they get from their suppliers plus the cost of the labor, you are only paying for the labor. It can cut down a lot on the repair costs, especially if you do this for every repair you need to have done.

When You Can, Do the Work Yourself

If you truly want to save money on repairs from car problems, you want to try and do whatever fixes you can on your own. This does not mean you will be able to do everything, but simple things like keeping up with oil changes and filling your tires are things that most car owners can keep up with. Checking your fluid levels, changing small parts on your vehicle, and keeping your car clean are all things you should keep up with on a regular basis. Every little bit of maintenance and repair you can do cuts down on what you have to pay someone else to do.

Get Help at the First Sign of a Problem

If you have ever gotten into your car and noticed the signs of a problem, but done nothing about it, this is letting your problem get worse. This means you will likely spend more to fix it down the line. If you turn your car on and the check engine light comes on, or the ABS light, you want to get it checked out right away. Random noises, squeals from belts, or puddles on the ground are signs that something in your engine is not quite right. Go in and get the problem checked out now. The sooner you get the problem fixed, the easier the fix will be, and the less likely you are to suffer from other problems in and around the engine as a result of putting this fix off.

Repair Any Dings You Get on Your Vehicle

Most people do not worry as much about the appearance of a used car as they do about the appearance of a new car. However, this is an important part of the vehicle to maintain. Each little ding you get in the vehicle has the potential to cause rust and other problems, which can increase your repair costs, and will definitely take away from the value of your vehicle. By repairing those dings, you avoid the rust, and the subsequent problems with your vehicle. This then helps cut down on how much it costs to keep your car running. Repainting the entire car is not necessary, so you may have to look around and find a place that will simply repair the ding. However, the time invested in finding the right person is worth it!

Buying any car means you will have to put some time and effort into repairs at some point or another. When you know how to save yourself repair money, it can make owning that vehicle for a long time, much less of an expense. Take the time to care for your vehicle properly from the beginning, so it can last you as long as possible. Once you no longer have a note to pay off on the vehicle, you can set that amount aside each month as an emergency fund to pay for any repairs you will face down the line!

TOP 10 TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR CAR


TOP 10 TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR CAR

 

Some vehicles may be more reliable than others, but generally speaking, you should be able to keep a car running long well into the 100,000 mile range by keeping it well maintained. There are lots of maintenance tricks that will keep your car running smoothly, some obvious, others less so. Here are ten maintenance tips that we at Eden Autos highly recommend.

 

Keep Fluids Topped Off

Just as we need the perfect balance of nutrients to keep our bodies going long into old age, your car will benefit from always keeping each of its fluids topped off. On top of gas, the main fluids include engine coolant, oil and window washer fluid. There are also other fluids that can benefit from being checked regularly in order to keep specific parts working. Brake fluid will keep your brakes responsive and should be changed every two years. Meanwhile, transmission fluid will keep your gears working smoothly and power steering fluid will keep your steering sharp; both of these should be checked monthly although you may never need to fill up either if you’re lucky. Most modern cars will generally offer warning lights when these fluids are low, while older cars may need to be manually checked.

 

Don’t Drive On Worn Tires

Evenly worn tires with a good amount of tread will make your driving smoother and safer. You should keep the air in your tires at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Too low or even too high can affect the tire wear and balance of your vehicle, and even cause damage to your suspension and brakes, not to mention making your steering less responsive or causing pulling to one side. In addition, you should periodically check the tread depth. Worn tires could potentially affect how they grip the road and can make your car more likely to skid and swerve. If there’s little or no tread left, you shouldn’t wait too long to buy new ones. And having them balanced and getting a wheel alignment will help to keep them from wearing unevenly.

 

Preserve Your Battery

Your car battery is the power source for your vehicle’s electrical system, affecting everything from being able to turn on the headlights, to starting the ignition. The battery receives continuous charging from the alternator while the engine is running, but extended use of electrical equipment when the car is turned off, such as lights and radio, can cause the battery to drain. Cold weather can actually freeze the chemicals in the car battery, causing the battery to fail. Save yourself the hassle of having to use jumper cables, or calling for road service, by not using the car regularly in the cold winter months. Even if you don’t want to drive it, at least start it weekly and let it idle for about 15 – 30 minutes.

 

Brake The Bad Habits

Do you drive your car like a Formula 1 race car driver? In other words, do you accelerate hard and then have to slam on the brakes? On top of wearing out your brake pads faster, this type of driving will use up more fuel and affect other engine parts. Accelerating more smoothly and braking earlier will put less pressure on your car.

 

Keep Your Car Clean, But Not Too Clean

Excessive dirt and grime on and under the car could eventually cause some exterior areas to rust, and a dirty car just doesn’t look very good. If you are in an area that does a lot of salting the roads in winter, that could also cause the car to develop rust. Washing your car, or running it through a car wash, will help both these issues. However, be careful of over-cleaning. Too much soap and scrubbing, especially as the result of overusing car washes, can start to give your car a dull appearance by wearing down the finish. Find the right balance to keep your car looking its best and maintaining its finish, without overdoing it.

 

Lubricate

Some parts under the hood will wear down because of a lack of lubrication. Even though many of the under-carriage parts on today’s cars are self-lubricating, there are still some that can benefit from a little lubrication. Applying grease to these parts will stop them from grinding away, giving you many more years out of them. You can buy auto grease at any auto supply store to apply yourself, or get a mechanic to do it for you.

 

Park In The Shade

Did you know that excessive direct sunlight on a hot day could be damaging your car? The sun can damage paint, cause the rubber lining on your doors to become brittle, and even make tires weaker. There are many waxes and finishes that you can buy to prevent sun damage, but if your car is parked outside for many daylight hours, one of the easiest and least costly solutions is to simply keep it parked in the shade; under a tree, in a garage or use a protective cover for times your car is in the hot sun for very extended periods. 

 

Don’t Ignore Warning Lights

The moment you get a warning light on your instrument cluster, you should consult your car’s manual to find out what it means. Warning lights are there to alert you that your car needs some form of servicing or maintenance, and ignoring these lights could cause damage. Although sometimes a warning light might be faulty and may illuminate even when nothing is wrong, you should always check to find out the nature of the problem. You may have been ignoring a faulty warning light related to the brakes, but what happens if your brakes do one day decide to fail and you have no warning?

 

Get Your Car Serviced Regularly

Even if you do consider yourself a car wizard, it takes a professional with specialised equipment to find and repair many of the problems that your car can develop. The manufacturers recommended service schedule is designed to keep your vehicle running properly, and to catch any potential problems before they turn into expensive repair jobs. It’s also a good idea to get your car checked before you go on a long roadtrip.

 

Don’t Put Off Needed Repairs

If there is a recommendation to replace a part that’s showing signs of wear, but for now, it’s still okay to drive, it may be forgotten about until it turns into a more serious problem. By having the part taken care of then and there, it could be a lot less costly and time consuming in the long run.

 

We hope that our Top 10 Tips will help you keep your vehicle running well for many safe and repair-free miles, but when you’re ready for a new car or truck, Eden Autos will be ready to help you find the right one for you. At Eden Autos, we are always ready to help you get the right vehicle, at the right price, with the right financing in place. Call us at 215-977-4772, or stop in at 6213 E. Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia to meet our friendly, professional staff and see our extensive inventory of quality pre-owned cars, trucks and SUV’s.

 

Checking and Maintaining Your Car’s Brakes


Checking and Maintaining Your Car’s Brakes

We all know that brakes play a vital role in automobile safety, but do we all spend as much time checking our brakes as often as we should? All car-owners should inspect their vehicle on a regular basis, and take care of any little flaws or faults immediately. Sadly, though, brakes can be overlooked; you might focus on your engine and your tires, but often take your braking system for granted.

 

Nobody can afford to do this, not when your proper brake performance can literally mean the difference between life and death. So, with that in mind, how can you check and maintain your own brakes to keep yourself, and fellow drivers, as safe as possible when behind the wheel?

 

Is Your Brake Fluid Healthy?

Your car brakes feature five core parts: the brake pads, calipers, rotors, brake lines, and the master cylinder. The brakes operate with hydraulics, using fluid to maintain control from your foot as it presses the pedal to the brakes on your car’s wheels. This entire transfer of power starts with a piston in the master cylinder; applying pressure to the pedal causes fluid to run through the brake lines to the calipers, slowing the movement of the wheels to ultimately bring your vehicle to a stop.

 

This brake fluid is stored in a reservoir under the hood, and maintaining its proper level and performance is quite simple: check for any clear leaks or cracks in the reservoir and the lines, and be sure to check the fluid level at least once a month. Your car’s manual will tell you how much fluid is required, so familiarize yourself with this information for quick checks in the future.

 

Brake fluid attracts water and can absorb water molecules from the surrounding area. This can occur no matter how tightly you screw the cap onto the reservoir, running the risk of creating rust along your brake lines, leading to potential ruptures over time. To help avoid this, ensure your reservoir’s cap remains tightly closed, and it’s generally best to replace the brake fluid once every two years, or for approximately every 25,000 miles.

 

Is Your Master Cylinder Working As It Should?

The master cylinder is at the heart of your entire braking system, so keeping it in the best possible condition is very important. How do you know when to check this if you don’t already on a regular basis? Usually, the brake pedal itself will start to feel different, kind of spongy, when you apply pressure, or the ‘oil” or “oil can” light on the dash will come on.

 

When checking your master cylinder, examine it, and the surrounding area, for any signs of leaks. Any escaping fluid means it’s time for a replacement, though this may be a little complicated; anyone but the most experienced drivers would be advised to contact professional mechanics for this job. It may cost more, but it’s best to avoid any potential errors with your master cylinder, no matter how small it may seem.

 

Are Your Bake Pads in Good Shape?

As the brake pedal is depressed, the brake pads make contact with the rotors (brake discs) to bring the car to a safe, steady stop. If the pads start to wear and go unchanged, you can find yourself facing one particularly dangerous side-effect; the vehicle’s inability to stop when needed.

 

Certain cars allow you a clear sight of the brake pads without needing to remove the wheels, but in most cases, each wheel will need to be taken off the vehicle. Healthy brake pads will have at least 5mm density, with balanced wear across both. Check the brake pads once every 5 to 7,5000 miles, but pay attention to common warning signs: a sudden high-pitched or grinding noise when the brake pedal is depressed is an immediate clue. Struggling to slow down normally when the pedal is pushed, or an unstable steering wheel are equally telling. If you find yourself being pulled more to the left or right, one brake pad could be more worn down than the other. Worn-out brake pads may also create an unusual vibration in the pedal.

 

Given the tremendous heat generated as pads and rotors press together, it’s not surprising that these components wear down over time, and brake fluid may actually start boiling in the calipers. If this happens, braking may be more difficult than it should be, potentially leading to complications or, at worst, accidents. Some manufacturers do produce pads designed to better handle high heat, though these tend to under-perform when driving in lower temperatures, or when you have little need to use your brakes much during your trips.

 

You can make your brake pads last longer by avoiding high speeds, thereby minimizing needing to brake quickly and heavily; this puts incredible pressure on the pads and the rotors alike. Stay focused on the traffic ahead and around you too, to help reduce sudden braking from other drivers’ unexpected behavior.

 

Have You Inspected Your Rotors?

As mentioned earlier, your rotors (brake discs) are integral to your car’s braking system: these metal disks are what your brake pads need to press against to bring the car to a stop. Check your rotors for any indentations or grooves, and be sure they’re not broken. If they’re not completely rounded, invest in replacements. However, this should always be done in pairs: get new front or back ones together, never one of each.

 

Why? Because then you can rest assured that your new rotors will wear with balance, keeping an even grip on both sides of the vehicle. This stops you from being pulled to one side or another when applying the brakes. As with brake pads, try to extend your rotor’s life by keeping your driving at a measured pace, so you’re not slamming on the brakes more often than is necessary. Heavy braking for a sudden stop again and again will lead tp your entire braking system wearing down faster than if you take things a little more slowly.

 

Though the responsibilities of everyday life can make it hard to find time for checking your car’s brakes, make the effort to do so as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Stay on top of your maintenance, either by doing the work yourself or taking it to a qualified professional. In short, take care of your braking system and your braking system will take care of you.

 

At Eden Autos, we encourage our customers to stay up to date with basic vehicle maintenance and repairs that can keep their vehicles in good running condition and that can save them money. We hope you find this information helpful.

 

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