Auto Service World
News   January 18, 2022   by Auto Service World Staff

Here’s the answer to your every car maintenance question

It is no surprise that purchasing a car is probably one of the most necessary investments that you can make. As a car owner, you have the responsibility to take care of the valuable machine to make sure it is in good condition and performs well on the roads. It is quite obvious that the actual expenses involved after buying a car are as crucial as what you spend on buying it. There are several expenses that you need to bear after you roll out your car from the showroom. From the PUC updates to the insurance renewals and most importantly the service costs, there are a lot of questions that might be lingering in your mind. Here we will elaborate on the answers to your every car maintenance question.


Factors that determine the service costs

The maintenance cost of a car usually depends on several factors. 

  • The genre of the car: The maintenance cost would depend on the category under which your car belongs. It means, smaller the size of the car for its engine, the lesser is the maintenance cost involved. Small cars, with entry-level hatchbacks, require the least amount of maintenance costs followed by cars with premium hatchbacks, then compact SUVs and sedans. 
  • The car’s manufacturer: The maintenance cost will also depend on the manufacturer of your car. If your car’s manufacturer is mass market-oriented, that is, involved in manufacturing high volumes of cars, the maintenance cost will generally be less. Card manufacturers like Honda, Hyundai, Ford, and Renault with more compact offerings require fewer maintenance costs as compared to car manufacturers with more premium models in their lineup. For example, Skoda, Toyota, Kia, and Volkswagen generally require high maintenance costs.
  • The car’s fuel type: The type of fuel on which your car operates impacts the number of maintenance costs. For instance, the car market in India, like most others in the world, depends mostly on diesel and petrol as the two primary fuel options. The cars that run on petrol require less maintenance cost than the diesel-powered ones.

Services included under car maintenance

Routine car maintenance would generally include the basics such as oil change, windshield wiper replacement, new battery, brake pad replacement, and tire replacement or rotation. 

1. Oil change

In case you didn’t know, oil change, under routine maintenance, generally depends on how much and how far the car has been driven. Experts often suggest an oil change every 5000 to 7000 miles, especially on newer cars. However, older cars may require oil changes more frequently. Even if your card does not reach the minimum mileage mark, You would still have to change your car’s oil every 12 months to keep it in working condition. Usually, a standard oil change might cost between $25 and $55, where prices can increase if you are using synthetic oil. 

2. Replacing the windshield wiper

Imagine driving on a rainy day and realizing that your car’s windshield wipers do not work as they should. That is why you must consider replacing your wipers every 6 to 12 months or no sooner than you start noticing problems. Usually, windshield wiper replacement will cost you under $85. However, you can save much more if you install them by yourself. 

3. Installing new battery

The car’s battery is one of the most important parts that keep it running in good condition. That is why you must consider replacing it every 3 to 5 years. But this timeline can change depending on the various external factors such as whether your vehicle is subjected to extreme cold or hot weather or if you leave it unused for a long span. Additionally, leaving your car’s interior lights on can also drain your car’s battery life. Usually, battery replacement can cost between $60 to $200 based on the car’s model, the battery quality you purchase, and your location. 

4. Replacing brake pads

As routine maintenance, replacing brake pads can be tricky as it depends on how often you use your brakes. For instance, it can depend on how many miles to drive in the city and how many miles you drive on the freeway. Generally, city drivers need to replace their breaks sooner than those rural drivers, primarily driving on freeways. Since replacing brake pads can be a tricky affair, there are a few signs that will give you a heads up. Firstly, if your car makes a screeching sound on applying the brakes. Secondly, if your car’s indicator light lights up, especially in a newer model.

5. Replacing tires

The car’s tire must be replaced every six years irrespective of how many miles you have driven it. You must know, if your car’s tires are worn by a tread depth of 4/32 inches, it is time you should get them replaced. Replacing all four tires can cost you somewhere around $400 to $1800, based on the type of cars you own and the quality of tires you purchase.

Additionally, tire rotation is another crucial maintenance routine. You must consider it done every 5000 to 8000 miles. Tire rotation may cost you between $35 to $45. If you want to maximize the life of the tires, you will need to perform tire alignment and balancing on your vehicle. 

Maintenance costs not covered under insurance

In general, the maintenance costs for smaller cars, involving filters and fluid replacement excluding the replacement of additional wear and tear components, generally vary between $20 to $40. Most car insurance policies do not cover regular wear and tear due to regular usage. Additionally, mechanical and electrical breakdowns are also not covered under a regular insurance policy. This means that the engine is not covered under car insurance. In situations where your engine ceases to work, it is recommended that you avail engine protection cover to maximize the benefits of having car insurance. 

When do you need an add-on?

As per the market trend, car insurance includes specific exclusions in matters of car maintenance.

Usually, you’ll set up your policy to include collision and comprehensive coverage in addition to the mandatory coverages for liability. Make sure youunderstand the benefits of the policy by reading the policy documents carefully and consulting with your insurer. Furthermore, most maintenance does not fall under the regular car insurance policy. You might need a few add-on maintenance benefits to your existing car policy. While comprehensive will provide you protection from accident damages and protect you from

fire, flood, theft, etc., it won’t cover maintenance. However, modifying your car insurance policy is smarter than purchasing a higher policy in order to save money. In light of that thought, Lemonade launches auto insurance policies that provide free roadside service, discounts for hybrids and EVs value, and more. You can avail the benefits at any given time.

Prepare and save 

When you are budgeting the expenses of your car you are likely to consider the car payments, the cost of gas, are also auto insurance. However, you cannot afford to forget the important factors that go into deciding how much you will be spending on regular car maintenance. All of this together falls under the true cost of being a car owner. When calculating your transportation budget, regular car maintenance may not be at the top of your mind but it is necessary for the longevity and health of your vehicle. Routine car maintenance can also help you to avoid expensive repairs down the road. 

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