For many of us, the downsides to owning a vehicle are few and far between, but something that many car enthusiasts struggle with is the rising costs of car maintenance. Between more complicated car features and larger vehicles than ever before, maintaining your car has started to become quite expensive for the average driver.


In fact, Canstar Blue estimates that maintenance costs of a new car can climb up to $2,280 per year, and that’s not including things like detailing or cleaning costs which can also add up fairly quickly. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can keep car maintenance costs down, and here are just a few to consider:


1.   Understand the basics of auto care


You are much more likely to get a fair price on a car repair if you can show the mechanic that you have done your research. Understanding the main issues that can affect your car and the terminology can help you not only interact with your mechanic on their level, but also figure out problems on your own.


You can troubleshoot issues with your vehicle with websites like AutoMD or Driverside. This is certainly not a replacement for a professional diagnosis, but it may be useful to make yourself sound more knowledgeable. These sites can also help you get a better estimate on whatever repairs your mechanic recommends.


2.   Look for discounts and warranties


Some online coupon sites have discounts you can use to save some money on your next service. You can get coupons for services like an oil change and tire inspection regularly, so sign up for those if you have any local repair shops that do this.


If your car is newer, the warranty on it may still be good. In most cases, warranties for new cars last for three years or more. Your repairs may be covered if your warranty is still active. Used cars may still have parts and labour covered under warranty, so always make sure to double check.


3.   Find a great mechanic that you trust


Much like finding a doctor you trust, a reliable and trustworthy mechanic is someone you’ll want to hold on to for life. A good mechanic will offer you a fair price for the work completed and won’t try to rip you off, which is something many Australian drivers worry about.


The best way to find the right mechanic is to ask around for recommendations. Your friends and family may be able to recommend you a reliable and honest mechanic.


4.   Ask for a second opinion


If your mechanic is recommending a very expensive repair, check with another auto shop for a second opinion. As long as it isn’t an emergency, asking around can help save you some money and give you a better idea of what repairs are worth. Also ask these other mechanics what they charge for this repair, to make sure your preferred mechanic is asking a fair price.


5.   Keep a regular maintenance schedule


Keeping your car in top shape will help you avoid larger problems down the road. Regular service is very important. Your car’s manual likely has a recommended schedule of maintenance services, so make sure to follow it.


It’s important to change your oil and filter regularly. Without clean new oil, your engine and gaskets will quickly burn up. Dirty oil in a filter can cause corrosion and blockages that will cause engine damage.


Keeping a clean engine air filter is also important. Your car will enjoy a longer functional life if you maintain a clean and lubricated engine. Air flow is important. Changing a new filter is much less expensive than replacing engines.


6.   Do some work yourself


While some things are better left to the experts, there are some simple tasks you may be able to take care of on your own. This is also where books and auto care classes will help you. By doing some maintenance tasks yourself, you’ll be able to effectively keep car maintenance costs down.


7.   Know what you’re getting into before you buy


Some cars just cost more to maintain. You can use online tools to look at the cost of regular maintenance for whatever car model you’re planning to buy. Consider if you’ll be able to keep some of that cost tucked away so you’re not scrambling to pay last-minute maintenance costs.


Do some research on your desired car so you know what you’re getting into. You can gain some insight into common problem areas for that model and know if that’s something you can handle.


8.   Stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations


If your manual recommends a specific oil type to use, do it. Many times, a manufacturer designs the engine specifically to operate optimally with that type of oil. It’s also likely that the manufacturer did extensive testing and determined that is the oil type is best suited for that vehicle.


9.   Consider a permanent or semi-permanent paint protection


Paint protection is an important part of car maintenance, and while regular waxing and polishing is great for adding shine and protection to your vehicle’s paint, the costs can quickly add up.


Adding a clear ceramic coating to your car’s exterior will make your paint job last much longer and cost less in the long-term. This coating will help protect your car from not only dirt and debris, but also UV radiation and salt corrosion, which can permanently damage your car’s paint over time.


The coating is semi-permanent and typically lasts years, so the early small investment will help extend the life of your car’s paint job. If you get this coating applied professionally, you’re more likely to get longer-lasting and smoother, more refined results than if you were to do it on your own.


At Diamond Plate, we offer car paint protection and interior protection for your vehicle to keep your car looking new all year round. With a high-quality durable coating, you can keep your maintenance costs down and have the peace of mind knowing you’re protected from some of the most common factors of paint deterioration. Call us today for a quote on 1300 088 883 or reach out through our Online Enquiry Form and we’ll advise you on the best car paint protection options for your vehicle.